Ann Margaret (Peg) Magoffin was born in 1918. Her family were graziers in the Winton district of Queensland, and her schooling was irregular due to isolation, the Depression and illness. She attended school at the Convent of the Sacred Heart in Rose Bay (now Kincoppal – Rose Bay). The school has an annual award named after her, The Peg Magoffin Memorial Trophy, which is awarded to a girl in Year 12 who demonstrates ” A significant level of caring, dedication and selfless commitment to others and an outstanding ability to build community in an unassuming way.”
After leaving school, Peg returned to the family property where her father persuaded her to develop costings for the property’s wool output. On returning to Sydney in the 1940s, she worked in a number of positions before joining the accounting firm of D.P. Dickson & Son in Bridge St. She completed her accountancy training at night and was admitted to the Institute of Chartered Accountants in Australia in 1951.
While working at Dickson’s, Peg Magoffin’s interest and experience in the wool industry meant she was eventually responsible for many of the firm’s pastoral accounts. When she left in 1956 to establish her own public accountancy firm, A.M Magoffin & Co she purchased many of these accounts to take with her. She became well known for her expertise in taxation, and wrote a monthly column in Rydge’s business journal from 1953 – 1971. She also wrote a textbook and lectured on the subject for the Australian Mutual Provident Society and for the faculty of law at the University of Sydney.
She also studied economics as an evening student at the University of Sydney, gaining her B. Ec in 1967.
From 1951- 1970 she chaired the finance committee of the Australian Association of Business and Professional Women’s Clubs. She was president of this association from 1966 – 1970. During this time, she oversaw a major restructuring of the organisation leading to the creation of State divisions. She also appeared for the Association during the Equal Pay Case in 1969, which saw the unions representing meat workers and federal public employees bring a case to the Arbitration Commission in favour of pay equity.
In 1970 she was appointed to the National Labour Advisory Council’s committee on women’s employment. After Peg’s death, in 1976 Beryl Nashar OBE (Professor of Geology and later first female Dean of an Australian University when she became the Dean of the University of Newcastle) gave the Peg Magoffin Memorial Lecture, titled “The emergence of the new woman” at the 20th Conference of the Australian Federation of Business and Professional Women’s Clubs.
From 1964 until her death in 1971 she was on the council of Sancta Sophia College, within the University of Sydney. She also served as a financial adviser to the Society of the Sacred Heart of Jesus.
Peg Magoffin was a member of the Zonta Club of Sydney from 1966 until she passed away from a myocardial infarction in 1971.