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


  • ARNOT, Alana

    First woman to fly a helicopter around Australia's coastline

  • ARNOT, Jean Fleming (Mbe,flaa)

    1965 - Awarded Member of the British Empire Librarian at Mitchell Library Sydney from 1921 to 1968.
    Equal Pay for Equal Work for Women and Women's Rights Activist

  • ARNOTT, Phyllis

    1929 - First woman in Australia to be granted a Commercial Pilot's Licence (but chose to only fly for pleasure)

  • ASCHE, Valerie (Dr)

    1993 - Northern Territory's first Dame of the Order of St John of Jerusalem
    1988 - Fellow of Janet Clark Hall, University of Melbourne Microbiologist. State President of Girl…

  • ASHTON, Rosemary (Ao, Ba)

    First woman to become Deputy Leader of Opposition at either State or Federal Level
    Awarded Order of Australia for services to the community in areas of Health, Visual Arts,…

  • ASTON, Maltilda Ann

    Born 1873, Died 1947

    Also known as: Known as Tilly

    First blind woman to attend University.
    Established first Braille Library Co-founded the Association for the Advancement of the Blind (now known as Vision Australia Foundation)

  • ATKINSON, Caroline Louisa

    1857 - First Australian born woman Novelist
    1857 - Published 'Gertrude The Emigrant: A Tale of Colonial Life' by an Australian Lady

  • ATKINSON, Eileen Beryl

    Born 1887

    Pioneer of Birchip/Wimmera district of Victoria
    Trainer of race and trotting horses, also for show and gymkhana
    Active in CWA, Red Cross and WWII Comfort Fund

  • ATTWOOD, Audrey June (Mbe)

    Born 1927, Died 2008

    1997 - First President at Flynn Lodge Old Timers Village
    1978 - Awarded M.B.E. for contribution to education 1959 - Pioneer Educator in Aboriginal communities for 28 years.
    1986 -…

  • AVERY, A.m

    Only Adelaide woman Chairman of Directors of Dunstan Ltd, Stoneyfell Quarries

  • AVERY, A.m.

    Only woman member in Australia of the British Institute of Psycho-Analysts

  • BACKO, Evelyn (Dr)

    1991 - First Female Chairperson of the Council for Aboriginal Reconciliation
    2000 - Honorary Doctorate Awarded by University of Western Sydney Aboriginal Rights Campaigner

  • BAGOT, Mary Josephine

    Born 1912, Died 2006

    1996 - Made Member of Honour of CWA South Australia 1966-2006 - Tireless worker for CWA in South Australia

  • BAGWELL, Sheryle Anne

    Only female columnist in Australia devoted to women in business issues

  • BAILEY, Karyn

    2005 - First Northern Territory player in over a decade to be in an Australian 21 and under squad. Also won a scholarship to Australian Institute of Sport in Canberra

  • BAILEY, Norma Helen

    Inaugural President of Country Women's Association (CWA) in Playford NT 1953-1954 - Diploma in Teacher-Librarianship
    Taught with Isolated Children's Services.
    Taught at…

  • BAILEY, Norma Helen

    1961 - First of first five women recruited to Northern Territory Police

  • BAIRD, Jean

    Wife of Rev. John Flynn the founder of Australian Inland Mission and the Royal Flying Doctor Service

  • BAIRD, Kath

    1945 - Put her Girl Guide experience to work with British Girl Guides, Government and Red Cross to help European displaced people (mainly children) to a better life. First German Girl…

  • BAKER, June Rosalie (Commander)

    1976-1977 - First and only WRANS Officer to attend Royal Naval Staff College in Greenwich, England

  • BAKER, Suzanne

    1977 - First Australian woman to win an Oscar (Producer) for Best Animated Short Film

  • BALDWIN, Susannah Matilda

    Died 1862

    1820 - Pioneer of early NSW

  • BALE, Sherie

    First female accredited tower crane operator in Sydney

  • BALL, Liz

    First female President of National Road Transport Hall of Fame at Alice Springs

  • BALLARD, Kareena

    1996-1998 - First woman in Western Australia to become President of Real Estate Institute of WA