200 Australian Women

(1860-1947) birth control advocate

Lillie Elizabeth Goodisson (1860-1947), promoter of family planning, was born at Holyhead, Wales, daughter of Frances Elizabeth (born Roberts) and John Richard Price, physician. She trained as a nurse and when aged nineteen she married Lawford David Evans, physician, in London. They emigrated to Auckland, New Zealand, where their two children were born.

(1861-1931) prima donna

Helen Porter Armstrong (1861-1931), prima donna, was born on 19 May 1861 at Richmond, Melbourne, as Helen Porter Mitchell, eldest surviving of ten children of Isabella Ann (born Dow) and David Mitchell, a building contractor. Both parents were amateur musicians. When education by her aunts at home was hampered by her unruly behaviour, Nellie was sent to a boarding school at Richmond, but her adolescent years were spent at Presbyterian Ladies' College. There she became a pupil of Ellen Christian, a former pupil of Manuel Garcia, and a successful English concert singer.

(1861-1936) hotelier

Hannah Maclurcan (1861-1936), cook and hotelier, was born Phillips on 29 December 1861 at Tambaroora near Hill End, New South Wales, daughter of a hotel proprietor. In 1880 Hannah married Robert Watson Wigham. She travelled via the Batavia to Europe in 1882 returning the following year. With her husband she ran the Queen's Hotel in Townsville, Queensland. She was widowed and in 1887 married Donald Boulton Maclurcan, a retired master mariner. Donald Charles Boulton was their only son.

(1861-1932) politician

Edith Dircksey Cowan (1861-l932), politician, was born on 2 August 1861 at Glengarry near Geraldton, Western Australia, second child of Mary Eliza Dircksey (born Wittenoom), teacher, and Kenneth Brown, pastoralist. Her mother died in 1868 and her father remarried. Edith was educated at a Perth boarding school run by the Misses Cowan. Her father became an alcoholic; he shot his second wife and was sentenced to be hanged. Edith became a solitary person committed to social reforms which enhanced women's dignity and responsibility.

(1861-1949) Labor leader

Catherine Winifred Dwyer (1861-1949), Labor leader, was born on 13 June 1861 at Tambaroora, New South Wales, second daughter of Ann (born Fraser) and Joseph Golding, gold-miner. Kate was educated at Hill End Public School and began teaching in 1880. After several country appointments she resigned in 1887 on marriage to fellow schoolteacher Michael Dwyer. Michael was headmaster at Broken Hill during the 1890s industrial conflict before being transferred in 1894 to Marrickville, Sydney. Kate's earliest political activity appears to have been as a member of the Womanhood Suffrage League.

(1862-1923) political candidate

Alicia Teresa Jane O'Shea Petersen (1862-1923), political candidate, was born on 2 July l862 into a Catholic family to Jane (born Wood) and Hugh McShane, farmers at Broadmarsh, southern Tasmania. In 1884 she married Patrick O'Shea, draper and widower with a son, Francis Patrick. When he died in 1886 she was left to care for her stepson with a small annuity and a house in Wilmot Terrace, Hobart, in which she lived until her death. She remarried, in 1891, to Hjalma Petersen, a mining investor from Gotland, Sweden, and was widowed again in 1912. There were no children to either marriage.

(1865-1943) historical geographer

Ida Louisa Lee (1865-1943), historical geographer, was born on 11 February 1865 at Kelso, near Bathurst, New South Wales, third of eight children of Emily Louisa (born Kite) and George Lee, grazier. With her five sisters she grew up at Leeholme, Kelso, and rode to school; she became a keen horsewoman.

(1866-1955) philanthropist

Edith Charlotte Onians (1866-1955), philanthropist, was born on 2 February 1866 at Lancefield, Victoria, one of seven children of Charlotte and Richard Onians. She attended as a boarder Fontainebleau Ladies' College, St Kilda. Until 1897 when she began a 'class' for city newsboys, her only employment outside of home had been to teach Sunday school. She persuaded some boys to come also on Sundays which was the start of her City Newsboys' Club. In 1903 it occupied an old factory which was partitioned for recreational activities and workshops.

(1867-1939) doctor

Ida Gertrude Margaret Halley (1867-1939), medical officer, was born on 1 August l867 at Ballarat, Victoria, daughter of Margaret Halley (born Fletcher) and Rev. Jacob John Halley. Educated at the Presbyterian Ladies' College, she was among the first women medical students at the University of Melbourne (MB BS 1896). She practised with Dr Kent Hughes in Melbourne and was a founder and treasurer of the Queen Victoria Hospital for Women. She became honorary surgeon there and an eye and ear specialist after research in London and Shanghai.

