People Australia

  • searches all National Centre of Biography websites
  • searches all National Centre of Biography websites
  • searches all National Centre of Biography websites

Browse Lists:

Cultural Advice

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people should be aware that this website contains names, images, and voices of deceased persons.

In addition, some articles contain terms or views that were acceptable within mainstream Australian culture in the period in which they were written, but may no longer be considered appropriate.

These articles do not necessarily reflect the views of The Australian National University.

Older articles are being reviewed with a view to bringing them into line with contemporary values but the original text will remain available for historical context.

East, Deborah (Dora) (1882–1959)

Deborah (Dora) Ellis (1880-1959) trained as a nurse in Western Australia, then as a midwife, working at the Royal Women’s Hospital in Melbourne. While in Western Australia she met a Canadian goldminer, Neil East, whom she married in 1912. They lived in Alberta, Canada, and had two children, a son Ellis and a daughter Nell.

In 1944, Nell married Don Charlwood from Melbourne, who had trained as a navigator in Edmonton during World War II. Don and Nell lived in Melbourne for 68 years. Dora returned to Melbourne in 1947, having lived in Canada since her marriage.

Dora East died at sea in 1959 on a return voyage to Canada.

Don Charlwood became a well-known Australian writer, mentored by Nell’s Melbourne cousin Arthur Angel Phillips, son of one of Dora’s sisters.

Citation details

'East, Deborah (Dora) (1882–1959)', People Australia, National Centre of Biography, Australian National University, https://peopleaustralia.anu.edu.au/biography/east-deborah-dora-22736/text39043, accessed 20 September 2021.

© Copyright People Australia, 2012

Life Summary [details]

Alternative Names
  • Ellis, Deborah
Birth

28 April 1882
St Kilda, Melbourne, Victoria, Australia

Death

1959
at sea

Cause of Death

heart disease

Religious Influence
Occupation