BRIGITTE MUIR OAM
Brigitte Muir is most famous for being the first Australian woman to reach the summit of Mt Everest. However she is also a documentary filmmaker, artist, writer and organiser of literacy and empowerment programs for women in Nepal.
Born in Belgium, Brigitte’s life changed after hearing a quote as a teenager from French writer Stendhal, which translates as: ‘We must live our dreams, not dream our lives’. She soon discovered caving and later began walking and climbing in the Himalaya and elsewhere. Brigitte moved to Australia in 1983 and became an Australian citizen in 1987. She lives in Natimuk near Mt Arapiles in the Wimmera.
In 1988 Brigitte began a quest to climb the Seven Summits, the highest peaks on each of the seven continents. On her fourth attempt to climb Mt Everest, she reached her goal on 27 May 1997, becoming the first Australian woman to reach the summit of Everest and the first Australian to climb all seven peaks.
She was awarded a Medal of the Order of Australia in 2000 and the Centenary Medal in 2001, the year in which she was also inducted onto the Victorian Honour Roll of Women.
Brigitte returns regularly to Nepal where she leads community building and personal development treks for private groups. She also paints and writes and is making a documentary about learning to belong through experiencing life in a small subsistence farming village below the Everest area.