Point of Interest

Edith Cowan Statue

Australia / The Pacific

The Edith Dircksey Cowan Statue is a clock tower at the entrance to King’s Park.  It was unveiled on 9 June 1934, the first civic monument to commemorate an Australian woman.  It was built from Donnybrook freestone in the art deco style and stands 6 metres high.  It commends Edith Cowan, OBE, JP, for her many good works for humanity and for being the first woman member of parliament in Australia.

Edith Cowan (1861-1932) was the granddaughter of two early colonial settlers.  Her mother died when she was seven, and she was orphaned at the age of 15 when her father was executed for murdering her stepmother.  She married and had five children.  She then adopted the women’s suffrage movement which got the vote for women in Australia.  She became involved in numerous welfare concerns and was involved in numerous community activities in Perth.  When the statue was proposed, there was persistent opposition, which has been explained as ‘representative of a gender bias operating at the time.’  The memorial was unveiled by the Hon Sir James Mitchell (1866-1951), former Premier of Western Australia.

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