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Harriet (Lily) Poulett-Harris

Tasmanian Honour Roll of Women logo
Black and white photo of Lily Poulett-Harris. She is facing side on to the camera.

Awarded for service to sport and recreation

Born: 2 September 1873
Died: 15 August 1897

Entered on roll: 2021

Creating a space for women to participate in sport

Harriet Lily Poulett-Harris, known as Lily, is the founder of women’s cricket in Australia and connected women of all ages and backgrounds in the sporting arena.

In 1894, at the age of 20, Lily formed the Oyster Cove Ladies’ Cricket Club, believed to be the first women’s cricket club in the colonies. She captained the Oyster Cove team in the first-ever ladies competition cricket matches against North Bruny. By late 1894, the women’s cricket league had grown to include two teams from Hobart with Huonville, Ranelagh and Green Ponds joining a few months later.

Lily taught at her father Richard Poulett-Harris’ school The Cliffs at Peppermint Bay, and later at her sister Eleanor’s school, Ladies Grammar, at 26 Davey Street, Hobart.

Lily played violin and piano, was proficient in musical accompaniment and played at Saint Simon and Saint Jude Anglican Church at Woodbridge and at All Saints Church, in South Hobart. Lily was fondly regarded by students and teachers who erected plaques in her honour at both churches.

Lily died from tuberculosis peritonitis at the age of 23. While Lily died young her legacy endures. On 23 March 2016, The Daily Telegraph reported: “Much of the success of women’s teams today can be traced to the determination of pioneering cricketers like Lily Poulett-Harris, who formed one of the first women’s teams in Australia and was responsible for inspiring many other women to take up the sport.”

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