Mrs Rosemary Boucaut was Acting Lady Mayoress of the City of Adelaide (appointed by the Mayor) from 1983-1985.

Early Life and Career

Rosemary was born on the 3rd of August 1930 in India while her father Frederick was working there as an engineer. Her mother, Nellie Cahill nee Barnett, was a school teacher. She had three brothers and a sister. Her father died while the family was in India, so they were repatriated back to the United Kingdom. The family left Bombay on the day World War Two broke out, so they travelled back in a naval convoy for protection. 

On her return, she trained as a nurse at the Royal London Hospital, Whitechapel, where she met her future husband, whose father was doing post-graduate work at the same hospital. She married James Boucaut of Torrens Park South Australia on the 6th of December 1952 at St Marks Church, Rugby and was given away by her brother Dr R. Cahill.

Three weeks later, the couple sailed for South Australia and on arrival rented an apartment at Millswood. Rosemary gained employment as a dental nurse for three years until the birth of her first child Ingrid in 1955. She had another three children: Hilary in 1956, Timothy in 1958 and Madeleine in 1959.

The family then moved to a Housing Trust house in Klemzig for two years while her husband worked for English Electric at the Weapons Research Establishment in Salisbury. The family returned to London for two years where Rosemary studied family planning and when they returned to Adelaide, she gained employment as a family planning nurse.

On their return they rented a house in Glenelg owned by her father-in-law where they stayed for thirteen years before moving to North Adelaide where she remained for the rest of her life.

In 1971, Rosemary opened the Family Planning Association, with limited financial backing from the government, from 'borrowed' rooms on South Terrace. This community service operated two evenings per week, allowing her to work part-time at the Queen Victoria Hospital in the gynaecological ward when abortion was legalised in South Australia. 

In 1972 she was awarded a Churchill Scholarship and over a two month period visited nine countries, including Singapore, Indonesia, Malaysia, Lebanon, Switzerland, Great Britain and New York in the United States of America to study family planning in hospitals and clinics. When she returned, her husband Jim had been elected to the Glenelg Council because he felt strongly about high rise development along the beach. 

She was asked to take charge of the newly opened family planning clinic at the Queen Victoria Hospital where she remained for ten years before working as a counsellor, then Director of Staff Counselling, at the Women and Children's Hospital.

In 1979 she was elected as Councillor of Robe Ward in the City, a position that her husband had previously held, and she served on the City of Adelaide Council for sixteen years. 


Rosemary Boucaut had a strong commitment to improving issues for women, the aged and the disabled. She was a member of the North Adelaide Society and advocated for preserving the built heritage and facilitating issues for residents. She was also deeply committed to preserving the Park Lands. Rosemary was a member of many committees including as Chair of the Works and Parks Committee, however she was particularly proud of her work on the Planning Committee for three Rose Festivals.

Between 1983-85, she stood as Lady Mayoress for then Lord Mayor Wendy Chapman and was on the Lady Mayoress Committee which raised money for charity. 

Rosemary retired as an Alderman in 1995, although she continued to sit on the boards and committees of some external organisations as a representative of the Council. She retired from the Women's and Children's Hospital in 2000 at the age of seventy and passed away peacefully on the 9th of October 2014 aged eighty-four.

Yvonne Kale 's picture
Yvonne Kale says:

Where was Her funeral??

Catherine Manning's picture
Catherine Manning says:

We haven't been able to find details of that to date Yvonne, only an obituary notice marking her passing.

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The Advertiser'About People', 19 November 1952, p10.