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Creswick, Alice Ishbel Hay (1889 - 1973)

OBE, Dame OStJ

Born
21 September 1889
Aberdeen, Scotland
Died
24 October 1973
Armadale, Victoria, Australia
Occupation
Early Childhood Educationist and Red Cross leader
Alternative Names
  • Reid, Alice (maiden name, 21 September 1889 - 30 November 1910)

Summary

Alice Creswick (née Reid) is best known for her work in the Free Kindergarten Union (FKU) although she was also an important figure in the Australian Red Cross Society (ARCS) during World War 2. A woman of considerable energy and acumen, she developed a life-long interest in the area of early childhood development. She was president of the committee of the Lady Northcote Free Kindergarten for ten years (1928-1938) and joined the executive of the Free Kindergarten Union (FKU), becoming president in 1939. In 1940, she was 'headhunted' by the Australian Red Cross Society, when they asked her to become its principal commandant. In this capacity, she travelled widely, both inspecting and establishing Red Cross services and activities. She resigned from this position in 1946 and immediately resumed her presidency of the FKU, picking up where she left off as an energetic leader who tirelessly lobbied the government for greater support for pre-school training. Ill health forced her to resign in 1949, but she maintained her interest and activism in the area of early childhood development. She died in 1973, leaving large bequests to the organisations she supported in her lifetime: the FKU, the Australian Red Cross and the Anglican Church.

Details

Events

30 November 1910
Married Henry Forbes
1928 - 1938
President of the Lady Northcote Free Kindergarten
1939
Foundation vice-president of the Australian Association of Pre-School Child Development (later Australian Pre-School Association)
1939 - 1940
President of the Free Kindergarten Union
1940 - 1946
Principal Commandant of Women Personnel for the Australian Red Cross Society
1946 - April 1949
President of the Free Kindergarten Union
1946 - 1949
Junior Vice Chairman of the Australian Red Cross Society
1947
Gained State government help for the extension of buildings and facilities at the Kindergarten Training College, Kew
1947
Appointed a dame of grace of the Order of St John
1948
Represented the Australian Red Cross at the Stockholm conference
1949
Visited pre-schools in England, France and Sweden
April 1949
Appointed life vice-president of the Free Kindergarten Union
1953
Established the Colombo Plan pre-school standing committee of the Australian Pre-School Association
1954
Represented the Australian Red Cross at the Oslo conference
1955
Founded the Alice Creswick scholarship fund (later named the Alice Creswick and Sheila Kinpton scholarship)
1958
Appointed Officer of the Order of the British Empire

Sources used to compile this entry: Alexander, Joseph A (ed.), Who's Who in Australia 1950, 14th edn, The Herald, Melbourne, 1950, 816 pp; Langmore, Diane, 'Creswick, Alice Ishbel Hay (1889-1973)', in Australian Dictionary of Biography Online, Australian National University, 2006, http://www.adb.online.anu.edu.au/biogs/A130594b.htm.

Related entries

Related Organisations

Archival resources

National Library of Australia Newspaper Microcopy Reading Room

  • [Biographical cuttings on Alice Creswick, noted in Australian pre-school quarterly, Feb. 1967]; National Library of Australia Newspaper Microcopy Reading Room. Details

Anne Heywood

Site-wide information and acknowledgements

National Foundation for Australian Women The University of Melbourne, eScholarship Research Centre

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