HerStory Archive

SPENCE, Catherine Helen

Born: 31/10/1825

Died: 3/4/1910

Special Achievements:

The first female member of a public board when appointed to the East Adelaide School Board of Advice in 1877, she was also the first woman in Australia to participate in an official commission when appointed to the Commission of Enquiry into the Adelaide Hospital in 1895.  The face of our $5 note --- she is also accredited with being Australia's first woman novelist and Australia's first female political candidate when she contested, unsuccessfully, the election for delegates to the 1897 australasian Federal Convention.

1854 - Wrote first novel about Australia by a woman 'Clara Morison'.
1897 - Australia's first female candidate for public office.

Additional Information:

Australia's most ardent feminist.
1894 - Instrumental in getting the vote for women in South Australia and at a National level in 1902.
2001 - Inducted into the Victorian Honour Roll of Women.


Resources

  • References

    (no date).  Catherine Helen Spence 1825-1920:  A ‘useful and amiable member of society’.  Australian Heritage, 17-19.


  • Image - Catherine Helen Spence

    Portrait of Catherine Helen Spence in the 1890s

    Wikimedia Commons: File:Catherine Helen Spence.jpg