Need a hero? Check out Florence Violet McKenzie

Need a hero? Check out Florence Violet McKenzie

If this website is about people and our lives…then here is something that blew me away. My source, as it often is, is ABC Radio. In this case Hindsight March 18th 2008
about an amazing woman Mrs Mac, 1892-1982.


There are lots of parts to her story whch are just wonderful…Australia’s first woman radio telegraphist (1924); the only woman member of the Wireless Institute of Australia; founded and directed the Women’s Emergency Signalling Corps…which led to the Women’s Royal Australian Naval Service. Okay they are facts and as impressive as they are…check this out…she wants to become an Electrical Engineer so she goes to Sydney Technical College to enrol and is told she has to be working in the field to enrol. (Catch 22 had not been written then!) So she prints cards with her name on it saying she does electrical work, checks the newspapers and finds a place at the end of the transport lines where they need electrical work done and it’s too far for most people. She gets the work and then goes back to the Tech College and is accepted. Now how cool is that!

During the war she trains thousands of servicemen and trains the women to train the men. Something like 10,00n men and 3,000 women are trained in all.

She goes on doing this work for something like 10 years after the war.

She uses music as part of her teaching…morse code goes dada dadit..sing ‘to hell with it’ to get the rhythm.

She does it all for free!

And then to leave one more things behind her, as she gets older she says: ‘To keep one’s courage and faith to the end, is the chief goal of life.’

What a great woman.

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