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Nydia Ivy Edes (1901–1992)

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Nydia Ivy Edes, née Thomson (1901-1992) shop assistant, Labor Party activist and community worker 

Birth: 4 October 1901 at Kadina, South Australia, daughter of Mary Louisa, née Stone (1864-1939), of Irish ancestry and Walter George Thomson (1861-1907), engine driver of English ancestry. Both parents had been born in South Australia. Marriage: 1931 in Broken Hill, New South Wales, to Cecil Thomas Edes, a miner, born in Broken Hill. They had one daughter. Death: 26 June 1992 at Broken Hill. 

  • Educated at Kadina Public School and High School, South Australia. Worked in Gowlings Department Store, Moonta.
  • Joined Australian Labor Party in Moontain 1917 and became secretary of the ladies committee. She was first female secretary of the Wallaroo Electorate (comprising delegates from Moonta, Kadina and Wallaroo branches) and organised the candidature of Mr Pedar and Mr Richards for Parliament. Moved to Broken Hill in 1926 with mother and sister (and 2 children) to join other members of family.
  • Worked at C. Goodhart Department Store until her marriage, promoted to buyer for the store. Cared for elderly mother 1936-39 until her death and during much of 1930s and 1940s kept several boarders in house.
  • Founding member of Women's Branch of BDA of the ALP in 1939, holding positions of president, secretary and first female councillor of the Broken Hill City Council from 1962 to 1974.
  • Member of the board of directors of Broken Hill & District Hospital from 1948 to about 1978 — life member from 1971
  • Active in District Nursing Member of the Far West Children's Health Scheme, first secretary to 1934. Voluntary aide at Broken Hill Hospital 1939-1945. Member, Housing Advisory Commission 1950-1970. Member, Bush Children's Hostel Committee from 1930s. First president of the Women Justices Association (Broken Hill branch) 1967.
  • Member of various organisations from about 1930 to 1960 including Anglican Mothers Club, County Women’s Association, Red Cross, Morgan Street School Parents and Citizen’s Association, Broken Hill High School P&C Association, food and clothing drives during Depression, Movie Ball Committee and Broken Hill Croquet Club.
  • Appointed justice of the peace in 1935. Awarded Queen's Silver Jubilee Medal 1977.
  • Special interests included theatre (Drama Group productions 1920 to early 1930s, wardrobe mistress, Broken Hill Repertory Society 1944-1950).
  • Suffered from Alzheimer's disease by 1980 and spent last twelve years of life in nursing home with regular visits from daughter and family.
  • Sister-in-law of Mr Dick Quintrell, who was a leading official of old miners' union, WIUA in 1920s and 1930s.

Who’s Who in Australian Women
, 1982; Barrier Daily Truth, 7 August 1934; ALP Women Magazine, Special Diamond Jubilee, February 1964; Letter by Margot White, daughter 27 August 1999; Camilleri, Jenny, Some Outstanding Women of Broken Hill and District, Jenny Camilleri (Broken Hill Historical Society/Broken Hill Council), Broken Hill, NSW, 2002.

Citation details

'Edes, Nydia Ivy (1901–1992)', People Australia, National Centre of Biography, Australian National University,, accessed 22 May 2024.

© Copyright People Australia, 2012

Life Summary [details]

Alternative Names
  • Thomson, Nydia Ivy

4 October, 1901
Kadina, South Australia, Australia


26 June, 1992 (aged 90)
Broken Hill, New South Wales, Australia

Cause of Death


Religious Influence

Includes the religion in which subjects were raised, have chosen themselves, attendance at religious schools and/or religious funeral rites; Atheism and Agnosticism have been included.

Key Organisations
Key Places
Political Activism