Historical information

Marie Lion migrated with her sister, Berthe Mouchette and her husband in 1885. Berthe established an art school in the city. After the death of her husband the sisters purchased a school, Oberwyl, in St Kilda in 1885. The school was later one of the LHLG schools.
Berthe was the founder of the Alliance Française of Melbourne in 1890.
With the Great Depression, the sisters had to sell Oberwyl and moved to Adelaide.
They returned to France during WWI to nurse wounded soldiers. And returned to Adelaide in 1916 after Marie contracted an infection.
She was the South Australia representative of the "Société d’assistance maternelle et infantile".
After the end of the war a number of French villages were ‘adopted’ by cities in Australia. Dernancourt, a small village in the Somme was adopted by Adelaide, and Mme Mouchette and Mme Lion worked to raise funds to help in the rebuilding of the almost completely destroyed town.


The picture shows the link with the French community. Ethel and her sister Frederica Godfrey could speak French and were well acquainted with the members of this community: Charlotte Crivelli for example.
Frederica was secretary of the Alliance Française of Melbourne in the early 1900, in 1917 she also became Honorary Secretary of the French Red Cross, funded by Charlotte Crivelli.

Physical description

Portait of two ladies standing in the middle with 3 soldiers from the French Navy, a wounded digger and a young man.

Inscriptions & markings

French sailors at zoo / Madame Leon (Lion is the correct spelling) & Miss Godfrey