Sheila McClemans
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Sheila McClemans

Sheila McClemans
Painting of Sheila McClemans.jpg
A 1943 painting of Sheila McClemans by Nora Heysen
Born(1909-05-03)3 May 1909
Claremont, Western Australia
Died10 June 1988(1988-06-10) (aged 79)
Dalkeith, Western Australia
AllegianceAustralia
Service/branchWomen's Royal Australian Naval Service
Years of service1943-1947
RankChief Officer
Commands heldWomen's Royal Australian Naval Service (1944-47)
Battles/warsSecond World War
AwardsCompanion of the Order of St Michael and St George
Officer of the Order of the British Empire
Other workLawyer, barrister and company director

Sheila Mary McClemans, (3 May 1909 - 10 June 1988) was an Australian servicewoman, lawyer, barrister and company director. She set up the first all female law firm in Western Australia and was the first female barrister to appear before the Supreme Court of Western Australia.

Early life

Sheila McClemans was born to Ada Lucy Walker and William Joseph McClemans in Claremont, Western Australia on 3 May 1909.[1][2] She attended the Perth Modern School.[3]

Legal career

McClemans was one of the first graduates of the law school at the University of Western Australia in 1930.[1][2][4] She was admitted to the Bar on 16 May 1933.[1][5] When McClemans and her friend Molly Kingston were unable to find work in a law firm they set up the first all woman law firm in Western Australia.[1] She was the first woman barrister to appear before the Supreme Court of Western Australia.[3] McClemans held several leadership roles in the legal profession including secretary of the Western Australia Law Society,[1] foundation member of the Western Australia Legal Aid Commission,[1][6] and the State Parole Board of Western Australia.[1][4]

Military service

McClemans enlisted in the Women's Royal Australian Naval Service (WRANS) in 1943 during the Second World War. She entered the first WRANS officer training course at HMAS Cerberus in Westernport, Victoria,[3] and rose to the rank of chief officer and was appointed Director of the WRANS from 1944.[1][7][8][4][9][3][10]

Awards

McClemans was appointed an Officer of the Order of the British Empire in 1951, and a Companion of the Order of St Michael and St George in 1977. She was also awarded the Queen Elizabeth II Silver Jubilee Medal in 1977.[1] Her portrait painted by Nora Heysen is in the collection of the Australian War Memorial, Canberra.

Personal life

McClemans married Frank Morrison Kenworthy (1899-1976) in 1949.[1][4] She died in Dalkeith, Western Australia, on 10 June 1988.[1]

References

  1. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k Ion, Judith. "Sheila Mary McClemans". Australian Women Lawyers as Active Citizens. University of Melbourne. Retrieved 2018.
  2. ^ a b National Foundation for Australian Women; The University of Melbourne. "McClemans, Sheila Mary". Woman - The Australian Women's Register. Retrieved 2018.
  3. ^ a b c d Spurling, Kathryn. "McClemans, Sheila Mary (1909-1988)". Australian Dictionary of Biography. National Centre of Biography, Australian National University. Retrieved 2018.
  4. ^ a b c d Davies, Lloyd (2000), Sheila : a biography of Sheila Mary McClemans, Desert Pea Press, ISBN 978-1-876861-01-8
  5. ^ "Women in the World", The Australian woman's mirror, 9 (37): 20, 8 August 1933, retrieved 2018
  6. ^ "Attorney-General's Department Commonwealth Legal Aid Commission Act 1977 APPOINTMENT OF COMMISSIONERS AND DEPUTIES OF COMMISSIONERS OF THE COMMONWEALTH LEGAL AID COMMISSION". Commonwealth of Australia Gazette (G18). Australia, Australia. 8 May 1979. p. 4. Retrieved 2018 – via National Library of Australia.
  7. ^ "1943-1, Members of the First WRANS Office Training Corps. From left to right, back row: Chief ..." www.awm.gov.au. Retrieved 2018.
  8. ^ Miss Sheila McClemans, retrieved 2018
  9. ^ "Farewell To WRANS Director". The Argus (Melbourne) (31, 326). Victoria, Australia. 24 January 1947. p. 8. Retrieved 2018 – via National Library of Australia.
  10. ^ "NAVAL FORCES OF THE COMMONWEALTH". Commonwealth of Australia Gazette (98). Australia, Australia. 5 June 1947. p. 1503. Retrieved 2018 – via National Library of Australia.
Military offices
New office Director of the Women's Royal Australian Naval Service
1944-1947
WRANS disbanded
Title next held by Chief Officer Blair Bowden in 1950

  This article uses material from the Wikipedia page available here. It is released under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share-Alike License 3.0.

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