- Born 2 July, 1880, Geraldton Western Australia Australia
- Died 13 February, 1936, Perth Western Australia Australia
- Occupation Community worker, Journalist, Print journalist, Professional photographer
Muriel Chase ( nee Cooper) was well known for her community work, philanthropy, journalism and photography. A foundation member of the Karrakatta Club and the Women Writer’s Club, she was social editress of the West Australian from 1903.
Muriel Jean Eliot Cooper, later Chase, was born on 2 July 1880 in Geraldton, Western Australia. She was the eldest of four children born to John Henry Cooper and Priscilla Richenda (née Eliot). Cooper was educated at Amy Best’s school.
On 5 July 1900, at the age of 20, she married Ernest Edward Chase, who was 15 years her senior. The couple moved to England where Ernest was to work as secretary to Sir Charles Rose, a conservative Member of Parliament. The couple did not stay long, returning to Australia only a year later due to Ernest’s ill health. They had two daughters.
It is unclear when Cooper developed an interest in photography, or where she trained, but she is known to have worked at a photography studio called the Hay Street Studio in Perth during 1900s. She photographed notable community leaders, and some of these photographs were published in newspapers. Western Mail published six of her photographs of West Australian Members of the Federal Senate.
Cooper was a foundation member of Karrakatta Club and the Women Writers Club, and through her work at the Western Mail newspaper Cooper helped raise funds to establish the Silver Chain District Nursing Association in 1904.
Cooper was the social editor of The West Australian newspaper from 1903, and also wrote for the Western Mail using the pseudonym Adrienne. She also wrote a column entitled Children’s Corner under the name of ‘Aunt Mary’.
Muriel Jean Cooper died of heart failure on 13 February in 1936, aged 56.
State Library of Western Australia
Content added for the In Her Gift and The Women’s Pages research projects, last modified 5 September 2012
In addition to writing for the West Australian, Chase wrote for the Western Mail under the pseudonym of Adrienne, and campaigned for more social welfare services throughout the Western Australian community. She wrote for the paper’s Children’s Corner as ‘Aunt Mary’, and recruited her younger readers as ‘silver links in a chain of service’. In this way she helped to establish the Silver Chain District Nursing Association, raising enough money by 1904 to fund a district nurse who visited her patients by bicycle. The work of the district nurse raised awareness in the community of the need for hospitals and homes, both for infants and the elderly. Occasionally, Chase herself would relieve the district nurse on night duty.
- 1900 - 1910
- 1900 - 1970
- The Six West Australian Members of the Federal Senate, http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article33202719
- Weddings, 1901, http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article33206871
- Miss Cooper's Studio, Egeria, http://trove.nla.gov.au/newspaper/article/67065944
- Trove: Chase, Muriel Jean Eliot (1880-1936), http://nla.gov.au/nla.party-765064
- The Women's Pages: Australian Women and Journalism since 1850, Australian Women's Archives Project, 2008, http://www.womenaustralia.info/exhib/cal/cal-home.html
- In Her Gift: Women Philanthropists in Australian History, Australian Women's Archives Project, 2009, http://www.womenaustralia.info/exhib/wiph/home.html
- Chase, Muriel Jean Eliot (1880 - 1936), Stewart, Noel, 2006, http://www.adb.online.anu.edu.au/biogs/A070630b.htm