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Lorna Doone Pleasance Kennedy AO

Tasmanian Honour Roll of Women logo
Doone Kennedy

Awarded for service to Community Advocacy and Inclusion; Public Services and Politics; Tourism; Volunteering; Health; and Arts and Media

Born: 10 May 1927
Died: 30 August 2014

Entered on roll: 2021

Inspired women to leadership positions

Doone Kennedy was Hobart’s first woman Lord Mayor and was extremely popular, polling over 65% of the popular vote over five elections.

The Hobart City Council was traditionally male dominated when Doone was elected Alderman in 1982, and Lord Mayor in 1986. She worked collaboratively while still standing up for those issues she strongly believed in.

Doone’s mayoral campaigns focused on tree-planting programs, supporting local business, the beautification of the city, and recognising Hobart’s tourism potential and commercial centre.

One of Doone’s outstanding contributions to Hobart was spearheading funding for the construction of the Hobart Aquatic Centre (later renamed the Doone Kennedy Hobart Aquatic Centre to recognise her legacy). This world-class facility enabled Hobart to stage major competitions and championships. The Aquatic Centre is also an important community asset used for exercise, therapy, leisure and learn-to-swim programs.

Another gift to the city was Doone’s determination to fundraise to restore and reinstate the magnificent chandeliers that now adorn the Hobart Town Hall Ballroom. The chandeliers had been removed and placed into storage many decades ago during the war era.

Hobart’s parks and gardens were loved by Doone who was responsible for planting many trees and the fairy bud lighting being installed in the trees at Salamanca Place.  Doone also championed maintaining the Queens Domain as public open space and renovated Soundy Park and the Lord Mayor’s garden.

Doone promoted Hobart interstate and internationally at the Seatrade Cruise Ship Convention, in Florida, USA, and represented Hobart to its Japanese Sister City, Yaizu.

In 1996, at the time of her retirement, Doone was the longest-serving Lord Mayor in Australia.

Doone was devoted to many charities including: the Mary Ogilvy Home, Narryna House, Queen Alexandra Hospital Board, Hobart District Nursing, Tasmanian Museum and Art Gallery, Sudden Infant Death Society, and the Southern Regional Ambulance Service Advisory Council.

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