JOINT MEDIA RELEASE WITH MINISTER FOR SOCIAL SERVICES, DAN TEHAN, AND ASSISTANT MINISTER FOR CHILDREN AND FAMILIES, DR DAVID GILLESPIE

The Department of Social Services’ (DSS) national office building in Canberra was today named after Dame Enid Lyons, former Liberal politician, the first woman elected to the House of Representatives, and the first to sit in a Federal Cabinet.

Dame Enid was a passionate advocate for what she saw as the three great qualities of Australian life – hatred of oppression, love of a fair go, and a passion for justice.

She was passionate about the need for a social services safety net and a contributory pension scheme to help those who had experienced hardship.

It is a fitting tribute to the contribution Dame Enid made to public life, and especially to the area of social services, that the new DSS office will bear her name.

Dame Enid was born in Tasmania in 1897, and married the Tasmanian politician and later Prime Minister, Joe Lyons, with whom she had 12 children.

She was a strong and revered voice for women and families until her death in 1981.

Minister for Social Services Dan Tehan, Assistant Minister for Children and Families David Gillespie, Assistant Minister for Science, Jobs and Innovation and Liberal Senator for the ACT Zed Seselja, and members of Dame Enid’s family attended the naming ceremony at Tuggeranong, south Canberra, today.