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state library of queensland
John Oxley Library

Brisbane Women's Club donates its records

By JOL Admin | 28 October 2008

The Brisbane Women’s Club is one of the oldest women’s clubs in Queensland, operating as an educational, social, cultural and civic centre for women.  It was instrumental in securing a number of municipal achievements in the 1900s: ventilation in public toilets; zebra crossings outside schools; tram shelters; rubbish bins on Queen Street; the introduction of domestic science into the curriculum for Queensland schoolgirls; the introduction of name plates on trees in the Botanical Gardens; and the distribution of milk for school children.

Margaret Ogg was a founding member. The club was instrumental in the development of the Queensland Country Women’s Association and helped foster female artists including Vida Lahey and Daphne Mayo.



The Brisbane Women's Club recently donated its records to the John Oxley Library.  Spanning eighty years of the Club's 100 year history, the records include: minute books, visitors’ books, members rolls, correspondence,  photographs, syllabuses, scrapbooks, ledgers and newsletters.

The donation coincided with the launch of the Reforming Women: Social activism and the Brisbane Women's Club exhibition, held in the Phillip Bacon Gallery on 16 October. The exhibition showcases many items from the collection, reflecting on the the Club's role in social activism and persistent 'polite lobbying'.

The Governor of Queensland, Ms Penelope Wensley AO, was on hand to launch the exhibition last week, and Ms Jane Bertelsen, Chairperson of the Library Board of Queensland, officially accepted the donation on behalf of the John Oxley Library.


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