Statues Commemorate First Women in Parliament
Image of Dame Edith Lyons courtesy of the National Museum of Australia.
Statues of Dame Dorothy Tangney and Dame Enid Lyons, created by figurative sculptor, Lis Johnson, were recently unveiled at Old Parliament House, Canberra.
Dorothy Tangney was Australia’s first woman senator and the first Labor woman in Federal Parliament.
Enid Lyons, who represented the United Australia Party, then its successor, the Liberal Party, was the first woman elected to the House of Representatives and the first appointed to federal Cabinet.
The portrayal of Dorothy Tangney and Enid Lyons alongside each other is intended to be reminiscent of the iconic photo of the pair entering Parliament House together for the first time on 24 September 1943.
The statues, located near the north-east corner of Old Parliament House, were unveiled by the Hon Kristy McBain MP, Minister for Regional Development, Local Government and Territories, and Member for Eden Monaro, who explained, “Dame Dorothy Tangney and Dame Enid Lyons were trailblazers for women in politics and for standing up for women’s issues on a national level.
“They achieved this without political party support and in the midst of overwhelming negative coverage of female candidates in the media.
“They paved the way for hundreds of women with diverse voices and experience to pursue politics, and I’ve been so fortunate to follow their footsteps and deliver for women across my community.”
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