Australian Women's Register

An initiative of The National Foundation for Australian Women (NFAW) in conjunction with The University of Melbourne

Skip to content


  • Putting Skirts on the Sacred Benches: Women Candidates for the New South Wales Parliament

Use Trove to find more resources by/about this Woman

  • Trove

Atkin, Margaret Claire (1935 - )

3 April 1935
Sydney, New South Wales, Australia
Nurse and Political candidate
Alternative Names
  • Hennessy, Margaret (maiden name)


A distinguished health professional, Margaret Atkin was also recognised for her service to the Australian Labor Party. She ran as their candidate for Gordon in 1976.


Born in Sydney, Margaret Hennessy grew up in Kingsford and was educated at St Vincent's College, Potts Point. She trained as a general nurse at Royal Prince Alfred Hospital 1952-56 and then did midwifery at the Royal Women's Hospital, Paddington.

Margaret went to London in the late 1950s, worked in various English hospitals and married, in 1960, English-born Ted Atkin.
The Atkins returned to Australia in 1962 and settled in Wollongong until 1966, when they moved to Sydney and Margaret began working at the Mater Misericordiae Hospital in North Sydney.

She did further training in psychiatric nursing in the 1980s and worked at Ryde Psychiatric Hospital until her retirement in 2001. She was a Director of the Northern Area Health Service from 2002 until its disbandment in 2004.

Margaret joined the ALP in 1974 and was awarded a McKell award for service to the party in 2003. Her campaign in Gordon in 1976 was complicated as she was working on night duty at the Mater and had five small children to care for when at home. It is remarkable then, that she outpolled the DLP sitting member, although she did not win the seat, which reverted to the Liberals.

Sources used to compile this entry: Letter from Margaret Atkin dated 25 March 2005.

Related entries

Annette Alafaci

Site-wide information and acknowledgements

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

© Copyright in The Australian Women's Register is owned by the Australian Women's Archives Project
and vested in each of the authors in respect of their contributions from 2000

The Australian Women's Register is licensed under a
Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Australia License

The Australian Women's Register is published quarterly by the Australian Women's Archives Project
ISSN 2207-3124