200 Australian Women

(1877-1969) author & illustrator

Cecilia May Gibbs (1877-1969), author and illustrator, was born on 17 January 1877 at Sydenham, Kent, England, only daughter of Cecilia (born Rogers) and Herbert William Gibbs, artist and public servant. In 1881 the family emigrated to South Australia, first to a farm and then to Norwood. They moved in 1885 to Harvey, Western Australia, and after two years to Perth, where Cecilia attended Amy Best's school for girls. She went to London in 1900, where she studied art at the Cope and Nichol School and the South Western Polytechnic, Chelsea, before returning in 1901.

(1878-1956) missionary

Retta Jane Long (1878-1956), missionary, was born in Sydney on 5 April 1878, oldest of three children of Matilda (born Brown) and Matthew Dixon, masterbuilder. She attended Chippendale Methodist church and in 1890 was received into membership of the Petersham Baptist church. Following a Christian Endeavour Society picnic at La Perouse she began regular Sunday visits and later was resident missionary to the La Perouse Aboriginal Settlement. From there she made contact with Aboriginal communities on the north and south coast.

(1878-1957) doctor

Eleanor Elizabeth Bourne (1878-1957), medical practitioner, was born at South Brisbane on 4 December 1878, eldest child of Jane Elizabeth (born Hockings) and John Sumner Pears Bourne, clerk in the Land Commission Court. She was educated at the Brisbane Central School for Girls, the Leichhardt State School and the Brisbane Grammar School. She passed the 1896 senior examination with distinction, winning the Grahame and the John West gold medals. The government exhibition awarded her to the University of Sydney was the first to a woman. She graduated MB BS in 1903.

(1878-1947) school inspector

Julia Teresa Flynn (1878-1947), inspector, was born on 24 January 1878 at West Melbourne, youngest of six children of Bridget (born Burke) and Daniel Flynn, grain and corn merchant. She attended a convent in Carlton, the South Melbourne College and the Presbyterian Ladies' College, and trained as a pupil teacher and at Training College (1900-01). She taught at Christmas Hills, Bright and the Continuation School (later Melbourne High School) and in 1914, having graduated BA from the University of Melbourne by part-time study, was appointed an inspector of secondary schools.

(1878-1967) paediatrician

Helen Mary Mayo (1878-1967), doctor, was born on 1 October 1878 at West Terrace, Adelaide, eldest of seven children of Henrietta Mary (born Donaldson) and George Gibbes Mayo. Her childhood was spent in a happy family atmosphere in which both parents played a large part in their children's development, boys and girls alike enjoying impromptu natural science lessons from their father on bush rambles. Educated by her parents to the age of ten, Helen then received morning lessons from a governess.

(1879-1962) lawyer

Anna Teresa Brennan (1879-1962), lawyer, was born on 2 September 1879 at Emu Creek, Victoria, thirteenth child of Mary (born Maher) and Michael Brennan, farmer. She attended the co-educational St Andrew's College, Bendigo, and in 1904 enrolled in medicine at the University of Melbourne. Her brothers Thomas and Frank were lawyers and she changed to law. On graduation (1909) she served articles with Frank Brennan & Rundle, remaining with the firm which became Frank Brennan and Co. until ultimately she was senior partner.

(1879-1969) architect, engineer and publisher

Florence Mary Taylor (1879-1969), architect, engineer and publisher, was born at Bristol England, eldest of five daughters of Eliza (born Brooks) and John Parsons, a government employee. In 1888 the family emigrated to Australia. Her father died when she was nineteen and she began work as a clerk in an architect-engineer's office. (Many men then combined what later were regarded as two separate professions.) Florence decided to become a draftsman.

(1879-1948) factory manager

Marcella Mary Cameron (1879-1948), factory manager, was born on 29 December 1879 at Warwick, Queensland, daughter of Catherine (born Fitzgerald) and Duncan McMaster Cameron, a Scottish immigrant. Duncan Cameron became well-known in Queensland as the journalist 'Ben Bolt'. He was editor of the local newspaper when Marcella, aged seventeen, began earning her own living as an assistant in the Toowoomba School of Arts.

(1879-1964) CWA founder

Grace Emily Munro (1879-1964), country woman, was born on 25 March 1879 at her parents' home 'Gragin', Warialda, New South Wales, one of seven daughters of Eliza Frances (born Macdonald) and George Hollinworth Gordon, grazier. She was a granddaughter of Hugh Gordon of 'Strathbogie', Inverell, and Member of the Legislative Assembly for Tenterfield in 1861-69.

(1879-1977) graphic designer

Eirene Mort (1879-1977), graphic designer, was born on 17 November 1879 at Woollahra, Sydney, third child of Kate Macintosh (born Isaacs) and Canon Henry Wallace Mort. She attended St Catherine's Clergy Daughters' School, Waverley and studied painting with Dattilo Rubbo. In 1897 she travelled alone to London, where she studied at Grosvenor Life School, the Royal School of Art Needlework and the Royal College of Art, South Kensington, gaining its art teacher's certificate.

