Home » Society » Famous Australians » Edith Cowan

Edith Cowan

Edith Cowan
Edith Dircksey Cowan was born on 2 August 1861. She was an former Australian politician, social campaigner and first women parliament member.

Early Life

She was born and raised in Geraldton, Western Australia. She has born into a significant and respected family to Kenneth Brown and Mary Eliza Dircksey nee Wittenoom. She has grandfathers Thomas Brown and John Burdett Wittenoom, and an uncle, Maitland Brown. Her mother died when she was age of seven and his father sends her to boarding school run by crown sisters. After that, in November 12, 1879, she married to James, a career in public service and then they live their rest of life in Malcolm Street, West Perth. Her father remarried but the marriage was not successful and his father starts drinking a lot. At the age of 15, her father killed by second wife and was then hanged herself and after that she moved to Guildford to live with her grandmother.
She attended the school of canon sweeting. At Guildford, a headmaster of Bishop Hale's School taught her about a number of famous men including John Forrest and Septimus Burt.


Western Australia approved legislation that women can stand for parliament in 1920. At the age of 59, she stands as the supporter of independence applicant for the Legislative Assembly seat because she felt that social and domestic issues were not given enough attention. She surprisingly wins a victory over the Attorney General, Thomas Draper who introduced the legislation.


In 1932, She died at age 71, was buried in Karrakatta Cemetery in Perth, Western Australia.


Two years after her death, a memorial in the form of cock called Edith Cowan Memorial Clock was unveiled at the entrance of Perth's Kings Park. In 1984, Division of Cowan is an Australian Electoral Division created and named after her. Her portrait appeared on the Australian bank note.

Types Of Visas

Immigration Info

Australian History

Facebook Twitter