05 February 2016

Sir Zelman and Lady Cowen, Canberrans of the Year 1982

Sir Zelman Cowen was already a well known figure having had a distinguished legal and academic career both in Australia and in England when he was appointed Governor-General of Australia by Prime Minister Malcolm Fraser in 1977.

Together with Anna, Lady Cowen, he restored public faith in the institution of the Governor-Generals following the Australian Constitutional crisis of 1975.  The Cowens' were warmly received because of their genuine interest in people and were very active in the Canberra community. In announcing the 1982 Canberran of the Year award the chair of the Canberra Festival Committee noted that they were "a husband-and wife team that has endeared themselves to all sectors of the community".

Further biographical detail about Sir Zelman and Lady Cowen is available on our website, as is a history of the Canberra Citizen of the Year Award and a full list of awardees.

The 40th consecutive Canberra Citizen of the Year will be announced by the Chief Minister during Canberra Day Celebrations in March 2016.

Image source: ACT Heritage Library image 002610, Canberra Times Collection