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Grace Teresa Lightfoot (1894–1962)

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Grace Teresa Lightfoot, née Quirk (1894-1962) political activist and mayoress

Birth: 29 September 1894 at Tocumwal, New South Wales, daughter of Frederick Grace Quirk (1848-1931), a farmer, born at Plymouth, Devon, England, and Elizabeth Victoria, née Cossey (1861-1932), born at Ballarat, Victoria.  Marriage: 1921 at Northcote, Victoria, to native-born Richard Henry Lightfoot (1889-1954), a saddler and sometime Labor mayor of Richmond, born at Mackay, Queensland, who was a widower with two children. They had one daughter and two sons. Death: 13 July 1962 in her residence at 166 Elizabeth Street, Richmond, Melbourne, Victoria. 

  • Her father was convicted at Moama, New South Wales, of larceny and gaoled in September 1901. He had further run ins with the law in the following years.
  • Her brother, Private John Quirk (1897-1918), a labourer, enlisted in the Australian Imperial Force on 20 July 1916. He served with the 58th Battalion in France and was killed in action on 13 March 1918.
  • Grace Lightfoot was an Australian Labor Party member for forty years. She was an active campaigner in Richmond (Victoria).
  • Twice mayoress of Richmond (1929-30 and 1939-40).
  • Helped to re-form Richmond North ALP branch after the 1955 split.
  • Founding member Richmond/Hawthorn Women's Organising Committee and delegate to ALP Women's Organising Committee.
  • Active member of New Zealand Congress for World Peace and Disarmament. At her death she was vice-president of Richmond Ladies Benovolent Society, president Richmond Baby Health Centre.
  • Cause of death: coronary occlusion, coronary arteriosclerosis, hypertension and bronchitis.

ALP Victoria branch Central Executive Report 1962/63; Fact, 2 August 1962; Merrifield papers, State Library of Victoria.

Citation details

'Lightfoot, Grace Teresa (1894–1962)', People Australia, National Centre of Biography, Australian National University,, accessed 23 April 2024.

© Copyright People Australia, 2012

Life Summary [details]

Alternative Names
  • Quirk, Grace Teresa

29 September, 1894
Tocumwal, New South Wales, Australia


13 July, 1962 (aged 67)
Richmond, Melbourne, Victoria, Australia

Cause of Death

heart disease

Cultural Heritage

Includes subject's nationality; their parents' nationality; the countries in which they spent a significant part of their childhood, and their self-identity.

Key Organisations
Political Activism