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


  • BROMLEY, Sarah

    Domestic, Alice Springs, 1930s.
    Possibly originally from Oodnadatta

  • BRONHILL, June Mary

    Born 1929, Died 2005

    Also known as: June Gough

    Australian National Opera and Sadler's Wells Opera Company Singer. Winner of Sydney Eisteddfod and Sun Aria Prize. 1949 came third in Sydney Eisteddfod behind Joan Sutherland

  • BROOKES, Ivy

    Founder of the first Housewives' Association in Australia

  • BROWN, Beryl

    Member of pioneering family from Bendigo, Gold fields and Melbourne Vic

  • BROWN, Karen

    2001 - Became first Head of Finance Sector Union. Currently youngest State Secretary

  • BROWN, Mamie

    First female student at the Wilderness School in South Aust.
    Early Graduate in Science from Adelaide University

  • BROWN, Marlene Jean (Mrs)

    1968 - First female Alderman elected to the Town Management Board of Alice Springs (Predecessor of Town Council)

  • BROWN, Mary Elizabeth

    Born 1862, Died 1952

    1885 - First female Arts Graduate, Sydney University (with Isola Thompson)

  • BROWN, Maureen Patricia

    Born 1955, Died 2001

    1987 - First Indigenous volunteer Cancer Support Worker in Australia

  • BROWN, May

    Pioneer of Northern Territory. Owned The Victoria Hotel in Darwin in 1920s

  • BROWN, Rayleen

    Creator, manager and operator of Kunga's Can Cook

  • BROWNBILL, Kay (Lcl)

    1966 - First South Australian woman to be elected to Federal House of Representatives

  • BROWNE, Katherine (Mrs)

    Pioneer Pastoralist in Queensland on Moonie River property 'Tartha'

  • BROWNE, Sciona

    1994 - Winner of the Nancy Bird Trophy Test Pilot and builder of aircraft

  • BRUCE-REID, Isabel (‘belle’) Isabelle

    Born 1883, Died 1946

    Also known as: Reid, Isabel Bruce

    1906 - First woman to graduate at the first Veterinary School in Australia (Melbourne)

  • BRUCEK, Ida Joy (Mrs) (Ba)

    Bachelor of Arts 1949 1970s - Associate of Music in Australia in piano, organ and carillon

  • BRUCEK, Ida Joy (Ba) (Mrs)

    Achieved a Bachelor of Arts in 1949 1962 - Granted first restaurant liquor licence in Alice Springs for Zoena Motel (where Alice Resort now stands)

  • BRUCEK, Ida Joy (Mrs) (‘joy’)

    1953 - Established first library in Alice Springs
    1962 - Granted first Restaurant Liquor Licence in Alice Springs for Zdena Motel (where Alice Resort is now located) 1949 - Gained…

  • BRUEN, Beverly

    The first of only a small number of Stamp Illustrators

  • BRUNATO, Madeleine (Oam)

    Born 1919, Died 2006

    1993 - First Writing Fellow of FAW (Fellowship of Australian Writers) in South Australia
    1968 - Formed the South Australian Writers Fellowship
    1970 - Became TAFE Tutor in Creative…

  • BRYANT, Mary

    Born 1765

    First Fleet Convict escapee, arranged and survived open boat journey from Sydney to Timor

  • BRYANT, Millicent

    Born 1878, Died 1927

    1927 - First woman in Australia to obtain a flying licence. She was killed in a harbour accident 8 months later

  • BRYANT, Suzane

    First Aboriginal Air Hostess (Ansett Airlines of NSW 1968-1971)

  • BRYCE, Lucy (Cbe)

    Born 1897, Died 1968

    Established Australia's first Blood Transfusion Service

  • BUCKINGHAM-KING, Beverley

    1980s - Australia's Premier female jockey