Lily Isabel Maude Addison

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Part 6 of a month-long celebration of Women’s History Month 

Lily Isabel Maude Addison (1885–1968) was working as a draftsperson in 1908, after which she sought educational experience in building construction and architectural history from the Brisbane Central Technical College. Daughter of George Henry Male Addison, founder of the office G.H.M. Addison & Son, she apparently made some contributions to the firm’s work that are difficult to parse from those of her brother and father. (It is possible that she contributed to the Ithaca Town Council Chambers in Enoggera Terrace dated 1920, above). Although her record is sparse, it includes a few significant developments including her admittance as the first woman to join the Queensland Institute of Architects in 1916. Her appearance here is significant as it shows a woman joining a significant professional body just as the national methods for professional recognition were coming into shape in Australia: the Australian Institute of Architects was founded only in 1929 and it was another decade before the Architects Registration Bill passed. Referring to herself as architect at least from 1922, Addison was among the first of about 100 women (other notables including Muriel Stott, Beatrice Hutton, and Elina Mottram) who practised professionally in Australia in the first half of the twentieth century.

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