3 July 1882Newcastle upon Tyne, Tyne and Wear, England, United Kingdom


5 August 1992Burwood East, Victoria, Australia



Gertie Nesbitt

Mary Jane Gertrude “Gertie” Nesbitt was a British-born Australian supercentenarian who was the oldest living person in Australia for six days. Her age has been validated by the European Supercentenarian Organisation (ESO).

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Nesbitt was born in Newcastle, England, on 3 July 1882 to Robert Nesbitt and Mary Jane Cavanagh. She had five siblings, two of whom, Martha and Veronica, died as infants. She worked as a milliner and a typist.

In 1949, aged 67, Nesbitt emigrated to Australia. She never married and had no children. From the ages of 70 to 90, she worked as a housekeeper for two priests. She lived in Burwood, Victoria, with her niece, Sadie Ramsay, until she was 106 years old, at which point she moved into a nursing home in Burwood East, a suburb of Melbourne.

Nesbitt underwent a hip operation aged 108, and quickly recovered, amazing nursing home staff. She was a devout Catholic, as were her parents, and said mass regularly. On her 110th birthday, she claimed that she had no secret for her longevity, but offered advice to young people, “Be good and kind.”

Nesbitt died on 5 August 1992 at the age of 110 years, 33 days.

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In 1991, Nesbitt received a telegram from Australia’s then-Prime Minister Bob Hawke, congratulating her on her 109th birthday. On 30 July 1992, six days before her death, she became Australia’s oldest resident following the death of 111-year-old Beatrice Pollock. Upon her own death, the title passed to Kit St. Clair, then aged 109.

Nesbitt’s age was validated by the ESO on 30 July 2023.

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  • Herald Sun, 4 July 1991