• Entry type: Person
  • Entry ID: IMP0025

D’Arcy, Constance Elizabeth

(1879 – 1950)
  • Nationality Australian
  • Born 1 June, 1879, Rylestone New South Wales Australia
  • Died 25 April, 1950
  • Occupation Gynaecologist, Obstetrician


Constance D’Arcy was a distinguished obstetrician and gynaecologist, who was committed to lowering the maternal mortality rate through the control of puerperal septicaemia. An active Catholic, she contributed to both catholic and secular organisations during her life. In addition to her practice in Macquarie Street, Sydney, she was honorary surgeon at the Royal Hospital for Women, Sydney, and lectured in clinical obstetrics from 1925-1939 at Sydney University, where she ultimately became the first women deputy chancellor from 1943-1946. As a member of the National Council of Women, she organised its sex education program. Aware of the importance of high standards of nursing care, she was a founder of the Royal Australian Nursing Federation. As president of the Business and Professional Women’s Club in Sydney in 1944, she made clear her commitment to equal pay and opportunity for women. She was appointed as Dame of the Order of the British Empire on 3 June 1935 for Services to the welfare of children. The pope honoured her with the Cross Pro Ecclesia et Pontifice in 1940.

Published resources

Archival resources

  • National Library of Australia, Manuscript Collection
    • The problem of maternal welfare 1935 [manuscript]
  • University of Sydney, Archives
    • Constance Elizabeth D'Arcy - Records

Related entries

  • Membership
    • National Council of Women of New South Wales (1896 - )
    • Sydney University Women Graduates' Association (1920 - 1959)
  • Foundation Member
    • The Royal Australian Nursing Federation
  • Presided
    • BPW Australia (1947 - )
  • Executive Member
    • Sydney University Women's Union (1914 - )
  • Related Organisations
    • Rachel Forster Hospital for Women and Children (1925 - 1963)