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    South Australia - Women

    Education

    An Essay on Education of Women

    In the 1870s moves were abroad to extend the suffrage to women and it was considered if this was to be accomplished it was of first importance to make improvements in the education of females. At this time little had been done to create and set in place a rational curriculum of studies which would accord female students an opportunity to establish a sound academic base.

    Much more attention was paid to schemes for promoting the intellectual development of young men than to plans for advancing the educational attainments of young women. That this was a state of things which ought not to exist was patent to all who took the trouble to reflect upon the influence which women exerted, and the part they played in moulding the minds of succeeding generations.

    A newspaper editor of the day, although, perhaps, not expressing a majority view, proclaimed:

    At this time the educational authorities in South Australia had their attention drawn to a 'superior training seminary for girls' in New Zealand which had achieved outstanding results in the teaching of languages, philosophy, political economy, etc., together with more ordinary subjects such as arithmetic, spelling and needlework. In 1874 the subject of establishing high schools for girls was being discussed.

    Earlier, an attempt had been made to organise a 'Ladies' College' in Adelaide under the sponsorship of the then Governor, Sir James Fergusson and Lady Fergusson; it was unsuccessful. A concerned woman aired her views on the subject:

    In 1879, Mr J.A. Hartley, who was then Inspector-General of Schools, realised that while there were colleges for boys, girls who wished to go to in for higher education were left uncatered for. Accordingly, a government-funded school was established in 1879 and in June of that year Miss Cargill, a school mistress from Brisbane, was appointed as principal; it commenced in temporary premises in Franklin Street, with 29 pupils, later moving to Gouger Street. Fees were charged as in ordinary ladies' schools and the average annual cost of a girl's education was 13/2/6 ($26-25).

    By 1883 complaints were forthcoming as to its capacity to adequately educate its students to an acceptable level of competence. It hindsight it would appear that the school was not a success:

    It merged, subsequently, with the Adelaide High School, circa 1906.

    Tertiary Education for Women

    In 1881 a great triumph was achieved by the champions of higher education for women when the University of Cambridge was induced, after long delays and with much reluctance, granted to some extent the privileges of its degrees to women and the Editor of the Register announced to his readers:

    The University of Adelaide pre-empted the move made by Cambridge University and admitted women as from the date of its foundation in 1876 and was the first in Australia to do so - Melbourne followed in 1881 by virtue of the University Act of 1881 and Sydney 'at the matriculation examinations of 1882 following a resolution of the Senate of the University in June 1881.'

    The first female graduate from Adelaide was Edith Emily Dornwell who took a Bachelor of Science degree as from 16 December 1885:

    The matter of 'Degrees for Women' was the subject for editorial comment in 1897:

    The literature of the mid-1800s is full of the miserable inefficiency of women's education but, as the years passed by, they conquered their right to impart instruction, elementary and advanced, not only to their own sex but to students generally. Their invasion of the medical world was slower but as I write they are increasing steadily in number and are expected to 'extend their energies' to the law.

    General Notes

    A proposed Public Female School is discussed in the Observer,
    12 and 19 August 1843, pages 7c and 7c,
    9 September 1843, page 8c
    and a proposed Female College in the Register,
    28 and 30 June 1869, pages 3a and 3e,
    22, 27 and 29 July 1869, pages 3e, 3h and 3f.

    "Woman" is in the Observer, 24 May 1845, page 7:

    "Employment of Women [as Teachers]" is in the Register,
    16 September 1863, page 2h.
    Also see Teaching.

    "Ladies' Colleges" is in the Register,
    30 August 1865, page 3f,
    8 September 1865, page 2f.

    "Lady Students" is in the Register,
    23 July 1870, page 4f.

    "Education of Women" is in the Register,
    13 and 19 April 1871, pages 4e and 5f,
    15 January 1874, page 5a.

    "The Crusade Against Women" is in the Chronicle,
    25 July 1868, page 14e.

    "The Better Education of Women" is in the Advertiser,
    29 April 1868, page 2e,
    "The Call of the Day for the Education of Women" on
    1 May 1869, page 6e.

    "Female Education" is in the Observer,
    26 June 1869, page 7d,
    31 July 1869, page 11g:

    "The Female College Move" is in the Advertiser, 1 July 1869, page 2f:

    "The Education of Women" is in the Register on 13 April 1871:

    Information on the education of females is in the Observer,
    29 April 1871, page 3c, 20 January 1872, page 10f.

