• Entry type: Person
  • Entry ID: AWE0620

Kent, Ivy Mary

(1893 – 1974)
  • Born 10 May, 1893, Parramatta New South Wales Australia
  • Died 1 April, 1974, Western Australia Australia
  • Occupation Community worker, Women's rights activist


Ivy Kent, the daughter of William and Elizabeth Woods, was educated at Iona Convent (New South Wales) and Mosman’s Park in Western Australia. Kent, who was a leader in the Labour Women’s Movement of Western Australia, a worker in youth welfare and an officer of the Housewives Association, established a club for neglected girls during World War I. She served on the Married Women’s Relief Court for 20 years and was a member of the Lotteries Commission, the Adult Education Board, the National Fitness Executive and Soldiers’ Dependants’ Appeal. In 1944 Kent became the first woman commissioner of the Australian Broadcasting Commission (representing Western Australia). In 1953 Kent was elected Foundation President of the Association of Civilian Widows in Western Australia, a movement which became national five years later. In 1959 she was elected National President, and later, National Life Governor. On 1 January 1968 Ivy Kent was appointed a Member of the Order of the British Empire for her service to the welfare of women and children.


  • 1944 - 1951

    First woman member of the Australian Broadcasting Commission (representing Western Australia)

  • 2068 - 2068

    Appointed Member of the Order of the British Empire

  • 2010 - 2010

    Married Arthur G Kent, they had 4 sons (all served in World War II) and 4 daughters

  • 1945 - 1969

    Foundation member of the National Fitness Council of Western Australia

  • 1953 - 1971

    Foundation president of the Association of Civilian Widows in Western Australia

  • 1959 - 1959

    National President of the Association of Civilian Widows

  • 1936 - 1936

    Made a Justice of the Peace

Published resources

  • Journal Article
    • [Ivy Kent - resume of the life of Mrs. Ivy Kent], 1990
  • Edited Book
    • Who's Who in Australia, 1947, Chisholm, Alec H, 1947
    • A Biographical Register 1788-1939: Notes from the name index of the Australian Dictionary of Biography. Volume I, A-K., Gibbney, H. J. and Smith, Ann G., 1987
  • Book
    • Reflections : profiles of 150 women who helped make Western Australia's history; Project of the Womens Committee for the 150th Anniversary Celebrations of Western Australia, Popham, Daphne; Stokes, K.A.; Lewis, Julie, 1979
    • Women on the warpath : feminist of the first wave, Davidson, Dianne, 1997
  • Resource

Related entries

  • Founding President
    • Association of Civilian Widows of Australia (1954 - )