Hi Wendy , the interesting date of 1901 in South Africa , could mean that he had been in the Boer War, I have checked the Aussie war records for both the Boer War and WW1 and he is not there , I suggest you check the NZ records. The Trove website of the National Library Of Australia has most Australian Newspapers to 1954 in full. The site is
you can search by Paper, decade , year , category etc.(all free) I found :
DEATH NOTICE 1939 , Wednesday October 11 , the Argus (Melbourne), DAWES , on the 10th October at his home Logan-Dene , Waverley Road, Mt Waverley , Edward John , the dearly loved husband of Olive Clara Dawes , aged 79.
Also a funeral Notice for him
DEATH NOTICE 1945 Monday 16/7/1945 and tuesday 17/7/1945, the Argus ,date of death 15/7/1945, Olive Clara Dawes The two notices give wife of Edward John , loved Aunt of Olive and Sister in Law of Louise Jackson. Loved sister of Leah May and Tom.
Address Is shown as Auburn Rd, Auburn ( Melbourne not Sydney)
No mention of any children.no Western Australia newspapers