- 19 January 1906
Perth, Western Australia, Australia
- 18 April 2002
- Community worker
Born in Perth in 1906, Dame Rachel Cleland lived an active life which was centred around politics and community organisations. At one time considered the matriarch of the liberal party, in her later years Dame Rachel was very vocal on her opposition to the logging of old-growth forests. She insisted that the Liberal party under Menzies would never have taken the same stance as the current party on such issues. Dame Rachel's community work with women and children was recognised in 1959 when she was appointed as a Member of the Order of the British Empire (MBE) and again in 1966 when she was appointed as a Commander of the Order of the British Empire (CBE). In 1980 Dame Rachel became the only western woman to be appointed as a Dame of the British Empire (DBE) by the government of Papua New Guinea for the volunteer work she did for many Papua New Guinea organizations and for helping involve women in public affairs.