Obituaries Australia

  • Tip: searches only the name field
  • Tip: use double quotes to search for a phrase
  • Tip: lists of awards, schools, organisations etc

Browse Lists:

Cultural Advice

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people should be aware that this website contains names, images, and voices of deceased persons.

In addition, some articles contain terms or views that were acceptable within mainstream Australian culture in the period in which they were written, but may no longer be considered appropriate.

These articles do not necessarily reflect the views of The Australian National University.

Joyce Boniwell Saxby (1923–1964)

A woman well-known to hundreds of Canberra children as "The Lady at the Library" died in Sydney yesterday.

She was Mrs. Maurice Saxby, formerly Miss Joyce Bonniwell, who had the task of the development of a children's library in Canberra.

Miss Bonniwell resigned in May last year on the occasion of her marriage to Mr. Maurice Saxby, a former president of the Children's Book Council of Australia.

Although a relatively young woman, she had for many years been a leading figure as a librarian in the field of children's books, a career which first brought her to Canberra from Tasmania in 1944 to take a course of study at the National Library as a Carnegie Scholar.

Mrs. L. B. Rudduck, who has long been associated with the children's library, has paid a warm tribute to Miss Bonniwell's influence as a librarian in Canberra.

She said the development of the Children's Library service came at a time when population expansion strained the resources of the public library due to the high proportion of children. In addition to her normal work as a librarian, Miss Bonniwell had delighted children with story telling on Saturday mornings, and had compiled library lists which were in demand by other libraries throughout Australia.

Original publication

Additional Resources

Citation details

'Saxby, Joyce Boniwell (1923–1964)', Obituaries Australia, National Centre of Biography, Australian National University,, accessed 20 May 2024.

© Copyright Obituaries Australia, 2010-2024

Life Summary [details]

Alternative Names
  • Boniwell, Joyce Evelyn

Hobart, Tasmania, Australia


19 October, 1964 (aged ~ 41)
Sydney, New South Wales, Australia

Religious Influence

Includes the religion in which subjects were raised, have chosen themselves, attendance at religious schools and/or religious funeral rites; Atheism and Agnosticism have been included.

Key Organisations