Australian Women's Register

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

Skip to content


  • In Her Gift: Women Philanthropists in Australian History
  • The Women's Pages: Australian Women and Journalism since 1850

Use Trove to find more resources by/about this Woman

  • Trove

Chase, Muriel Jean Eliot (1880 - 1936)

2 July 1880
Geraldton, Western Australia, Australia
13 February 1936
Perth, Western Australia, Australia
Community worker, Journalist, Print journalist and Professional photographer
Alternative Names
  • Cooper, Muriel (birth name)
  • Cooper, Muriel (professional name)


Muriel Chase ( nee Cooper) was well known for her community work, philanthropy, journalism and photography. A foundation member of the Karrakatta Club and the Women Writer's Club, she was social editress of the West Australian from 1903.


Muriel Jean Eliot Cooper, later Chase, was born on 2 July 1880 in Geraldton, Western Australia. She was the eldest of four children born to John Henry Cooper and Priscilla Richenda (née Eliot). Cooper was educated at Amy Best's school.

On 5 July 1900, at the age of 20, she married Ernest Edward Chase, who was 15 years her senior. The couple moved to England where Ernest was to work as secretary to Sir Charles Rose, a conservative Member of Parliament. The couple did not stay long, returning to Australia only a year later due to Ernest's ill health. They had two daughters.

It is unclear when Cooper developed an interest in photography, or where she trained, but she is known to have worked at a photography studio called the Hay Street Studio in Perth during 1900s. She photographed notable community leaders, and some of these photographs were published in newspapers. Western Mail published six of her photographs of West Australian Members of the Federal Senate.

Cooper was a foundation member of Karrakatta Club and the Women Writers Club, and through her work at the Western Mail newspaper Cooper helped raise funds to establish the Silver Chain District Nursing Association in 1904.

Cooper was the social editor of The West Australian newspaper from 1903, and also wrote for the Western Mail using the pseudonym Adrienne. She also wrote a column entitled Children's Corner under the name of 'Aunt Mary'.

Muriel Jean Cooper died of heart failure on 13 February in 1936, aged 56.


State Library of Western Australia

Content added for the In Her Gift and The Women's Pages research projects, last modified 5 September 2012

In addition to writing for the West Australian, Chase wrote for the Western Mail under the pseudonym of Adrienne, and campaigned for more social welfare services throughout the Western Australian community. She wrote for the paper's Children's Corner as 'Aunt Mary', and recruited her younger readers as 'silver links in a chain of service'. In this way she helped to establish the Silver Chain District Nursing Association, raising enough money by 1904 to fund a district nurse who visited her patients by bicycle. The work of the district nurse raised awareness in the community of the need for hospitals and homes, both for infants and the elderly. Occasionally, Chase herself would relieve the district nurse on night duty.


1900s -
Active as professional photographer. Location: Perth, WA.
c. 1900 - c. 1910
Career in journalism active

Sources used to compile this entry: Stewart, Noel, 'Chase, Muriel Jean Eliot (1880 - 1936)', in Australian Dictionary of Biography, National Centre of Biography, Australian National University, 2006,

Related entries

Related Women

Barbara Lemon

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