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
  • Where are the Women in Australian science?

Use Trove to find more resources by/about this Woman

  • Trove

Mayo, Helen Mary (1878 - 1967)

OBE

Born
1 October 1878
Adelaide, South Australia, Australia
Died
13 November 1967
Occupation
Doctor

Summary

Dr Helen Mayo was appointed an Officer of the Order of the British Empire (Civil) on 3 June 1935 for her maternal and child welfare activities. She worked well past retirement age and established several children's health facilities.

Details

Helen Mayo was educated privately and at the Advanced School for Girls; she matriculated in 1895. Mayo began a medical degree at the University of Adelaide in 1898, and became the university's second woman medical graduate. She gained her doctorate in medicine (MD) in 1926. She opened a private practice in Adelaide in 1906 specialising in midwifery and the health of women and children. She lectured at the University of Adelaide 1926-1934. Mayo also founded the Mothers and Babies' Health Association (1927) which grew out of the School for Mothers she established with social worker Harriet Stirling in 1909. The organisation still exists today, as Child and Youth Health. Stirling and Mayo also set up an independent hospital in 1913 to address the special needs of infant patients. In 1917 it was taken over by the Government and became the Mareeba Babies' Hospital, with Mayo as honorary responsible medical officer.

Mayo also worked for the Adelaide Children's Hospital, lectured at the University of Adelaide, established a donor service for the Red Cross Transfusion Service and chaired a committee which aimed to establish a women's university college. In 1935 Dr Helen Mayo was appointed an Officer of the Order of the British Empire (Civil) for her maternal and child welfare activities. She was also a Fellow of the Royal Society of Medicine, a foundation Fellow of the Royal Australasian College of Physicians and President of the Australian Federation of University Women.

Sources used to compile this entry: Elizabeth Kwan, Living in South Australia : a social history, South Australian Government Printer, Netley, S. Aust., 1987, 2 v. (xiv, 194; xiv, 201 p.) pp; Hicks, Neville and Leopold, Elisabeth, 'Mayo, Helen Mary (1878-1967)', in Australian Dictionary of Biography Online, Australian National University, 2006, http://www.adb.online.anu.edu.au/biogs/A100455b.htm.

Related entries

Related Organisations

Related Women

Archival resources

Barr Smith Library, Special Collections, The University of Adelaide

  • Mayo, Helen Mary, 09M.D M47; Barr Smith Library, Special Collections, The University of Adelaide. Details
  • Mayo, Helen Mary [Address], 1971, 378.942 M473; Barr Smith Library, Special Collections, The University of Adelaide. Details

State Library of South Australia, Mortlock Library of South Australiana

  • Papers of the Mayo family, 1904 - 1965, PRG 127; State Library of South Australia, Mortlock Library of South Australiana. Details

Clare Land

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/IMP0088b.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