Edith Waterworth

Mother and child: Mrs G Lee with baby Marcia, 1913 (ALT, PH30/1/872)

Edith Alice Waterworth OBE (18731957), welfare worker, is best known for her work in improving the welfare of women and children. She was Lancashire-born and migrated to Australia as a young girl. A tireless worker, she was a member of a number of organisations which sought to influence government policy in the areas of health, welfare and justice for women and children. These organisations included the Women's Criminal Law Reform Association, Women's Health Association, Child Welfare Association and Women's Non-Party League. In 1937 she convened a statewide conference that aimed to co-ordinate efforts directed towards women and children, and led to the formation of the Tasmanian Council for Mother and Child. She stood unsuccessfully for parliament three times, in 1922, 1925 and 1943. Her achievements were recognised by an OBE in 1935.

Further reading: ADB 12; J Waters, 'To help the mothers and save the babies', Honours thesis, UT, 1983; Mercury, 7 November 1957.

Jill Waters