HerStory Archive

ARMFIELD, Lillian

Born: 3/12/1884

Special Achievements:

Lillian Armfield was Australia's first policewoman.  She was recruited as probationary special constable on 1 July, 1915, earned less than her male counterparts and was ot provided with a uniform or allowed any overtime or expenses.  After a year's probation, she was enrolled as a special constable and was obliged to sign an agreement binding her to the same discipline as her male colleagues, but she was deprived of any right to compensation for injuries received in carrying out her duties and had to renounce all superannuation rights.
She was also one of the first female plain clothes detective, exercising the same powers of arrest as male colleagues and working side by side with them.

Additional Information:

Lillian Armfield first trained and worked as a nurse.  In about 1907 she became a nurse at the Hospital for the Insane, Callan Park, Sydney, where she looked after female inmates.  She left in 1915, favourably recommended by the medical superintendent for her competence and kindness to patients, to apply for the newly established post in the police force.

In 1947, Lillian was awarded the King's Police and Fire Service Medal for outstanding service and, after her retirement on 2 December 1949, aged 65, the Imperial Service Medal.


Resources

  • Image - "Lillian Armfield"

    Australian Police:Women Officers

    Photo courtesy of Australian Police.