(1879-1954) writer

Stella Maria(n) Sarah Miles Franklin (1879-1954), writer, was born on 14 October 1879 at Talbingo, New South Wales, oldest child of Susannah Helena (born Lampe) and John Maurice Franklin of Brindabella station. She was a great-granddaughter of Edward Miles, first-fleeter. Childhood at Brindabella (1963) recalls her first decade. She was educated at home and at Thornford public school after 1889, when the family moved to 'Stillwater', a small holding near Goulburn. About 1902 the Franklins shifted to Penrith, and about 1913, to Carlton, a modest southern Sydney suburb.

(1879-1950) obstetrician

Constance Elizabeth D'Arcy (1879-1950), obstetrician and gynaecologist, was born on 1 June 1879 at Rylestone, New South Wales, fifth daughter of Bridget (born Synnott) and Murty D'Arcy, sergeant of police. She passed the senior public examination in 1894 from Rylstone Public School and, after attending Riviere College, Woollahra, in 1898 matriculated at the University of Sydney, graduating MB ChM in 1904. As neither of the Sydney teaching hospitals would accept a woman, she did her residency at the (Royal) Adelaide Hospital.

(1879-1971) farmer's wife

Janette Hannum Octoman (1879-1971), farmer's wife, was born on 14 November 1979 at Tumby Bay, South Australia, eldest daughter of Jessie and Caleb Provis, a farmer. Largely educated by her grandfather, a schoolmaster who lived with the family, she married Charles Machon Octoman, also a farmer, in April 1903 and lived most of her life in the same area of Eyre Peninsula, apart from seven years in Adelaide during the education of her four sons.

(1880-1952) nurse

Elizabeth Kenny (1880-1952), nurse, was born on 20 September 1880 at Warialda, New South Wales, fifth child of Mary (born Moore) and Irish immigrant Michael Kenny, farmer. Elizabeth was an independent, energetic and capable child who from an early age spent much of her time on horseback. Her formal education was the usual few years basic schooling, gained erratically in one-room country schools on the northern tablelands of New South Wales.

(1881-1962) school inspector

Adelaide Laetitia Miethke (1881-1962), school inspector, was born on 8 June l881 at Manoora, South Australia, sixth daughter among ten children of Emma Caroline (Louisa, born Schultze) and Rudolph Alexander Miethke, Prussian born schoolmaster. Educated at country schools and Woodville Public School, in 1899 she became a pupil-teacher and in 1903-04 attended the University Training College.

(1881-1972) conservationist

Minard Fannie Crommelin (1881-1972), conservationist, was born on 29 June 1881 at 'Aston' station, near Bombala, New South Wales, eldest daughter of Frances Emily (born Dawson) and George Whiting Crommelin, station manager. At the age of twelve, Minard left Pipe Clay Public School to help the postmistress at Burrawong who later sent her for a year to the Sydney Church of England Grammar School for Girls. After assisting in the post office at Moss Vale in 1906, Minard became acting postmistress at Woy Woy, where she remained for five years.

(1881-1948) pathologist

Elsie Jean Dalyell (1881-1948), pathologist, was born on 13 December 1881 at Newtown, Sydney, second daughter of Jean (born McGregor) and James Melville Dalyell, mining engineer. Educated at Sydney Girls' High School, she joined the Department of Public Instruction as a pupil-teacher in 1897. Sponsored by the department she completed first year arts and science at the University of Sydney. After suffering a hysterectomy in 1905, she resigned as a teacher and transferred to second-year medicine, graduating MB with first-class honours (1909) and ChM (1910).

(1881-1961) teacher

Mary Montgomerie Bennett (1881-1961), teacher, was born at Pimlico, London, on 8 July 1881, eldest of three children of Mary (born Goodsall) and Robert Christison, wealthy Queensland pastoralist and meatworks owner. Christison's first wife had died at 'Lammermoor' from malaria. Mary disliked living there and finally moved the family to London, where the younger Mary studied at the Royal Academy of the Arts from 1903-08.

(1881-1971) headmistress

Winifred Mary West (1881-1971), head-mistress, was born on 21 December 1881 at Frensham, Surrey, England, the eldest daughter and second child of Fanny (born Sturt) and Charles William West, schoolmaster. She attended Queen Anne's School, Cavesham, and Newnham College, Cambridge (1900-03) where she read mediaeval and modern languages and won a hockey blue. She travelled to Sydney in 1907 where she worked as an illustrator for the Australian Museum and was a pupil at the Julian Ashton Art School. She convened the first meeting of the New South Wales Women's Hockey Association (1908).

(1882-1963) psychologist

Constance Muriel Davey (1882-1963), psychologist, was born on 4 December 1882 at Nuriootpa, South Australia, daughter of Emily Mary (born Roberts) and Stephen Henry Davey, bank manager. She was educated at country schools. An accident, in which she was thrown from a trap and permanently injured her hip and spine, delayed her further education but in 1908 she began teaching; next year she joined St Peter's Collegiate Girls' School as a mathematics and economics teacher and began studying part-time at the University of Adelaide (BA 1915, MA 1918).

