• Entry type: Person
  • Entry ID: AWE6172

White, Elizabeth

(1907 – 1988)
  • Born 16 December, 1907, Flemington Victoria Australia
  • Died 18 June, 1988, CanberraCanberra Australian Capital Territory Australia
  • Occupation Community worker, Volunteer


Elizabeth White was educated at the Presbyterian Ladies’ College, Melbourne, before working as a school teacher. On 18 October 1930 she married Harold Leslie White, deputy-librarian of the Commonwealth Parliamentary Library (later to become head of it and of the National Library of Australia).

In Canberra, in addition to close association with the National Library, Elizabeth pursued her interest in volunteering and being involved in many aspects of the local community. Of particular interest to her were remedial teaching and the introduction of creative day-carer programs. In her later years, her attention turned towards enhancing the quality of life of the elderly.

Elizabeth was a member of the National Council of Women (NCW) and a foundation member of the Goodwin Centre Development Association, which was established in July 1954. She was also a foundation member of the Australian Association of Gerontology and president (1964-65) of a sub-committee for a proposed new building for the NCW’s Thursday Club (renamed in 1965 the Canberra Senior Citizens Club). For the next twenty years she undertook voluntary work with the elderly, at their homes and in hospitals. In 1983 the Canberra Senior Citizens Club awarded her life membership. In 1982 the Penguin Club of Australia recognised her with life membership for her exceptional talent as an impromptu public speaker.

In 1962 Lady Elizabeth White was appointed an MBE for her service to elderly people.


Archival resources

  • National Library of Australia, Manuscript Collection
    • Papers of Sir Harold White and Lady Elizabeth White, 1911-1992 [manuscript]
  • National Library of Australia, Oral History and Folklore Collection
    • Memorial service of June 25, 1988 for Lady Elizabeth White...[sound recording] / recorded by Kevin Bradley

Related entries

  • Member
    • National Council of Women of Australia (1931 - )
  • Related Organisations
    • Tintern Church of England Girls' Grammar School (1918 - 1992)