- 20 June 1907
Deloraine, Tasmania, Australia
- 9 March 2006
George Town, Tasmania, Australia
- Alderman, Community worker, Mayor, Women's rights activist and Women's rights organiser
- Alternative Names
- Fleming, Dorothy Edna Annie (Maiden)
Dorothy Edwards was the first Tasmanian woman to be elected president of the Australian National Council of Women. It is significant that Edwards' base was in the Launceston branch of the NCW, for her election thus had implications for the status of the NCW of Tasmania, based in Hobart and acknowledged in the ANCW constitution as the official state Council. Edwards held office in the Launceston Council as secretary and president before election to the ANCW presidency 1960-1964. Her period in office was notable for her forthright engagement with government on issues such as equal pay and for her enthusiastic promotion of the International Council of Women's new 'twinning program' and, in particular, for fostering close relations between the Australian Council and the Councils of Thailand, Fiji and Papua New Guinea. Her presidency also saw the holding of an ICW regional seminar on international understanding in Brisbane in 1964. She went on to serve in the ICW as convenor for finance, vice-treasurer and vice-president, and travelled overseas regularly to executive meetings and triennial conferences until 1996. She was made an honorary vice-president of both the Launceston and Australian Councils (1974 and 1973) and admitted to ICW's Committee of Honour (1979).
Dorothy Edwards was also the first woman to be elected to the Launceston City Council. She served as an alderman for 15 years and was mayor 1955-1957, the first woman city mayor in Australia. She was subsequently admitted as an Honorary Freeman of the City of Launceston (1984). She was also awarded an OBE in 1958 and a CBE in 1979, and was entered on the Tasmanian Honour Roll of Women in 2005.