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Scantlebury, Lilian Avis (1894 - 1964)

OBE, BA, Commander, Sister O. St J.

12 January 1894
Melbourne, Victoria, Australia
12 April 1964
South Melbourne, Victoria, Australia
Red Cross leader
Alternative Names
  • Whybrow, Lilian (maiden name)


Lilian Scantlebury, née Whybrow, was a leader of the Australian Red Cross Society (ARCS) in the Victorian Division and at the national level. Her efforts were acknowledged with her appointment as Officer of the Order of the British Empire on 1 January 1959 for her services to the Red Cross Society. Educated at Ruyton Girls' School in Kew and the University of Melbourne, she was a member of the Red Cross Society from 1914. She spent two years in London during World War I working at the Australian Red Cross wounded and missing bureau with Vera (Deakin) White, who also became an influential member of the ARCS in Victoria. Leon Stubbings, in his history of the Australian Red Cross entitled Look what you started Henry, claimed that because these two women 'had experienced the real meaning of Red Cross during the First World War, dedication was demonstrated by hard work throughout their life'. Lilian Scantlebury married Dr G C Scantlebury in April 1920 and had one daughter. She was vice-chairman of the National Council of the Australian Red Cross Society, Melbourne, from 1951 and earlier had assumed the position of honorary director of the Wounded and Missing Enquiry at Burwood, Victoria from 1940-1947. Her other interests included membership of the committee of Janet Clarke Hall and Trinity College, University of Melbourne, from 1926-1961 and she was its chairman from 1939-1961. She also served on the Council of St John Victoria from 1954-1958.

Sources used to compile this entry: Smith, Philippa Mein, 'Scantlebury, Lilian Avis (1894-1964)', in Australian Dictionary of Biography Online, Australian National University, 2006,; Stubbings, Leon, Look what you started Henry! A history of the Australian Red Cross 1914-1991., Australian Red Cross Society, East Melbourne, Victoria, 1992, 316 pp.

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