• Entry type: Person
  • Entry ID: AWE0386

McKenzie, Florence Violet

(1892 – 1982) Mrs Florence Violet McKenzie OBE
  • Born 1 January, 1892, Hawthorn Victoria Australia
  • Died 31 December, 1982
  • Occupation Electrical engineer, Servicewoman


In 1924 Florence Wallace (as she was then known) became Australia’s first certificated woman radio telegraphist and in 1924, the only woman member of the Wireless Institute of Australia. She was the founder and director of the Electrical Association for Women, established in 1934. In 1939 she founded and directed the Women’s Emergency Signalling Corps, which later became the starting point for the Women’s Royal Australian Naval Service (WRANS). Rosemary Broomham wrote in the biography of Florence McKenzie in 200 Australian Women that altogether Mrs McKenzie trained over 10,000 servicemen in Morse, visual signalling and international code, and she trained 3000 women, a third of whom went into the Services. On 8 June 1950 Florence McKenzie was appointed an Officer of the Order of the British Empire for her work with the Women’s Emergency Signals Corps.


  • 2001 - 2001

    Inducted into the Victorian Honour Roll of Women

Published resources

  • Book Section
    • Florence Violet McKenzie, Broomham, Rosemary, 1988
  • Book
    • Cookery book and electrical guide, McKenzie, F V (compiled by), 1940
    • The WAAAF in Wartime Australia, Thomson, Joyce A, 1992
  • Journal Article
    • Mrs Florence Violet McKenzie (nee Wallace) OBE ASTC (Elec Eng) FAIN, "Mrs Mac" died peacefully in her sleep on Sunday evening, 23 May 1982, aged 90., 1982
  • Edited Book
    • 200 Australian Women: A Redress Anthology, Radi, Heather, 1988
    • Who's Who in Australia 1962, Alexander, Joseph A, 1962
  • Site Exhibition
  • Resource

Archival resources

  • National Library of Australia
    • [Biographical cuttings on Florence McKenzie, former patroness of the Ex-Wran Association, containing one or more cuttings from newspapers or journals]

Digital resources

Related entries

  • Founded
    • Electrical Association for Women
  • Related Organisations
    • Women's Royal Australian Naval Service (WRANS) (1941 - 1984)
    • Women's Auxiliary Australian Air Force (WAAAF) (1941 - 1947)
    • Sydney Girls High School (1883 - )
  • Membership
    • Ex-Women's Royal Australian Naval Service (NSW) (1968 - )