Australian Women's Register

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

Skip to content

Exhibitions

  • Faith, Hope and Charity Australian Women and Imperial Honours: 1901-1989
  • From Lady Denman to Katy Gallagher: A Century of Women's Contributions to Canberra

Use Trove to find more resources by/about this Woman

  • Trove

Pendred, Edith Gladys (1897 - 1964)

OBE

Born
28 February 1897
Elsternwick, Victoria, Australia
Died
30 November 1964
Canberra, Australian Capital Territory, Australia
Occupation
Early Childhood Educationist and Kindergarten Principal

Summary

Gladys Pendred was considered in the mid-twentieth century 'the main Australian authority in the field of early childhood education'. In 1944, after lobbying by Canberra kindergarten and mothercraft groups, Gladys was asked by the Minister of the Interior to draw up a plan for the extension of pre-school care in the Australian Capital Territory, known as the 'Pendred Plan'. Pendred Street in the Canberra suburb of Pearce recognises her contribution to the Canberra community.

Details

Gladys Pendred trained at the Melbourne Kindergarten Training College and was a director of the Lillian Cannam Free Kindergarten in South Melbourne. In 1928 Gladys was appointed Principal of the Kindergarten Training College and Supervisor of Free Kindergartens in Perth. Taking two years' leave in late 1937, she was awarded a Carnegie Corporation grant to further her studies in the United States (BSc, Columbia) and Britain. On her return, Gladys endeavoured to bring the college into line with the 'modern developments' that she had observed overseas.

In 1941 Gladys resigned to take up the post of Field Officer for the Nursery Kindergarten Extension Board in Melbourne. She provided advice on planning playgrounds and equipment and served on an advisory committee of the Australian Broadcasting Commission for children's programmes. In 1944, after lobbying by Canberra kindergarten and mothercraft groups, Gladys was asked by the Minister of the Interior to draw up a plan for the extension of pre-school care in the Australian Capital Territory, known as the 'Pendred Plan'. In November that year, she was appointed Federal Pre-School Officer of the Australian Association for Pre-School Child Development (later Australian Pre-School Association). The job entailed an itinerant lifestyle and was described by Lady Bailey, President of the Association, as a 'flying Federal Officer Service'.

Through her extensive travel and publicity schedule, Gladys was well-known in early childhood centres throughout Australia. Each year she presented numerous lectures, newspaper interviews and radio broadcasts. She edited the Association's Parents News Sheets and wrote many herself. She also edited the successful book Play Materials for Young Children (1952).

Gladys worked hard to improve the standard of pre-school education and effect its extension to all children. She supervised the Lady Gowrie Child Centres, made recommendations for the development of pre-school services in the Northern Territory (1948), assisted the Philippines in the establishment of pre-school training (1948), and conducted a survey of child-minding centres in migrant hostels (1952). Gladys also kept up-to-date with advances in early childhood education research and practice, undertaking a British Council-funded study tour in 1949. She was a member of the ACT branch of the Australian Federation of University Women, the New Education Fellowship and the Australian College of Education (Fellow, 1964). In 1963 Gladys was appointed an Officer of the British Empire (OBE).

Following her death in 1964, the Australian Pre-School Association established the Gladys Pendred Memorial Trust that funded a library of educational books in each branch. In 1966 Pendred Street in the Canberra suburb of Pearce was gazetted. Appropriately, it was the address of a new pre-school.

More details of Pendred's life can be found in: Mellor, Elizabeth J, 'Pendred, Edith Gladys (1897-1964)', Australian Dictionary of Biography, National Centre of Biography, Australian National University, http://adb.anu.edu.au/biography/pendred-edith-gladys-11361/text20295.

Sources used to compile this entry: From Lady Denman to Katy Gallagher: A Century of Women's Contributions to Canberra, Australian Women's Archives Project, February 2013, http://www.womenaustralia.info/exhib/ldkg; Australian Early Childhood Association, http://www.earlychildhoodaustralia.org.au.

Related entries

Archival resources

ACT Heritage Library

  • Canberra Mothercraft Society Records, 1926 - 1993, HMSS 0043; ACT Heritage Library. Details
  • Canberra Preschool Society Incorporated Records, 1943 - 2003, HMSS 0141; ACT Heritage Library. Details

National Archives of Australia

  • Prime Minister's Department. Correspondence files, 1962/5071, Miss Gladys Pendred - Honour, 1962, A463; National Archives of Australia. Details

National Library of Australia

  • Records of the Australian Early Childhood Association, 1928 - 2005, MS 7526; National Library of Australia. Details
  • Records of the Australian Federation of University Women - ACT, 1944 - 1985, MS2649; National Library of Australia. Details

Digital resources

Title
Gladys Edith Pendred
Type
Image
Source
Kindergarten Association of Western Australia Collection of photographs ; BA1215/102. Courtesy State Library of Western Australia. Used with permission.

Details

Title
Visit Ended
Type
Image
Source
"VISIT ENDED." The Mercury (Hobart, Tas.: 1860-1954) 19 November 1954: 1. http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article27235603. Used with permission.

Details

Nicole McLennan

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

http://www.womenaustralia.info/biogs/AWE4869b.htm

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