It is with great sadness that the directors of Macrossan & Amiet share the news of the passing of Mrs Beryl Neilsen OAM on Monday 3 July 2023.
Not only was Mrs Neilsen a long-time client of our firm but she, assisted by our former partner Mr John Formosa and Mr Cliff Flor of Flor-Hanly Commercial & Agribusiness Accountants, established The John and Beryl Neilsen Winchester Foundation which has provided over 1,400 scholarships to 460 secondary school and tertiary students since its establishment in 2011.
Mrs Neilsen was awarded an Order of Australia Medal in 2021 for her service to the community through her charitable organisation, which is a testament to her unmatched humility and generosity.
In addition to the scholarships, the Winchester Foundation also continues to be the diamond sponsor of the annual Queensland Isolated Children’s Parents’ Association Conference and will shortly celebrate ten years of bringing primary school students from country schools across central Queensland to the Whitsunday Voices Youth Literature Festival.
Beryl was born in Mackay to Mr James Wilfred (“Jim”) Smith and Mrs Mary Cecilia Smith (nee Ryalls) on 30 November 1941. She married her late husband John Oliver Neilsen on 5 May 1962 at St Francis Xavier Church, West Mackay. Beryl and John lived on Olive Downs Station from 1962 until 1980 and then Winchester Downs Station from 1980 until Beryl moved into Mackay in 2020. After her relocation to Mackay, Beryl continued to visit Winchester Downs with the assistance of her family and friends.
There are few people you will meet in your life who have had such a positive outlook and impact upon others as Mrs Neilsen. She was never without a smile. She gained an inordinate amount of joy from giving and supporting country students through her various charitable endeavours. Although she did not have any children of her own, Mrs Neilsen attended numerous graduation ceremonies for her tertiary scholarship recipients and always thoroughly enjoyed hosting the Winchester Day Luncheon at Winchester Downs to congratulate the scholarship recipients each year.
Beryl is survived by her siblings, nieces and nephews and the extended Winchester Foundation family.
She will be sorely missed.
May she rest in peace.