100 years on….

$50 dollar note
March 12, 2021

One hundred years ago, Edith Cowan was the first woman to serve as a member for parliament. But even before becoming one of Australia’s most famous women in history, Edith was instrumental in the campaigning for and creation of King Edward Memorial Hospital.

Edith and other prominent women campaigned hard for a women’s hospital. The Women's Service Guild of which Edith Cowan was a founding member, arranged a meeting at Government House Ballroom on 8 November 1909 and it was there that the establishment of a women’s specific hospital was first discussed.

In 1916 the doors of KEMH finally opened and five years later Edith campaigned successfully for a seat in parliament. This week, during which we’ve celebrated International Women’s Day we celebrate Edith and all she has represented in the rise of women’s rights and services throughout Western Australia. 12 March is the 100th year since Edith Cowan became the first woman in Australian Parliament.

In 2018 King Edward Memorial Hospital was added alongside Edith Cowan to the $50 note.