(1882-1962) kindergarten teacher

Sophia Benjamin (1882-1962), kindergarten teacher, was born on 24 December 1882 in Adelaide, only daughter of Minnie (born Cohen) and Phillip Benjamin, journalist and later company secretary. They moved to Sydney in 1888. Zoe was educated with cousins by governesses and tutors, and at Darlinghurst Superior School. She trained as a kindergarten teacher (1904-05) and was in charge of kindergarten work at the Ashfield Infants' Home and the Froebel House Kindergarten and Primary School attached to the Kindergarten Teachers' Training College.

(1882-1968) doctor

Ethel Elizabeth Osborne (1882-1968), medical practitioner, was born on 30 January 1882, in Leeds, England, second child of Elizabeth (born Lockley) and James Goodson, butcher and businessman. Ethel was educated at Yorkshire College and the University of Leeds (MSc 1907). On 10 December 1903 she married William Alexander Osborne and soon after sailed with him to Melbourne where he had been appointed professor of physiology and histology at the university. They had three daughters and one son.

(1882-1964) feminist

Florence Mildred Muscio (1882-1964), feminist, was born on 28 April 1882 at Copeland, New South Wales, eldest daughter of Jane (born McLennan) and Charles Fry, telegraph master. She was educated at Sydney Girls' High and the University of Sydney, graduating BA with first class honours in logic and mental philosophy (1901), and MA (1905). With her sister Edith, she published Poems (1906). She worked as a teacher while completing her studies, and was principal of the Brighton College for Girls, Manly, from 1906-12.

(1883-1955) politician

Millicent Fanny Preston Stanley (1883-1955), politician, was born on 9 September 1883 in Sydney, only daughter of Fanny Helen (born Preston) and Augustine Gregory Stanley, grocer. Her father deserted the family and her mother was granted a divorce in 1895. There is no record of Millicent's schooling and though she attended the University of Sydney she did not graduate.

(1883-1969) author

Katharine Susannah Prichard (1883-1969), author and communist, was born in Levuka, Fiji, the eldest child of Edith (born Fraser) and Thomas Prichard, journalist. The family returned to Australia when 'Kattie' was three and she grew up in Tasmania and Melbourne. Despite her father's experience of unemployment she completed her secondary education at South Melbourne College, but her mother's illness prevented her attending university; she had to stay home and keep house.

(1883-1970) biologist

Anna Frederica Bage (1883-1970), biologist, was born on 11 April 1883 at St Kilda, Melbourne, oldest of three children of Mary Charlotte (born Lange) and Edward Bage, junior partner in Felton, Grimwade & Co., wholesale chemists and manufacturers. Her father died in 1891. Freda was educated in Oxford, England and at Fairlight School, Melbourne. In 1901 she entered Janet Clarke (q.v.) Hall, University of Melbourne and after failing her first year graduated BSc in 1905 and MSc in 1907.

(1883-1949) composer

Ruby Claudia Emily Davy (1883-1949), musician, was born on 22 November 1883 at Salisbury, South Australia, only child of Louisa Jane (born Litchfield), singer and music teacher, and William Charles Davy, shoemaker and brass instrument player. Ruby was early encouraged to improvise and compose, to play the piano and to recite. Educated locally, she learned music from her mother and from Ernest Mitchell, who prepared her for the Elder Conservatorium of Music (BMus 1907, DMus 1918).

(1883-1956) journalist

Jessie Sinclair Litchfield (1883-1956), writer, was born on 18 February 1883 at Ashfield, Sydney, second child of Jean (born Sinclair) and John Phillips, contractor. The family lived in various country towns until 1895 when they returned to Sydney. Jessie attended Neutral Bay Public School, where one of her teachers was Mary Cameron (Gilmore).

(1884-1975) Aboriginal rights activist

Olive Muriel Pink (1884-1975), Aboriginal rights activist, was born on 17 March 1884 at Hobart, daughter of Evelyn Fanny Margaret (born Kerr) and Robert Stuart Pink. She was also known as Injiamba or Abmoora. Olive was educated at Miss Ayton's school and at the Hobart Technical School where she studied art under Benjamin Sheppard and where she met Harold Southern, whose memory she cherished throughout her life. He was killed at Gallipoli.

(1884-1974) doctor

Fanny Reading (1884-1974), medical practitioner, was born on 2 December 1884 at Karelitz near Minsk in Russia, daughter of Esther Rose and Nathan John Rubinovich. Shortly after her birth her father fled Russia and went to Ballarat, Victoria; a year later Esther and Fanny left Russia and after some time in London were reunited with Nathan in Ballarat. Subsequently Esther ran a shop in Baloac Lake, while her husband travelled as a hawker. They returned to Ballarat in 1901 and later moved to Melbourne.