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12 Campbell Street, Castlemaine

195 High Street, Kangaroo Flat (Bendigo)

in memory of

Rachel Legge

Rachel Legge

13th January 1945 - 27th October 2022


Elizabeth Rachel Legge (nee Tonkin), 77, passed away peacefully on 27 October 2022 after a long battle with illness.

The beloved wife of the late Peter Legge, she is survived by her children Patrick, William and Isabel,

and granddaughters Siena and Isla.


Rachel, the daughter of Ralph and Agnes Tonkin, was born at the Mercy Private Hospital in East Melbourne

on 13th January 1945. Rachel attended Presbyterian Ladies College before following her passion to study Fine Arts at RMIT.

Rachel had a highly distinguished and successful career as a children’s book illustrator and author,

winning numerous awards for her work, including four separate short listings for

The Children’s Book Council of Australia awards. Rachel’s exquisitely detailed illustrations and researched writing continue to be used

by schools and inspire kids to be fascinated by nature.


Rachel was a dedicated, caring and selfless mother to her children, and wife to Peter.

She provided her family with a fantastic home and supportive upbringing.

Rachel loved spending time with her friends and family, and travelled widely, both internationally and in Australia.

She was an environmentalist and had a long history of volunteer work with the various Castlemaine conservation organisations.

She will be dearly missed, but she leaves us with an enduring legacy,

having made the world better for those touched by her.


A service to celebrate Rachel's life will be held in the Chapel of Mount Alexander Funerals

12 Campbell Street, Castlemaine on Wednesday 9th November commencing at 11.00am.

Following this service the cortege will leave for the Guildford Cemetery.


After the burial service you are warmly invited to join the family for refreshments

in the tea rooms at the Castlemaine Botanical Gardens.


If you wish to join us at the service via livestream,

please return to the home page of this website and click on the livestream button.

The service will be live approximately 5-10 minutes prior to commencing.

Funeral Livestream


9 responses to “Rachel Legge”

  1. Susan Brosnan (Lee) says:

    It is with such sadness I hear of Rachel’s passing.
    I have very fond memories of both Rachel and Peter during my years growing up in Castlemaine, I was able to keep in touch with them over the years through my family and always looked forward to catching up for a meal during my visits.
    I admired Rachel’s work greatly and am sure she will be remembered by all who met her.
    Best Wishes to all the family.
    – Susan Brosnan (Lee)

  2. Rupert Steiner says:

    Hearing of Rachels passing fills me with sadness, Rachel and Peter where such hospitable and caring people and very dear friends of us.
    And we felt always part of the whole family whenever we got together.
    We will miss Rachel and her positivity very much.
    All our best to Isabel, Will and Patrick and their families.
    – Rupert Steiner

  3. Clodagh Norwood says:

    Rachel, I have been thinking of you over the last few days as I started walking in Kalimna again, and passing your favourite spots.
    Your beautiful and meticulously illustrated books were always favourites as the children grew up.
    It was a privilege to know you and Peter in those early years, and to have spent more time with you both in your last years at Lyttleton St.
    In those years I especially remember that you and Peter often spoke of Will and Patrick and Isabel with such love and pride.
    – Clodagh Norwood

  4. Kate Serrurier says:

    Rachel’s wisdom and quiet wit were legendary. At a time when I was extremely vulnerable, she and Peter were kind to me … and Rachel made the best creme caramel I have ever tasted!
    As an artist and illustrator Rachel pioneered In many ways.
    My condolences to Patrick, William and Isabel and the extended family. Rachel lived ethically, creatively and resiliently – you can’t ask for more than that.
    – Kate Serrurier

  5. Jenny arup says:

    We will always remember Rachel as a gentle, wise and creative person.
    We will miss her and Peter.
    – Jenny and Chris Arup

  6. Bernadette Joiner says:

    I was deeply saddened to hear of Rachel’s passing.
    It was only this week that I was sharing two of Rachel’s beautiful picture books with some children at a school and some visitors to Dromkeen Gallery. We had the great privilege of having one of Rachel’s exhibitions at Dromkeen and being part of a day where the Children’s Book Council of Australia honoured her for her incredible contribution to Australian children’s literature.
    She was a truly beautiful and remarkable woman.
    Our sincere condolences to Rachel’s family,
    from Bernadette and all at Dromkeen.

  7. William Shutt says:

    As first cousins of Rachel, who between us had direct dealings with her for more than sixty years, in a brief tribute may I say this: Australian cousins are the only ones of our generation my brother Harry and I have ever known, and I think that led us to do our best to keep in touch with Rachel in particular for much of that time.

    Lea, my wife, and I had the good fortune, during our travels round the world, to be based in Castlemaine for several weeks about 20 years ago, through arrangements Rachel kindly made for us.

    I just want to mention one happy and abiding memory for me from that period. It was going on a number of extensive walks, in and about Kalimna Park early in the morning to avoid the heat of the day, with that mild-mannered, considerate and lovable cousin who was Rachel.
    – William Shutt

  8. Margaret Winmill says:

    My condolences to Patrick, Will, Isabel, Siena and Isla on Rachel’s passing.
    I met Rachel through Tai Chi, which we did twice a week for a number of years,
    and got to know her and Peter well.
    Rachel loved her garden at Lyttleton Street, especially her cyclamens,
    she was a gifted artist and the detail in her illustrations is extraordinary.
    She was gentle and kind and bore her long illness with great stoicism.
    I miss her and Peter very much.
    – Margaret Winwill

  9. David Menadue says:

    I am so sad to hear of Rachel’s passing.
    She and Peter were great friends of John Andrews and myself among many others starting with early days at University onwards. We used to catch up when they were down from Castlemaine or more recently when they lived in St Kilda.
    My sympathies to their children at this difficult time.
    Rachel was such a loving and generous friend.
    She will be missed by many.
    – David Menadue

Funeral Details

Chapel of Mount Alexander Funerals
12 Campbell Street

9th November 2022 at 11:00 AM

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