HerStory Archive

New South Wales

Australian Capital Territory


  • A BECKETT, Emma

    Born 1838, Died 1906

    Author of diaries spanning half a century, they tell an absorbing story of the birth of one of Australia's most famous artistic families. Emma was a decisive influence in this…

  • ABBA, Hilda May

    Born 30/5/1918

    First woman in Australia ordained as Theological Lecturer (Pitt Street Congregational Church, Sydney: 1951) In 1936, Hilda entered Homerton College, Cambridge, where she qualified as a…

  • ABLEY, Barbara

    First woman Mayor of Geelong City Council, the first in this Victoria Council’s preceding 134-year history (2002). Barbara Abley was elected in March 2001 to the Council of the City…

  • ADLER, Mary

    Born 17/2/1862, Died 8/6/1897

    Also known as: nee Millar

    Mary Adler came from Murtoa in the Wimmera. In 1893, she and her husband selected land at Lalbert, near Swan Hill, which they settled with their five sons. She died at 36 years of age,…

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  • ACKROYD, Joyce Irene

    Born 23/11/1918, Died 30/8/1991

    Joyce Ackroyd was a professor of Japanese language and literature, and one of the pioneers who changed the pattern of Japanese studies in Australia. In 1965 she founded the Department…

  • ALLEN, Denise

    1983 - First observer woman posted to Queensland 1984 - First woman posted to Willis Island 1986 - First woman to winter on the Antarctic Continent for the Bureau of Meteorology 1988 -…

  • ANDERSON, Clara Victoria Elizabeth

    Born 21/2/1872, Died 6/4/1975

    Also known as: Vic Campbell (maiden name)

    Pioneer of Theodore, Queensland. As a child, Clara lived with her family at several different stations before settling at their property, “Claravale”, in Queensland. In her married…

  • ANDRESEN, Brit

    In 2002, Brit was the first woman to be awarded the prestigious Royal Australian Institute of Architects (RAIA) Gold Medal, honouring her contribution to the architecture field and…

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  • ALLPORT, Mary Morton

    Born 17/5/1806, Died 10/6/1895

    Also known as: Mary Morton Chapman (maiden name)

    Mary Allport was Tasmania's first professional woman artist. She exhibited in local exhibitions and published lithographs. She advertised her professional services as a portrait…

  • ARCHER, Robyn

    Born 18/6/1948

    Also known as: Robyn Smith

    In 1998 and 2000, Robyn Archer became the first woman in Australia to direct a major State Festival of the Arts. Robyn is the former Artistic Director of the National Festival of…

  • INNES, Heather

    Born 11/6/1939

    First woman to lead a Drug Squad in Australia - Aerial Drug Spotting and Search and Rescue Operations Operates own charter company on north west coast of Tasmania which is also…

  • JACKSON, Frances

    Also known as: nee Hyatt

    1930 - First Tasmanian woman to become a pilot.
    First woman to fly from Goulburn to Mascot and return. Born in 1908, as a teenager, Frances Hyatt lived with her family at Dunalley and…

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South Australia

Northern Territory

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New Guinea




  • MACK, Marie Louise Hamilton

    Born 10/10/1870, Died 23/11/1935

    Also known as: née Mack, registered as Mary Louisa, Louise Creed, Gouli Gouli, Louise Leyland, Mary Mack

    1914 - First woman war correspondent, Belgium, reporting for the Evening News and the Daily Mail. Late 1880s - Contributor to The Bulletin, an Australian magazine, Sydney.1896 - Novel…




  • KETTLE, Ellen Sarah

    Born 21/4/1922, Died 2/8/1999

    Also known as: Sister Kettle, “hook and eye sister”

    Nurse of remote Australia, Papua New Guinea, Queensland and Timor. Foundation member of northern Territory Chapter of the College of Nursing of Australia.1967 - Author of Gone…


Papua New Guinea





  • STEWART, Eleanor Towzey

    Born 20 /11/1858, Died 21/06/1931

    Also known as: née Stewart, née Towzey, Nellie, Eleanor Row

    1877 - Australia's first female comic opera star.