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From the Collection of Brighton Historical Society First Floor Bayside Arts and Cultural Centre (Old Brighton Town Hall) Corner Carpenter and Wilson Streets Brighton Victoria

Sleeveless black cotton voile dress printed with large cream and apricot coloured roses. Dropped waist; bias-cut triangular draping applied to front neck; two horizontal bands of black voile inserted into skirt.
Object Registration
dame marie breen, 1920s, liberal party of australia, australian senate, politics, robert breen
Historical information
Worn by Dame Marie Breen DBE OBE, Federal Senator for Victoria and Brighton resident.

A passionate member (and founder) of many community organisations and charities, Marie Freda Breen (nee Chamberlin, 1902-1993) had her first experience of public life when her husband Robert became Mayor of Brighton in 1940. She became involved in the fledgeling Liberal Party, and Robert encouraged her to run for office.

Marie because Victoria's first female Federal Senator in 1992. In Parliament, she was a vocal advocate for women and families and supported building a stronger relationship between Australia and Asia. In 1965 she became the first woman to chair a Senate committee.

Marie retired from politics in 1968, after Robert was badly injured in a car accident. He died shortly after and she re-dedicated herself to community service, raising funds for UNICEF and serving on the Victorian Consultative Committee on Social Development and the Australian Advisory Council of Elders. In 1959 she was appointed an Officer of the British Empire for her work in the role of State President of the National Council of Women (Victoria) and in 1979 she was appointed Dame Commander of the Order of the British Empire.

Marie and Robert had three daughters, one of whom, Jeannette Patrick, was the Liberal Member for Brighton (1976-1985) and Parliamentary Secretary of the Liberal Party, (1979-82).
When Made
late 1920s
Last updated
28 Nov 2019 at 3:17PM