Woman Lyons, Enid Muriel

Dame, AD, GBE

Alternative Names
  • Burnell, Enid Muriel (birth name)

Written by Shurlee Swain, Australian Catholic University

Enid Lyons (née Burnell) was born at Duck River, Tasmania in 1897. She married Joseph Lyons in 1915, adopting both his politics and his religion. Throughout their marriage, which produced twelve children, she supported her husband's political career which culminated in his election as Prime Minister in 1932. When Joseph died in 1939 she returned to Tasmania but in 1943, she won the seat of Darwin (later renamed Braddon) and, along with Dorothy Tangney, became the first woman elected to federal parliament. She was also active in the Australian Women's National League and the St Joan's Social and Political Alliance and was a commissioner of the Australian Broadcasting Commission from 1951 to 1962. She died in 1981.

Published Resources


  • Fitzherbert, Margaret, So Many Firsts: Liberal Women from Enid Lyons to the Turnbull Era, Federation Press, Sydney, New South Wales, 2009. Details

Online Resources