Doris Blackburn

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Doris Blackburn
Doris Blackburn.jpg
Member of the Australian Parliament
for Bourke
In office
28 September 1946 – 10 December 1949
Preceded by Bill Bryson
Succeeded by Seat abolished
Personal details
Born Doris Amelia Hordern
(1889-09-18)18 September 1889
Melbourne, Victoria
Died 12 December 1970(1970-12-12) (aged 81)
Coburg, Victoria
Nationality Australian
Political party Independent Labor
Spouse(s) Maurice Blackburn

Doris Amelia Blackburn (née Hordern; 18 September 1889 – 12 December 1970) was an Australian activist and Member of Parliament.

Born in Hawthorn, Melbourne, Victoria to Lebbeus Hordern, estate agent, and his wife Louisa Dewson (née Smith), Doris Hordern became involved in women's rights and peace issues from a young age and served as the campaign secretary of Vida Goldstein, the first woman to stand for election to federal parliament in Australia. She married Maurice Blackburn, a fellow firebrand socialist, in 1914 and spent their honeymoon organising anti-war and anti-conscription campaigns. While her husband served at different times as a Labor member of the Victorian and Federal parliaments, Blackburn continued to work on social issues, some of which brought her into conflict with the Labor Party (of which she too was a member) and following Maurice's expulsion from the party in 1937, she resigned from the ALP. Her husband continued to sit in parliament as an independent but lost his seat at the 1943 federal election to the official Labor candidate, and died the following year.[citation needed]

Upset at Labor's treatment of her husband, Doris stood as an Independent Labour candidate for Maurice's old seat of Bourke at the 1946 election, winning it and in doing so became only the second woman to be elected to the Australian House of Representatives.[citation needed]

In parliament Blackburn, who shared the cross benches with fellow former Labor member Jack Lang,[1] championed similar issues as those of her late husband, gaining nationwide notoriety in 1947 as the only MP to vote against the Atomic Energy Bill.[clarification needed] She served as the national President of the Council for Civil Liberties. Following an electoral redistribution, her seat of Bourke was abolished, leaving Blackburn to run for the newly established seat of Wills. Against the Labor and Liberal parties she received 20 percent in 1949 and 17 percent in 1951, but came third each time, both convincingly won by Labor.[citation needed]

Affiliations[edit]

She remained active in social issues, serving as president of the Women's International League for Peace and Freedom and co-founding, with Douglas Nicholls, the Aborigines Advancement League and the Federal Council for Advancement of Aborigines and Torres Strait Islanders.

Death[edit]

Doris Blackburn died in Coburg, Victoria, aged 81. Doris Blackburn died 12/08/1970

References[edit]

  1. ^ Daly, F. (1977) From Curtin to Kerr, Sun Books, Melbourne.

External links[edit]

Parliament of Australia
Preceded by
Bill Bryson
Member for Bourke
1946–1949
Division abolished