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Burdett, Ann (Annie) (1867–1954)

by Chris Cunneen

This article was published:

Ann Burdett, c.1898

Ann Burdett, c.1898

Ann (Annie) Burdett (1867-1954) temperance and Labor Party activist, pro-conscriptionist, Nationalist and United Australia Party campaigner 

Birth: 22 August 1867 in Alexandra, Otago, New Zealand, daughter of Lincolnshire-born James Larder Longbottom (1839-1917), draper, and Barbara Johanna, née McKenzie, born in Nova Scotia, Canada. Marriage: 30 September 1889 at Redfern, Sydney, New South Wales, with Wesleyan forms to Charles Francis Burdett (1862-1940), Canadian-born able seaman in the Royal Navy, later machinist in NSW Government Railways. They had no children. Death: 22 September 1954 in hospital at Randwick, Sydney. Religion: Methodist.

  • After her father’s second bankruptcy in 1886 the family moved to Sydney.
  • In the 1890s Mrs Burdett travelled as a lecturer on temperance for the Independent Order of Good Templars, of which her husband was also an active member.
  • September 1900 to April 1901 her husband member of the NSW naval contingent to China at the time of the Boxer Rebellion.
  • From 1904 she threw herself into public activity for the Political Labor League of NSW. At the inaugural meeting of women Labor sympathisers in September that year she was elected one of twenty-three vice-presidents of what became the Labor Women’s Central Organising Committee. Subsequently she became the Canterbury representative on the LWCOC.
  • From 1905 to 1914 Mrs Burdett was an active Labor supporter, frequently speaking on public platforms and at touring country districts as a women’s organiser to further the cause.
  • During World War I, however, she was prominent in the cause of conscription. Expelled from the Labor Party she again toured the State, this time urging a ‘yes’ voted in the 1916 and 1917 referenda and supporting former Labor parliamentarians seeking re-election. While many LWCOC colleagues such as Kate Dwyer and Eva Seery remained solid, Mrs Burdett helped to form the Women’s National Movement with Miss Maggie Hall, Mrs Bethel and Mrs Dillon, now aligned with former foes such as Mrs R. R. MacKinnon.
  • Stood for Canterbury Municipal Council in 1920 but failed to be elected. Among the first group of women appointed Justices of the Peace in NSW on 30 May 1921.
  • During the 1920s was prominent delegate at women’s conferences of the Nationalist Association. After her husband retired the couple moved to Hazelbrook, in the Blue Mountains, about 1924. She continued her Nationalist activities as country women’s delegate.
  • A founding member of the executive council of the United Australia Party in July 1932 a country women’s UAP delegate for the following years.
  • Long-standing worker for Red Cross Society. Retired from public activity after her husband’s death and returned to Sydney.
  • Appointed MBE (Civil) on 12 June 1941 for service to philanthropic and charitable movements.

Worker (Wagga), 28 January 1905, p.4; Sydney Morning Herald, 17 October 1917, p.12. 

Additional Resources

  • death notice, Sydney Morning Herald, 27 September 1954, p 16

Citation details

Chris Cunneen, 'Burdett, Ann (Annie) (1867–1954)', People Australia, National Centre of Biography, Australian National University,, accessed 2 April 2023.

© Copyright People Australia, 2012