Elizabeth Lilian Maud Fowler

Elizabeth Lilian Maud Fowler (1886-1954) was an outstanding and forceful organiser of the Australian Labor Party. Elected intermittently to Newtown Municipal Council, Sydney, from 1928, she was the first female alderman in New South Wales and Australia’s first female mayor (1938-39). In 1944-50 she sat in state parliament. She worked for the welfare of workers, women, children and the unemployed. Courtesy Australian Dictionary of Biography


7 December 1938

Lilian Fowler — a pioneer

Lilian Fowler is the first female alderman and mayor, and one of the first female NSW Members of Parliament and Justices of the Peace. She works for women and the underprivileged, including lobbying for widows’ pensions and child endowment. A year earlier, in 1937, Ivy Weber became the first woman to be elected in a Victorian general election, and the second woman to join the Victorian Parliament as the Independent Member for Nunawading.


Mrs Lilian Fowler (Madame Mayor of Newtown 1938–1940) and Mrs Mary Jane Swift (Newtown Alderman 1941).