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Photographs supplied by Russell Byers

A pergola commemorates the life and work of the founder and controller of the Australian Women`s Army Service, Sybil Howy Irving.

In World War One, Irving had served in a Voluntary Aid Detachment organized by the Australian division of the British Red Cross Society. She was appointed assistant-secretary of the society`s Victorian division in 1940, but resigned in the following year when she was invited, largely because of her family background and guiding experience, to establish and administer the Australian Women`s Army Service.

Having assumed the post of controller (head) of the A.W.A.S. on 6 October 1941, she travelled around Australia by train to recruit officers. Promoted lieutenant colonel in January 1942 and colonel in February 1943, she had more than 20,000 women under her direction when the A.W.A.S. reached its peak strength in 1944.


Address:Parkes Way, Commonwealth Park, Parkes, 2601
GPS Coordinates:Lat: -35.289723
Long: 149.137552
Note: GPS Coordinates are approximate.
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Monument Type:Structure
Monument Theme:People
Monument Designer:Denton Corker Marshall & Richard Clough


Approx. Monument Dedication Date:1979
Front Inscription

Sybil Howy Irving M.B.E.
1897 - 1973

A memorial to commemorate a lifetime of dedicated service to the 

Girl Guides Association
Victorian Society for Crippled Children and Adults
Red Cross Society
Australia Womens Army Service
Womens Royal Australian Army Corps
Council on the Ageing


Source: MA
Monument details supplied by Monument Australia - www.monumentaustralia.org.au
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