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Dangerous Women

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Dangerous Women

About the podcast

A straight-talking cattle wrangler, a trailblazing aviatrix and fashion designer, the first woman to be registered as a doctor in Queensland, Australia's first transgender priest, and a human rights and decarceration activist.

What do they have in common? They're all Dangerous Women. State Library of Queensland's new podcast tells the story of five women who have challenged the status quo and inspired change in their chosen fields and beyond. There’s no dry historical facts or yawn-worthy monologues; we’re getting wild.

Hosted by award-winning writer and documentary-maker Holly Zwalf, Dangerous Women takes an unvarnished look at historic and contemporary women of Queensland who have refused to flinch in the face of conformity (and impractical footwear).

Find out more about Dangerous Women on the John Oxley Library blog.


Subscribe to Dangerous Women on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Google Podcasts and Soundcloud.


Dangerous Women logo

Dangerous Women trailer

Delve into the lives of five Queensland women who’ve challenged the status quo and inspired change. There’s no dry historical facts or yawn-worthy monologues; we’re getting wild. Join our host Holly Zwalf as she enters the world of some of the greatest Queensland women you’ve never heard of.


Keelen Mailman OAM

Keelen Mailman OAM

Travel to Goorathuntha/Mt Tabor Station in Western Queensland to see if Holly can keep up with Keelen Mailman, a Bidjara woman managing a 70,000 hectare cattle station on country.

Discover related John Oxley Library collections.


Ivy May Hassard sitting in the cockpit of an air craft, ca.1935

Ivy May Hassard (1914-1998)

Ivy Hassard embraced life whether it was on the ground or in the skies. A pioneering aviatrix, Ivy also opened the first frock shop and beauty salon on the Gold Coast. Ivy's daughter Laurene welcomes Holly into the elegant world of her high flying, fearless mother and the glitz and glam of the Gold Coast in the 50s, 60s and 70s.

Discover related John Oxley Library collections.


Dr. Lilian Cooper

Dr Lilian Cooper (1861-1947)

Being the first woman to be registered as a doctor in Queensland is just one of Dr Lilian Cooper’s many achievements. Holly talks to Lilian expert and playwright Katy Forde about the life of Lilian and her equally impressive partner Josephine Bedford and how these two women changed Brisbane forever.

Discover related John Oxley Library collections.

Explore digitised newspaper articles about Lilian and Josephine Bedford on Trove.


Rev Dr Josephine Inkpin in her Anglican robes standing outside smiling

Reverend Dr Josephine Inkpin

Academic, prolific blogger, activist and Australia’s first transgender priest. Is Rev Dr Jo Inkpin as controversial as she might sound? Holly spends an afternoon talking with Jo and Penny, her wife of 35 years at the intersection of gender, faith, religion and identity.

Discover related John Oxley Library collections.


Debbie Kilroy OAM

Debbie Kilroy OAM

Debbie Kilroy is a force to be reckoned with. She’s a wife, mother, grandmother, CEO, criminal lawyer and one of Australia’s leading advocates for protecting the human rights of women and children through decarceration. In our final episode Holly visits Debbie at Sisters Inside Inc.

Discover related John Oxley Library collections.


Dangerous Women is a podcast created by State Library of Queensland, hosted by Holly Zwalf, produced by Snaggletooth Productions and supported by the Queensland Library Foundation’s Crowd Giving fundraising campaign. Donate today.

Snaggletooth Productions

Snaggletooth Productions is producer Erin McBean and writer Holly Zwalf, two women with crooked front teeth and equally twisted senses of humour. Together they make documentaries, podcasts and are developing a number of fiction projects. They have a strong focus on diversity, social justice, and on eating.

Library Shop

The Power of Bones

The Power of Bones

By Keelen Mailman OAM

A story of childhood poverty, abuse and racism that happily becomes an inspiring story of an extraordinary woman's strength over adversity.

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Kilroy was here

Kilroy was Here

By Kris Olsson

Debbie Kilroy OAM's remarkable journey from lost child and hardened prisoner to inspiring leader.

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Accidental Feminists

Accidental Feminist

By Jane Caro

In her 10th book Jane Caro dissects how one generation of Australian women became feminists — by accident.

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A Certain Style: Beatrice Davis, a literary life by Jacqueline Kent

A Certain Style

Jacqueline Kent

A biography of Beatrice Davis (1909-1992), general editor at Angus and Robertson publishing from 1937 to 1973.

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