Dame Dorothy Tangney and Dame Enid Lyons Sculpture
Dame Dorothy Tangney and Dame Enid Lyons Maquette
Design and Construction
Construction Start Date
Temporary Road or Lake Closures
Update 6 December 2021
Last Friday, the Melbourne based sculptor for the Tangney, Lyons statue, Lis Johnson, was met on site by the NCA project manager, Rob Tindall, to discuss the placement of the statue to one side of Old Parliament House (OPH) on the corner of King George Terrace and Parliament Square, Parkes.
The positioning of the sculpture will be located near the north-east corner of Old Parliament House in the King George Terrace verge bounding the House of Representatives Rose Gardens.
The Ladies Rose Garden and the Centenary of Women’s Suffrage Commemorative Fountain are nearby in the adjacent rose gardens.
Update 2 December
This week Senators and members of the House of Representatives in the Australian Parliament agreed to the design and site for the Dame Enid Lyons and Dame Dorothy Tangney commemorative sculpture.
On Monday 29 November Senator Duniam, the Assistant Minister for Forestry and Fisheries and Assistant Minister for Industry development moved that, in accordance with section 5 of the Parliament Act 1974, the Senate approve the following proposal for work in the Parliamentary Zone which was presented to the House on 24 November 2021, namely: Dame Enid Lyons and Dame Dorothy Tangney commemorative sculpture.
Question agreed to.
A formal proposal, or motion, was passed in the House of Representatives, Australian Parliament House, on 1 December at 9.42am. This motion approves the start of work for the Tangney/Lyons sculpture:
Mr Evans (Assistant Minister for Waste Reduction and Environmental Management), for Mrs Marino (Assistant Minister for Regional Development and Territories), pursuant to notice, moved—That, in accordance with section 5 of the Parliament Act 1974, the House approve the following proposal for work in the Parliamentary Zone which was presented to the House on 24 November 2021, namely: Dame Enid Lyons and Dame Dorothy Tangney commemorative sculpture.
Question—put and passed.
Hon Nola Marino MP, talks about Tangney/Lyons and Bonner sculptures to be designed for the National Triangle.
Sculptures to acknowledge the significant contribution to Australian politics and a life of public service by Dame Dorothy Tangney, Dame Enid Lyons and Senator Neville Bonner were announced by Prime Minister Morrison and Assistant Minister Marino in August 2021.
The announcement of the two sculptures marked August 2021 milestones in the lives of Dorothy Tangney, Enid Lyons and Neville Bonner regarding their respective terms in public office.
This page will cover the history and development of the sculpture for Dame Dorothy Tangney and Dame Enid Lyons – a separate page will be uploaded once more is known about the proposed sculpture of Senator Neville Bonner.
The full body sculpture portrayal of Dorothy Tangney and Enid Lyons alongside each other is intended to be reminiscent of the iconic photo of the pair entering Parliament House together for the first time on 24 September 1943. Dorothy Tangney and Enid Lyons are depicted, walking on approach from King George Terrace to the front door of (now) Old Parliament House.
Melbourne based sculptor, Lis Johnson, has been commissioned to undertake the Dorothy Tangney and Enid Lyons sculpture, with the maquette highlighted below.
Canberra, ACT. 1943-09-24. Dame Dorothy M. Tangney (left) and Dame Enid Lyons, GBE, Entering the fornt door of the House of Representatives. Australian War Memorial
Dame Dorothy Tangney and Dame Enid Lyons Maquette
The NCA is continuing to liaise with descendants and family members in developing the Dorothy Tangney and Enid Lyons sculpture, targeted to be completed in 2022.
The country has a long standing tradition of honouring Australians who were trail blazers and displayed courage. Dame Dorothy Tangney and Dame Enid Lyons, the first two women elected to Federal Parliament, were both. To recognise their immense contribution to our history and way of life, the Australian Government will be erecting the sculpture within the National Triangle, near Old Parliament House.
Enid Muriel Lyons, born in 1897 in Smithton, Tasmania, was the first woman elected to the House of Representatives and the first woman to serve in Federal Cabinet. She served Parliament from 1943 to 1951 for a total of eight years. Prior to her own political career, she was best known as the wife of Joseph Lyons, who was Prime Minister of Australia (1932–1939) and Premier of Tasmania (1923–1928,) making her own mark as a writer and orator.
Dorothy Margaret Tangney was born in Perth, Western Australia in 1907 and served as the first woman elected to the Senate for Western Australia from 1943 to 1968, serving a total of 25 years. She was also one of the first two women elected to Federal Parliament, along with Enid Lyons. She was renown for her debating skills and long speeches.
Both figures became staunch advocates of women’s issues, social justice, education, and peace. Their work left an indelible mark on the development of the nation.
All firsts in significant fields of endeavour have a special place in history.
Tangney and Lyons paved the way for women to enter politics and were an inspiration to women to enter public service. The two women - with their confidence, brilliance, and determination - share a place of honour among leaders and former prime ministers, including Edmund Barton and war time leader John Curtin, who stand in the gardens surrounding the heart of the nation’s democracy.
Acknowledgement of Country
Our work is on the land of the Ngunnawal People, Ngunnawal Country. We pay our respects to their Elders – past, present and emerging.