(1868-1946) poet and feminist

Mary Elizabeth Fullerton (1868-l946), poet, author, feminist and socialist, was born on 14 May 1868 at Glenmaggie, Victoria. Mary had five sisters and one brother and was the second surviving daughter of Eliza (born Leathers in Suffolk) and Robert Fullerton, from Belfast. Her father took up a selection in the Gippsland bush and built the bark hut where Mary was born. Brought up in a Scots-Presbyterian community, Mary became critical of religion and men who tried 'to fit infinity into a pint pot'. She described herself as a 'medley of beliefs'.

(1869-1949) feminist

Vida Jane Mary Goldstein (1869-1949), feminist political activist, was born on 13 April 1869 at Portland, Victoria, eldest of five children of Isabella (born Hawkins) and Jacob Goldstein, store-keeper and army officer. In Melbourne from 1877, the family moved in progressive intellectual circles and attended Dr Charles Strong's Australian Church. The Goldsteins encouraged economic and intellectual independence in their daughters and Vida was well-educated, by a governess and at Presbyterian Ladies' College, from which she matriculated with honours in 1886.

(1869-1954) sex educator

Angela Elizabeth Josephine Booth (1869-1954), sex educator, was born at Liverpool, England, daughter of Thomas Plover, a labourer, and his wife. Little is known of her early life. She emigrated to Queensland in 1896 and on 7 January 1897 married James Booth, medical practitioner and a widower with two daughters. The Booths moved to Broken Hill in 1901 and to Melbourne in 1914. While in Broken Hill, Angela began her campaign to eradicate venereal disease, which was to remain a central concern in a life devoted to reform.

(1869-1960) stockwoman

Phoebe Elizabeth Farrar (1869-1960), stockwoman, was born at Albury, New South Wales, daughter of Martha and Henry Wright. In her late teens she accompanied the Farrar family on their great treks which spread cattle and horses across vast tracts of north-western New South Wales, western Queensland and the Northern Territory.

(1870-1946) novelist

Ethel Florence Lindesay Richardson (1870-1946), better known as 'Henry Handel Richardson' (a family name), novelist, short story writer and musician, was born in Fitzroy, Melbourne, on 3 January, 1870, fifteen years after the marriage of her parents, Mary (born Bailey), from Leicester, and Walter Lindesay Richardson, of Dublin. They settled in Ballarat in 1855, where her father (an Edinburgh MD) practised medicine.

(1871-1962) journalist

Stella May Allan (1871-l962), journalist, was born on 25 October 1871 at Kaiapoi, South Island, New Zealand, seventh child of Alice (born Connolly) and Daniel Henderson, clerk. She was educated at Canterbury Girls' High School and Canterbury University College, graduating BA (1892) and MA (1893). She enrolled in law, though the practice of law was barred to women in New Zealand until amending legislation was passed in 1896, and she worked in a legal office while completing her law degree. She graduated LL B in 1896 but did not apply for admission to the Bar.

(1871-1956) teacher of cookery

Amy Schauer (1871-l956), teacher of cookery, was born on 2 June 1871 in Sydney, daughter of Katherine and William Schauer, a cooper. She was awarded the certificate in domestic science of the Sydney Central Technical College, and extended her expertise in the culinary arts through private tuition.

(1872-1942) doctor

Constance Ellis (1872-1942), doctor, was born on 2 November l872 at Carlton, Melbourne, sixth child of Lydia Constance (born Phillips) and Louis Ellis, deputy sheriff, both of Jewish faith. She was educated at the Presbyterian Ladies' College and the University of Melbourne where she studied medicine, graduating in 1899. She was a member of Janet Clarke (q.v.) Hall from 1896-98. After a residentship at the (Royal) Melbourne Hospital she spent a further two years at the (Royal) Children's Hospital, and established a general and obstetric practice.

(1872-1944) local government councillor

Susan Grace Benny (1872-1944), local government councillor, was born on 4 October 1872 at the Crown Inn, Adelaide, eldest daughter of Agnes Ellen (born Harriot) and Peter Anderson, farmer. Grace, whose mother died when she was nine, grew up on the family's sheepstation, 'Springfield', Yorke Peninsula. She went to a small girls' boarding school at McLaren Vale, then returned home and taught her younger sisters. On 16 July 1896 she married her cousin, solicitor Benjamin Benny.

(1872-1958) writer

Ethel Sibyl Turner (1872-1958), writer, was born on 24 January 1872 at Doncaster Yorkshire, England, younger of two daughters of Sarah Jane (born Shaw) and George Watnell Burwell, merchant. George Burwell died while she was an infant and her mother married Henry Turner, a widower with six children. The only child of the marriage, Jeannie Rose, was born in 1876 and Sarah was widowed again before 1879, when she emigrated with her three daughters to Sydney. On 31 December 1880 she married Charles Cope, clerk in the Department of Lands. Their son Rex was born in 1881.