    An editorial on "Education of Females" is in the Register,
    15 January 1874, page 5a and
    on female medical students on
    1 September 1876, page 4f.

    "Higher Class Education for Girls" is in the Observer,
    9 January 1875, page 13d,
    "Female Education" in the Chronicle,
    27 February 1875, page 12b,
    "Higher Education for Women" in the Advertiser,
    17 May 1875, page 2b.

    "Woman's Work" is in the Chronicle,
    25 March 1876, page 5e.

    "Middle Class Education for Girls" is the subject of voluminous comment in 1877 - see Register,
    20, 24, 29 and 30 January, pages 4e, 4d, 6g and 4e;
    8 and 12 February, pages 4c and 4e.
    Also see The Lantern, 8 September 1877, page 8.

    An "Advanced School for Girls" is in the Register,
    28 October 1878, page 4d; also see
    9 December 1878, page 4e,
    15 and 18 September 1879, pages 4c and 6e,
    21 June 1880, page 4g,
    16 January 1883, pages 4e-6e,
    29 and 30 December 1884, pages 7e and 4e,
    9 November 1886, page 6e.
    The Critic,
    9 May 1903, pages 13 and 14 (photographs);
    a history is in the Register,
    28 November 1929, page 28b.

    "Women's Education" is in the Advertiser,
    5 April 1881, page 4e,
    Register,
    18 August 1883, page 4f:

    "Government Exhibition for Girls" is in the Register,
    20 January 1881, page 6e.

    "Women's Education" is in the Chronicle,
    9 April 1881, page 5d,
    "Women's Education as a Preparation for Life" in the Observer,
    10 September 1881, page 24e.

    "Educating Farmers' Daughters" is in the Observer,
    17 September 1881, page 9a,
    "Unsociable Women" on
    1 October 1881, page 24e.

    "Employment of Women" is in the Chronicle,
    20 January 1883, page 16b,
    "Girl Graduates" on
    23 August 1884, page 19a.

    "Female Civil Servants" is in the Chronicle,
    23 May 1885, page 16b,
    "Women" on
    26 December 1885, page 16c.

    Particulars of women at the Adelaide University are in the Register,
    7 May 1889, page 7b,
    "Women and the Australian Universities" in the Chronicle,
    18 May 1889, page 16e.
    Also see South Australia - Education - Tertiary Education.

    "Women as Shorthand Writers" is in the Register,
    18 February 1890, page 7b.

    "Higher Education for Women" is in the Register,
    3 May 1890, page 7f.

    "Women in the Professions" is in the Register,
    6 February 1892, pages 4e-5a.

    "Female Education" is in the Express,
    6 October 1892, page 2h.
    An editorial on "Degrees for Women" is in the Advertiser,
    13 May 1896, page 4f,
    1 June 1897, page 4g.

    An editorial on "Degrees for Women" is in the Advertiser,
    13 May 1896, page 4f,
    1 June 1897, page 4g.

    "Women School Inspectors" is in the Register,
    11 September 1888, page 7h,
    6, 9, 11, 13 and 16 September 1916, pages 9b, 7f, 7f, 10h and 13c.

    "A Lady Inspector of Schools - Divided Opinions" is in the Register,
    21 January 1897, page 6f;
    Observer,
    23 January 1897, pager 28e.
    An appointment is reported on
    16 March 1897, page 5c and
    her death on
    25 April 1900, page 4f; also see
    6 June 1900, page 4f.
    Her first report is reproduced in the Advertiser,
    20 May 1898, page 3i;
    an editorial on the subject appears on
    6 June 1900, page 4h.
    A photograph and other information on Miss Blanche McNamara are in the Weekly Herald,
    28 April 1900, page 3; also see
    Observer,
    5 May 1900, page 29a;
    Express,
    2 August 1900, page 2b.

    An obituary of Blanche McNamara, inspector, is in the Register,
    24 April 1900, page 5d; also see
    25 April 1900, page 4f,
    6 June 1900, page 4f.
    Also see South Australia - Education - Inspectors.

    "The Lady School Inspector [Mrs Alice Hills]" is in the Register,
    2 August 1900, page 4d,
    18 September 1900, page 6g; also see
    15 August 1902, page 5a.

    "Education and Awkward Girls" is in the Register,
    30 May 1901, page 6h.

    "Lady School Teachers" is in the Register,
    3 April 1905, page 4g, 18 July 1905, page 6f.

    "Men and Women Teachers in Public Schools" is in the Register,
    20 April 1905, page 6e,
    Observer,
    29 April 1905, page 42c.

