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John Oxley Library

Queensland’s women of influence showcased

By JOL Admin | 12 August 2016

What do Mrs Janet Walker, Margaret Scott, Miss Madeline Bird, Dr Mercy Dickinson, Lady May Lamington and actress Mary Maguire have in common? The answer was revealed at 'A woman’s influence in Queensland', a Symposium hosted by Queensland Women’s Historical Association, Miegunyah, Bowen Hills, Brisbane.

Several of Queensland’s best known researchers, volunteers and authors came together to share their knowledge, interpretation and stories relating to this group of women whose influence helped shape Queensland.

If you are not familiar, the Queensland Women’s Historical Association (QWHA) was formed in April 1950 in order to stimulate interest in the history and heritage of Queensland and in particular, the history of pioneer families and contributions by women.

Lady Lamington, ca. 1898, wife of Baron Lamington, Governor of Queensland from 1896 to 1901. Neg 184103, John Oxley Library, State Library of Queensland. 

Lady Lamington Hospital Committee, 1901. John Oxley Library, State Library of Queensland. Neg 186381

Actress Mary Maguire, ca. 1937. Acc: 90-5-26 John Oxley Library, State Library of Queensland.

A Brisbane girl, Mary (Peggy) Maguire was 16 when Charles Chauvel cast her in his early epic film Heritage (1935). Mary left for Hollywood to star in the Warner Bros picture That Man’s Here Again (1937).

Dr Mercy Dickinson AM PhD, Miss Madeline Bird and Mrs Gwen Hay OAM were featured at the Symposium, each contributing to the Queensland Braille Writing Association.

Lady Sybil Lavarack visits Braille House, 1 July 1954, Ipswich Road Annerley. John Oxley Library, State Library of Queensland. Contributor Queensland Newspapers Pty Ltd. 

The volunteer members of Queensland Braille Writing Association have served the community since 1897. Source:

The John Oxley Library collections offer support in researching influential Queensland women.

Queensland Women's Historical Association website

Anne Scheu, Engagement Officer, State Library of Queensland


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