HerStory Archive

MCKENZIE, Florence Violet

Also known as: née Granville, Vi, Violet Wallace, Mrs Mac

Born: 28/9/1890

Died: 23/05/1982

Special Achievements:

Australia's first female electrical engineer, licensed woman amateur radio operator, and first female member of the Wireless Institute of Australia.

Additional Information:

1939 - Opened school in Sydney to train girls in Morse code and radio becoming the Women's Emergency Signalling Corps (WESC) when war was declared.


  • Image - Florence McKenzie

    Portrait of McKenzie. Part of an album of portraits of early members of WESC put together by her.

    Wikimedia Commons: File:Florence Violet McKenzie in WESC uniform.jpg. This image is of Australian origin and is now in the public domain because its term of copyright has expired.

  • References

    Clark, Terry.  (1979, December).  A Living Legend.  Amateur Radio, 34-36.

  • References

    Flynn, Greg.  (1978, 12 July).  Thank You Mrs Mac.  The Australian Women’s Weekly, 41.

  • References

    VK8.  (1991, January).  The Story of a Window.  Amateur Radio, 13.

  • References

    Margo, Jill.  Plaque honours WRANS’ 'mother.'  The Sydney Morning Herald.  31 March 1980:p. unknown.

  • References

    Ex-WRANS Association.  (1982, June).  Ex-WRANS Ditty Box – A Tribute to Mrs F V McKenzie OBE.  Sydney, New South Wales.

  • References

    Passing of WRANS’ “Founding Mother.”  Navy News.  May 21 – June 4, 1982:page unknown.

  • References

    Millgate, Moira.  (1985, November).  The Long Way Round.  Amateur Radio:48.

  • References

    (1982, September).  Our Tribute.  White Ensign, 29.

  • References

    Self Made Success.  Sunday Guardian.  October 20, 1929:9.

  • References

    Loft, Margaret.  (1984, October).  Mrs McKenzie.  Amateur Radio, 35.

  • References

    (1986, May).  Mrs Florence Violet McKenzie OBE.  Amateur Radio, 46.

  • Image - Florence Violet McKenzie

    NPWHF collection

    Images courtesy of WRANS Naval Women's Association New South Wales