(1873-1957) welfare worker

Edith Alice Waterworth (1873-1957), welfare worker, was born at Manchester, England, to Emma (born Hamilton) and Henry Hawker, builder. The family emigrated to Queensland where Edith and her sister were educated at Brisbane Girls' Grammar School. She was a teacher before marriage at the age of 30 to John Newham Waterworth, who brought her to Tasmania. There were three sons to the marriage and Mrs Waterworth was in her forties when she became active in the social and moral questions which characterised the women's movement of that time.

(1873-1959) hospital matron

Jane Bell (1873-1959), hospital matron, was born on 16 March 1873 at Middlebie, Dumfriesshire, Scotland, daughter of Helen (born Johnstone) and William Bell, farmer. Before she was thirteen both parents and four siblings had died of tuberculosis. Helped by their local Presbyterian church, Jane and her surviving two sisters and brother emigrated to Sydney in 1886.

(1874-1969) novelist

Marie Caroline Bjelke-Petersen (1874-1969), novelist, was born on 23 December 1874 at Jagtvejen near Copenhagen, only daughter of Caroline Vilhelmine (born Hansen) and Georg Peter Bjelke-Petersen. Marie attended schools in Denmark, Germany and London. When very young she was taken on long walks by her father, who had spartan ideals and instructed his children in subjects ranging from the Bible to Greek mythology and gymnastics. The family emigrated to Tasmania in 1891 and settled at New Town.

(1874-1967) theosophic feminist

Bessie Mabel Rischbieth (1874-1967), theosophic feminist, was born on 16 October 1874 in Adelaide, elder child of Jane Anna (born Carvoso) and William Earle. With her sister Olive, Bessie grew up at Glenelg in the home of her uncle, William Benjamin Rounsevell, a prosperous wine merchant, prominent politician and theosophist. She was educated at the Advanced School for Girls, Adelaide. On 22 October 1898 Bessie married Henry Wills Rischbieth and moved to Perth where her husband had already established Henry Wills & Co., wool and skin buyers and shipping merchants.

(1875-1954) policewoman

Fanny Kate Boadicea Cocks (1875-1954), policewoman and welfare worker, was born on 5 May l875 at Moonta, South Australia, eldest child of Elizabeth (born George), schoolteacher, and Anthony Cocks, a miner. In 1885 the family moved to a farm near Quorn. Kate was educated at home; she taught for a year at Thomas Plains and in 1902 became schoolmistress and sub-matron at the Industrial School, Edwardstown.

(1875-1949) actress and author

Ethel Knight Kelly (1875-1949), actress and author, was born on 28 January 1875 at St John, New Brunswick, Canada, elder daughter of Margaret (born Millen) and William Knight Mollison, merchant. She was brought up partly in Britain; her education at St John was sketchy, consisting of piano, elocution and French lessons twice a week. She loved reading, especially the novels of 'Ouida' and Rider Haggard.

(1875-1963) artist

Margaret Rose Preston (1875-1963), painter and printmaker, was born in Adelaide on 29 April 1875, the elder of two daughters of Prudence (born Lyle) and David McPherson, marine engineer. She was educated at Fort Street School in Sydney and studied art at the National Gallery of Victoria Art School and the Adelaide School of Design.

(1875-1946) zoologist

Georgina Sweet (1875-1946), zoologist and philanthropist, was born at Brunswick, Melbourne, on 22 January 1875, daughter of Fanny (born Dudman) and George Sweet. Her father, an industrialist and amateur geologist, encouraged her to take up science. She was educated at Parkville Ladies' College and at the University of Melbourne where she graduated BSc (1896), MSc (1898) and, for her work on Nororyctes, the Australian marsupial 'mole', DSc (1904); and where she pioneered the entrance of women into several areas hitherto occupied only by men.

(1876-1950) organiser

Eleanor Glencross (1876-1950), political organiser, was born on 11 November 1876 in Sydney, eldest daughter of Eleanor (born Lyons) and Angus Cameron, carpenter and politician. She was educated at Cleveland St Public School and Miss Somerville's Ladies' College. She gained early political experience assisting her father, a liberal who had been elected in 1874 with trade union support. Eleanor soon had a reputation for eloquence. As political organiser for the Liberal and Reform Association, she travelled widely in New South Wales, and also to Queensland, to address political meetings.

(1876-1965) politician

Annie Florence Gillies Cardell-Oliver (1876-1965), politician, was born at Ararat, Victoria, daughter of Annie Thompson and Johnson Wilson. She was educated in Victoria and England. Florence married Arthur Cardell- Oliver, medical practitioner, in England and they had two sons. They left London c. 1913 for Perth. During the war Mrs Cardell-Oliver participated in recruiting campaigns and after the war returned to England to oversee her sons' education.

(1876-1982) politician

Elizabeth Couchman (1876-1982), politician, was born on 19 April 1876 at Geelong, daughter of Scottish immigrants Elizabeth Mary (born Ramsay) and Archibald Tannock, confectioner. May Ramsay Tannock, as she was known, was 'born and bred in the atmosphere of politics', her earliest recollections being of political discussions between her mother and grandmother.