• Entry type: Person
  • Entry ID: AWE3976

Read, Irene Victoria

(1880 – 1972)
  • Born 29 August, 1880, Sydney New South Wales Australia
  • Died 27 August, 1972, Mosman New South Wales Australia
  • Occupation Charity worker, Community worker, Philanthropist


Irene Read was active in many women’s associations and charities in the first half of the twentieth century. During World War 2 she was very active in the Women’s Australian National Services, an organisation she helped to found of which she was Executive Chairwoman from 1942 until the demise of the organization in 1948.


Irene Read began her career as a volunteer welfare worker at the age of twenty, with the Sydney Medical Mission. Belonging to an influential Sydney network of prominent professional and philanthropic women engaged in community work, she was a member of the Women’s Club by 1908 and while president (1925-29) was its delegate on the National Council of Women of New South Wales (executive-member, 1928). She chaired the ladies’ committee of the Havilah Church of England Children’s Home and was a council-member (1931-54) of the women’s central auxiliary of the New South Wales Society for Crippled Children. In 1936 she joined the Women’s Executive Committee and the Women’s Advisory Council for Australia’s 150th Anniversary Celebrations and in 1938 was appointed O.B.E.


Published resources

Archival resources

  • Mitchell and Dixson Libraries Manuscripts Collection
    • Irene Victoria Read papers, pictorial material and relics, 1839-1951

Related entries

  • Delegate
    • National Council of Women of New South Wales (1896 - )
  • President
    • The Women's Club (1901 - )
  • Related Women
    • Littlejohn, Emma Linda Palmer (1883 - 1949)
  • Related Organisations
    • Sydney Girls High School (1883 - )
    • Rachel Forster Hospital for Women and Children (1925 - 1963)