Australian Women's Register

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

Skip to content


  • Faith, Hope and Charity Australian Women and Imperial Honours: 1901-1989

Use Trove to find more resources by/about this Woman

  • Trove

Cramer, Mary Therese ( - 1984)

Lady, DBE

New South Wales, Australia
23 September 1984
Teacher, Charity worker and Community worker


Mary Cramer, a teacher before her marriage to John (later Sir John) Cramer, in January 1922, brought her formidable organising skills to rearing their four children and to her public activities. On the election of her husband as mayor of North Sydney in 1939, she assumed the duties of lady mayoress. Known for her natural sense of humour, she organised a Voluntary Aid Detachment for North Sydney at the beginning of World War II, and also the first group of the Women's Australian National Service in Sydney and became its first commandant. Her husband later became a founding member of the Liberal Party of Australia and a Minister for the Army from 1956-1963. She was president of the New South Wales division of the Red Cross Society and of the Mater Misericordae Hospital Advisory Board at North Sydney. Despite recurring illness, she maintained her public activities and was appointed as Dame Commander of the Order of the British Empire on 12 June 1971 for distinguished public service, which had covered four decades. According to the report in The Sydney Morning Herald on 26 May 1994 on the death of Sir John Cramer, 'Sir John with his late wife Dame Mary, had left an indelible mark on the lower North Shore'.

Archival resources

National Library of Australia Oral History Collection

  • Interview with Sir John Oscar Cramer, 28 March 1988 - 14 June 1988, ORAL TRC 4900/58; National Library of Australia Oral History Collection. Details

Rosemary Francis

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