Australian Women's Register

An initiative of The National Foundation for Australian Women (NFAW) in conjunction with The University of Melbourne

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    MRS F. V. McKenzie, c. 1939, courtesy of Australian War Memorial.
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McKenzie, Florence Violet (1892 - 1982)

OBE

Born
1892
Hawthorn, Victoria, Australia
Died
1982
Occupation
Electrical engineer and Servicewoman

Summary

In 1924 Florence Wallace (as she was then known) became Australia's first certificated woman radio telegraphist and in 1924, the only woman member of the Wireless Institute of Australia. She was the founder and director of the Electrical Association for Women, established in 1934. In 1939 she founded and directed the Women's Emergency Signalling Corps, which later became the starting point for the Women's Royal Australian Naval Service (WRANS). Rosemary Broomham wrote in the biography of Florence McKenzie in 200 Australian Women that altogether Mrs McKenzie trained over 10,000 servicemen in morse, visual signalling and international code, and she trained 3000 women, a third of whom went into the Services. On 8 June 1950 Florence McKenzie was appointed an Officer of the Order of the British Empire for her work with the Women's Emergency Signals Corps.

Sources used to compile this entry: Alexander, Joseph A (ed.), Who's Who in Australia 1962, 17 edn, Colorgravure Publications, Melbourne, 1962, 960 pp; Radi, Heather (ed.), 200 Australian Women: A Redress Anthology, Women's Redress Press, Sydney, 1988, 258 pp. Also available at http://nla.gov.au/nla.arc-78644.

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Archival resources

National Library of Australia Newspaper Microcopy Reading Room

  • [Biographical cuttings on Florence McKenzie, former patroness of the Ex-Wran Association]; National Library of Australia Newspaper Microcopy Reading Room. Details

Digital resources

Title
MRS F. V. McKenzie
Type
Image
Date
c. 1939
Control
P01262.018
Source
Australian War Memorial

Details

Title
Mrs Florence Violet McKenzie OBE
Type
Image
Date
c. 1980
Control
P02722.003
Source
Australian War Memorial

Details

Anne Heywood

Site-wide information and acknowledgements

National Foundation for Australian Women The University of Melbourne, eScholarship Research Centre

http://www.womenaustralia.info/biogs/AWE0386b.htm

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