Mabel Hibbert

Community volunteer

VICNomineeSenior Australian of the Year2022

Mabel Hibbert has lived an extraordinary life. Her influence as a volunteer spans many decades, and she’s become affectionately known to her local community as ‘Marvellous Mabel’.

In 2015, aged 91, she inspired many with her visit to Gallipoli to be where her father landed on ANZAC Day in 1915. Following the trip, Mabel flew to the United Kingdom to spend time with her penfriend’s son, whom she’d sent a hand-knitted toy to in the 1940s, and his family.

To this day, her love of knitting has never wavered. Mabel has knitted thousands of 'Trauma Teddies' at her own expense, to be sent to children experiencing challenging times. During Australia’s involvement in the war in Afghanistan, she also sent knitted beanies and gloves for frontline soldiers.

For more than 65 years, Mabel has been active in her church group, the Mothers’ Union, as a committee member, treasurer and president. The group engages in various community initiatives, including helping improve literacy among Indigenous students.