Beverley Pinder

Attended Elwood High 1968–1971

Beverley is one of Melbourne’s most respected career public relations consultants, a former Miss Universe Australia and is now in her second term as a Councillor at the City of Melbourne, where she holds the People City portfolio. Since the age of 13 she has been a fundraiser for charities and has a deep sense of social justice. Beverley's portrait was painted by her Elwood High friend and artist, Rachel Rovay for the Archibald Prize's Salon des Refusés exhibition in 2014.

“I arrived in Australia in October 1968 and was desperate to start at Elwood High School straight away. I was shy and was put into a “special” English class. I soon discovered that it was for students who were beginners at English but it took weeks for the very nice Afrikaans teacher to discover that I had a voice and that my mother tongue was English.

I absolutely loved everything about Elwood High. There was a great spirit in the school. It was so culturally diverse; but no matter what countries we came from it was so collaborative and so collegiate. I loved Drama with Mr Whitehead. He enabled me to grow into the person who comes alive when I have the platform or a stage. Equally, I was fond of the teachings of Mr Pittock – there was so much to learn about the history of my new homeland.

I also threw myself into sport and played hockey, netball and basketball. The other girls in the basketball team, who were much taller and stronger than I was, really looked after me. It was such a close community.

Being a part of the Elwood High community, helped me to understand the importance of contributing to the wider community and to have had this rich start to my new life in Australia was a gift from God.”

Beverley’s parents bought a house in Springvale in 1971 and, after Beverley struggled to adapt to life in a high school there, she took a series of jobs in the public service and enjoyed her time in Immigration and Foreign Affairs. She worked diligently in this role and loved her time conducting citizenship interviews.

In 1978, aged 22, Beverley entered and won the Miss Universe Australia competition. This experience gave her a lot of media experience and exposure and she then “fell into” the public relations industry.

She was elected onto the Melbourne City Council in 2012 and, despite having no formal background in politics, felt that she had reached a stage in her life when she wanted to start giving something back to the community. Beverley was re-elected as a Councillor of the City of Melbourne in January 2018. She has taken on the roles of Chair People City and Deputy Chair Small Business, Retail and Hospitality, having previously been Chair of the Marketing Melbourne portfolio and Deputy Chair of Arts and Culture.

The role also allows her to continue her commitment to helping other less fortunate members of the community and believes that the role matches with who she is; “ I am first and foremost a compassionate person who believes in humanity, humility and hard work with a focus on family and community”.

For 50 years she has had personal involvement in assisting charities and not-for-profits. She sits on the Advisory Board of the National Institute of Integrative Medicine and provides marketing and fundraising support to the team. She is also a Patron of the Father Bob Maguire Foundation and a supporter of the Lighthouse Foundation, providing counsel and assistance on a pro bono basis.