    "Lady Teachers in Schools - Conflicting Opinions" is in the Advertiser,
    11, 14 and 18 July 1905, pages 7b, 6c and 4c-6f,
    "Lady School Teachers" in the Register on
    18 July 1905, page 6f.

    "Work for Educated Girls" is in the Advertiser,
    23 and 26 October 1907, pages 6c and 13e,
    "Girls and Education" on
    30 June 1909, page 8e.

    Information on a Women Teachers Association" is in the Register,
    16 November 1907, page 8d.

    "A Veteran Teacher", the reminiscences of Miss K.G. Cooney, is in the Advertiser,
    11 April 1908, page 9g; also see
    17 April 1908, page 11a.

    "The Troubles of the Woman Teacher" is in the Advertiser,
    22 and 23 February 1911, pages 9a and 8d,

    The first meeting of the Women Teachers' Association is reported in the Observer,
    9 March 1912, page 35d.
    A congress of women teachers is reported upon in the Observer,
    15 May 1915, page 49.

    "The Best Kind of Girl - Higher Education versus a Business Career" is in the Advertiser,
    1 September 1911, page 7e.

    An annual general meeting of a School for Mothers is reported in the Advertiser,
    21 September 1912, page 17h.

    "An Educator of Girls" is in the Register,
    3 April 1913, page 9c,
    "University Degrees for Women" on
    21 March 1917, page 6f.

    "The Law and the Lady" is in the Advertiser,
    24 January 1913, page 8e,
    "Women and Education - Some Fine Addresses" on
    8 and 10 May 1915, pages 19a and 8c,
    "The Education of Women" on
    17 June 1919, page 6c,
    "The Sexes in Education" on
    19 March 1923, page 8d,
    "Educational Needs of Women" on
    5 June 1928, page 12f.

    "Australian Women Artists" is in the Register,
    1 August 1914, page 6c.
    "Successful Woman Artist [Mrs Gwen Barringer]" is in The News,
    3 September 1923, page 8d.

    A Chat With Mrs Mary Osborne, B.Sc." is in The Critic,
    5 August 1914, page 32.

    "Women Teachers - Their Hopes and Aspirations" is in the Register,
    7 May 1915, page 9a,
    25 and 28 June 1915, pages 11g and 10f,
    "Women Teachers" is in the Register,
    26 September 1917, page 6d,
    3 and 9 November 1917, pages 8e and 6h,
    7, 9, 10, 12, 14 and 18 September 1918, pages 9c, 3g, 6c, 8g, 10d and 7e,
    15 March 1920, page 6g.

    "Dr Ruby Davey - First Lady Doctor of Music in Australia" is in the Observer,
    21 December 1918, page 11d.
    "First Lady Doctor of Music in Australia" is in the Register,
    14 December 1918, page 5f.
    Observer,
    21 December 1918, page 11d.

    "School for Mothers - Reducing Infantile Mortality" is in the Observer,
    28 May 1921, page 31e.

    "The School and the Girl - Modern Education Methods" is in the Register,
    1 May 1923, page 6f.

    A discussion on women teachers is in the Advertiser,
    24 April 1924, page 9a under the heading "Sex in Education"; also see
    The News,
    23 April 1924, page 1d.

    A photograph of domestic art teachers is in the Observer,
    19 July 1924, page 34.

    "Women Teachers and Marriage" is in the Register,
    6 January 1926, page 8e.

    "Girls' Schools as 'Snob Factories'", by Mrs A.E.V. Richardson, is in the Register,
    7 August 1924, page 9e.

    "Education of Women" is in The News,
    4 November 1926, page 8c.
    A series of articles which discuss employment opportunities for women commences in The News,
    10 January 1927, page 3d.

    "Women in Education - Miss A.L. Miethke" is in The News,
    8 June 1926, page 4b - this is the first of a series of articles.

    "The Professions - Are Women Replacing Men" is in the Register,
    2 December 1927, page 8h.

    "Women Students - Workers' Education Classes" is in The News,
    9 May 1928, page 5f.

    "Feminine Labor" is in the Advertiser, 14 December 1929, page 24f:

    "Women Teachers Efficient as Men" is in The News,
    7 December 1933, page 7d.

    "Learning and Feminity Need No Longer Clash" is in The News,
    8 January 1934, page 4d.

    "Women Graduates" is in the Advertiser,
    9 January 1934, page 8e,
    "University Careers for Women" on
    9 February 1935, page 9d.
    Also see Tertiary Education.

    Women - Choose again