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


  • ALSOP, Ruth

    Born 1879, Died 1976

    First woman to qualify as an architect in Victoria. She began work at her younger brother Rodney's firm Klingender & Alsop sometime after 1907. She worked for the firm for seven…

  • ANDERSON, Alison

    Born 1958

    Also known as: Alison Nampitjimpa Anderson

    Activist and politician for Indigenous people within the Northern Territory, especially Central Australia. She was a member of the Northern Territory Legislative Assembly between 2005…

  • ANDERSON, Charlotte Morrison

    Born 1915, Died 2002

    1953 - Set up Australia's first Cystic Fibrosis Clinic Global Pioneer in Child Health

  • ANDERSON, Clara Victoria Elizabeth

    Born February 21, 1872, Died April 6, 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…

  • ANDERSON, Maybanke

    Born 1845, Died April 15, 1927

    Also known as: Maybanke Wolstoneholme (the name from her first marriage). Maybanke wrote regularly as ‘Lois’ in the Sydney Morning Herald.

    Worked with Rose Scott, Louisa Lawson, the Windeyer family and others on the struggle for women's suffrage and other legal, political and educational reforms. Helped found the…

  • ANDERSON, Selina Sarah Elizabeth

    Born May 12, 1878, Died November 30, 1964

    Also known as: Known as Senie, Selina Siggins

    1903 -First woman along with Vida Goldstein, Mary Ann Moore-Bentley and Nellie Martel, in Australia and British Empire to stand for National Parliament (unsuccessful). Selina Anderson…

  • ANDERSON, Shirley

    1 of 2 first women Air Traffic Controllers in Australia (Sydney Airport 1960)

  • ANDRESEN, Brit

    2002 - First woman to be awarded 'The Architects Gold Medal' by The Royal Australian Institute of Architects

  • ANDREW, Bertha Martha

    Born March 16, 1882, Died November 8, 1963

    Also known as: nee Cook

    Worked the land with husband. Bertha and her husband, with their four children, departed Port Lincoln, South Australia, in 1933 and travelled overland to Alice Springs. The journey was…

  • ANDREW, Elizabeth (‘liz’)

    Northern Territory's first woman Cabinet Minister (1974) - Education, Law and Arts

  • ANDREW, Marjorie

    ` Marjorie Andrew worked for the Allied Works Council in Alice Springs and Darwin during World War Two (Alice Springs 1944-1945). One of the most pressing demands on Australia during…

  • ANDREWS, Joan

    Joan handbuilt her house consisting of three cottages using 14,000 bottles and cans in a nine-year period in Lightning Ridge. She built these cottages after being in hospital for two…

  • ANDREWS, Shirley Aldythea

    Born November 6, 1915, Died September 15, 2001

    Shirley graduated in Science when women were barely tolerated as students. She went on to work for six years at the Veterinary School of the University of Melbourne. In 1947, she…

  • ANYOS, Sharon Lea Anne

    Born October 13, 1970

    Also known as: Wildthing’

    Australia's first female World Boxing Champion. First Australian woman to take out the inaugural Women's Boxing Title in first ever ANBF & OBA sanctioned women's boxing…

  • APPEL, Kristen

    First female national park ranger to be in charge of a national park/reserve in Australia (Arltunga) - August 1992

  • APPLEBY, June

    1985 - First woman in South Australian Parliament to become Government Whip in House of Assembly

  • ARCHDALE, Helen Elizabeth

    Born August 21, 1907, Died January 11, 2001

    Also known as: Betty Archdale

    Headmistress of Abbotsleigh Girls School, Sydney. Officer in W.R.E.N.s during World War II. Became Principal of Women's College at Sydney University. After her tenure at the…

  • ARCHER, Mary Ellinor Lucy

    Born 1893, Died 1979

    First woman scientist at the CSIRO

  • ARCHER, Robyn

    SA 'Great Award' Winner for Arts category Performer, writer, speaker and thinker. University of Adelaide Alumnus

  • ARDILL, Katie Louisa (Dr) (Obe, Mb,ch.m)

    First woman Doctor to serve in a Military Hospital in France - WWI
    First woman to see military service in Egypt - WWI
    First woman in NSW to serve as Chairman of St Johns Ambulance…

  • ARDILL, Katie Louisa (Mrs) (Dr) Obe, Mb, Ch.m

    First woman Doctor to Serve in a Military Hospital in France in World War I.
    First woman Doctor to see military service in Egypt in World War I
    First woman in NSW to serve as Chairman…

  • ARMFIELD, Lilian

    1915 - First policewoman in Australia
    First female plain clothes detective

  • ARMSTRONG, Carol

    First 'Bush Woman' on Northern Territory's Women's Advisory Council

  • ARMSTRONG, Gillian May (Am)

    First female Film Director since1930s
    1984 - Awarded AM

  • ARNOLD, Rosemary

    1967 - Australia's first female Commercial Helicopter Pilot
    Achieved commercial ratings in both fixed and rotary wing aircraft