• Entry type: Person
  • Entry ID: IMP0029

Frost, Phyllis Irene

(1917 – 2004)
  • Nationality Australian
  • Born 14 September, 1917, Brighton Victoria Australia
  • Died 31 October, 2004, Australia
  • Occupation Physiotherapist, Welfare worker


Phyllis Frost (née Turner) is renowned for her commitment to women in prisons and to the environment. According to Jenny Brown in an article on Phyllis Frost in the Good Weekend, (24 April 1993) she was member, chairman or primary patron of forty-seven mainly charitable committees throughout Victoria and was known for her ‘enormous capacity to get things done’, to ‘shear through red tape’. Her Christian philosophy of love your neighbour and treat others as you would like to be treated, together with the belief that it is only in helping others that the human spirit can achieve happiness and rest, underpinned her work. Educated at Presbyterian Ladies’ College and the University of Melbourne, Phyllis Frost trained as a physiotherapist and returned later to university to study criminology in order to understand better the minds of female offenders. She worked to assist women in prisons with their diets and to keep their babies with them as they served their sentences. She started the ‘Keep Australia Beautiful’ campaign and was associated with the Freedom from Hunger Campaign for thirty years, twelve of which she served as the Victorian chairman and one as world chairman in 1969. She is patron of the Victorian Relief Committee and has been a member since 1963 and honorary life counsellor, Victorian Women’s Prisons Council, since 1999. She was appointed as Dame Commander of the Order of the British Empire on 1 January 1974 for outstanding service to community, having been appointed as Commander of the Order of the British Empire in 1963.


  • 2001 - 2001

    Inducted into the Victorian Honour Roll of Women

Published resources

  • Resource
  • Book Section
    • Frost, Phyllis Irene 1917-, 1994
    • Frost, Dame Phyllis Irene. DBE, JP. Community worker, 1982
  • Conference Paper
    • Don't let Australia go to waste, Frost, Phyllis I. (Phyllis Irene), Dame, 1917, 1985
  • Newspaper Article
    • Dame Good, Brown Jenny, 1993
  • Book
    • From Vision to Reality: Histories of the affiliates of the National Council of Women of Victoria, 1987
  • Site Exhibition

Related entries

  • Membership
    • National Council of Women of Australia (1931 - )
  • Related Organisations
    • Presbyterian Ladies' College, Melbourne (1875 - )