Australian Women's Register

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

Skip to content

Use Trove to find more resources by/about this Woman

  • Trove

Blackburn, Doris Amelia (1889 - 1970)


18 September 1889
Auburn, Victoria, Australia
12 December 1970
Coburg, Victoria, Australia
Politician and Peace activist
Alternative Names
  • Horden, Doris (maiden name, 18 September 1889 - 10 December 1914)


The second woman member of the House of Representatives, Doris Blackburn successfully won her late husband's Federal seat of Bourke as an Independent Labor candidate in 1946. In an electoral redistribution the seat of Bourke was abolished and Blackburn contested the new seat of Wills at the 1949 and 1951 elections, but was unsuccessful on both occasions.

She was involved in the Free Kindergarten movement and numerous campaigns for better education, playgrounds and crèches. Blackburn was a member of the Women's Political Association in Victoria, the Women's International League for Peace and Freedom, the Women's Christian Temperance Union, the Women's Prison Council and the Save the Children Fund. In 1957, with Doug Nicholls, she was a co-founder of the Aboriginal Advancement League and the Federal Council for Aboriginal Advancement.



Attended her first meeting of the Women's Political Association
Acted as campaign secretary for Vida Goldstein
10 December 1914
Married Maurice McCrae Blackburn (died 1944), they were to have 2 sons and a daughter
1916 - 1917
With her husband she was an anti-conscription campaigner
1946 - 1950
Member House of Representatives (Independent) for Bourke, Victoria
President of the Council for Civil Liberties
Travelled overseas as an emissary of Women's International League for Peace and Freedom
Co-founded the Aboriginal Advancement League with Doug Nicholls

Sources used to compile this entry: Grahame, Emma, 'Blackburn, Doris', in Caine, Barbara (ed.), Australian feminism : a companion, Oxford University Press, South Melbourne, Vic., 1988, p. 391; Rasmussen, Carolyn, 'Doris Blackburn MHR: Radical Representative', in Lake, Marilyn and Kelly, Farley (eds), Double time : women in Victoria - 150 years, Penguin, Ringwood, Vic., 1985, pp. 353-363; Rasmussen, Carolyn, 'Blackburn, Doris Amelia (1889-1970)', in Australian Dictionary of Biography Online, Australian National University, 2006,

Related entries

Related Women

Anne Heywood

Site-wide information and acknowledgements

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

© Copyright in The Australian Women's Register is owned by the Australian Women's Archives Project
and vested in each of the authors in respect of their contributions from 2000

The Australian Women's Register is licensed under a
Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Australia License

The Australian Women's Register is published quarterly by the Australian Women's Archives Project
ISSN 2207-3124