Dame Enid Lyons

Enid Lyons was born in Tasmania and trained as a teacher in Hobart. Her mother introduced her to an important Tasmanian politician, Joseph Lyons, who later became the Premier of Tasmania. They were soon married.

Lyons was interested in her husband's work and stood for election to the Tasmanian Parliament in 1925. She nearly won. She was a good public speaker and helped to get people to vote for her husband. He became prime minister in 1931. After her husband's death, Lyons decided to stand for parliament again. In 1943 she became the first woman elected to the Commonwealth Parliament. She later became the first woman in Federal Cabinet.

Lyons worked hard in Parliament for women and children. She believed that men and women should be completely equal. In those days women often stayed at home. If they did go out to work, they earned less. Lyons brought in welfare payments for mothers and equal training allowances for women and men.

She was made Dame Enid by the King in 1943 and Dame Enid of Australia in 1980. Her picture has also appeared on stamps.