Kate Cocks MBE

People of Adelaide


Posted on 01 Sep 2019

Adelaide living suffrage anniversary kate cocks MBE

Fanny (Kate) Cocks (1875–1954), policewoman and welfare officer, was the State’s first probation officer for juvenile first offenders. Advocating for prevention over prosecution, her efforts resulted in fewer children on parole being institutionalised.

In 1915 Cocks was appointed South Australia’s first Principal Matron of Police Women, and shortly afterwards employed Annie Ross. They were the first police women in the British Commonwealth and were remunerated at the same level as male officers at a time of extreme wage disparity. They focused primarily on safeguarding the moral welfare of women and children and preventing acts of misconduct, including solicitation and prostitution.

In 1935 Cocks was appointed a Member of the Order of the British Empire (MBE).

In 2017 the City of Adelaide named Kate Cocks Park, located in Bonython Park/Tulya Wardli (Park 27), to honour this formidable woman. Tulya Wardli translates to police barracks.

Celebrating 125 years of women's suffrage in South Australia.

Image: State Library of South Australia, B 10886, circa 1936