HerStory Archive

The stories and photographs of pioneering Australian women are preserved in our HerStory Archive, which has been catalogued and indexed in the database below.

Apart from preserving many often previously untold stories, the archive will be useful for future researchers, as well as inspiration for future exhibitions at National Pioneer Women’s Hall of Fame headquarters in Alice Springs and online.

The information comes to us through many avenues: from our staff and volunteer research and from information supplied by visitors, authors, scholars and friends and family of the pioneer women.

The information on each woman who is included is a summary of her file in our archives. We are working toward attaching photos and will update information as it becomes available to us. As you can appreciate, this is a huge task and will require some financial support. If you have additional information on any of the women listed or another pioneer woman, or believe that our information is incorrect, Submit a HerStory Form




  • Joyce Eileen (Obe)

    Born 1912 , died 2001

    Firsts: First woman Corporation Lawyer (for the A.B.C.) in Australia First woman to complete the Barristers’ Admission Board Course Founding member and first President of NSW Women Lawyers Assoc. First woman Chairman of a Credit Union

  • Mille Gertrude

    Born 1870 , died 1948

    Firsts: 1933 - First woman to enter Victorian State Government

  • Emma A Beckett

    Born 1838 , died 1906

  • Patricia Kathleen (Pat) Abbott (See Also Patricia Littlejohn)

    Born 1913 , died 1998, also known as Pat

    Firsts: 1935 - First woman to graduate from Sydney University Veterinary School

  • Joyce Irene (Prof.) (Obe) Ackroyd

    Born 1918 , died 1991

    Firsts: 1965 - Founded the Dept of Japanese at Queensland University

    Special Achievements: 3rd Class Order of The Precious Crown of His Majesty The Emperor of Japan.

  • Patsy (Obe, Oa) Adam-Smith

    Born 1924 , died 2001

    Firsts: First woman Articled on an Australian Merchant Ship (Radio Operator) (1954-60)

    Special Achievements: 1993 - Awarded Order of Australia Book Prize

  • Margaret Adams

    Firsts: 1938 - First President of the newly formed Women’s Flying Club

  • Maisie Pauline (Oam) Adams

    Firsts: First and only female Associate of the Australian Insurance Institute in the Northern Territory

    Special Achievements:

    Author of ‘A Quality of Life - Early Life in Darwin’.

    1993 - Awarded Order of Australia Medal for contribution to sport.

  • Dorothy Adamson

    Firsts: First female Bank Clerk in Alice Springs. Also worked in Commonwealth Bank in 1942

  • Lily Addison

    Born 1887 , died 1968

    Firsts: 1906 - First woman to do technical work in Architectural office in Queensland.

  • Lily Addison

    Born 1885 , died 1982

    Firsts: 1919 - First Australian woman to play at Wimbledon

  • Shirley (Oam) Adkins

    Firsts: First women to be awarded the Oswald Watt Medal (Australia’s highest Aviation Award) First woman elected president of the royal Federation of Aero Clubs of Australia

  • Virginia (Mrs) Oam Adlide

    Firsts: Developed the first Ronald McDonald House in Australia

  • Daphne Jessie Akhurst

    Born 1903 , died 1933

    Firsts: 1928 - First Australian woman to reach Wimbledon Semi-Finals

  • Minna (Oa) Albrecht

    Firsts: 1999 - First woman Deputy Administrator of the Northern Territory.

  • Louisa Albury

    Born 1848 , died 1920

    Firsts: First to found a school at the New South Wales gold digging fields 1888 - Published first Australian Journal for Women - staffed entirely by women. ‘The Dawn’ was the first of its type in the world

  • Louise Allard

    Firsts: 2006 - First Australian woman to ski to the North Pole

  • Denise Allen

    Firsts: 1983 - First observer woman posted to Queensland 1984 - First woman posted to Willis Island 1985 - First woman to winter on the Antarctic Continent 1988 - First woman to obtain senior observer position in Bureau of Meteorology

    Special Achievements: 1989 First woman awarded prestigious outstanding service to the Antarctic (along with Lynn Williams) First woman ever to complete winter postings to all four Australian Antarctic Bases

  • Lynn (Prof.) Allen

    Firsts: First woman State Librarian in Western Australia in its 107 year history

  • Lynne Allen-Brown

    Firsts: 1993 - First female Chief Superintendent of St Johns Ambulance