Suffrage 125 City of Adelaide Honour Roll

People of Adelaide


Posted on 04 Dec 2019

South Australia has a reputation for leadership in social reform. On 18 December 1894, South Australia became the second place in the world, after New Zealand, to legislate women’s right to vote, and the first place in the world to give women the right to stand for parliament. This incredible achievement was the result of a long campaign by dedicated suffragists and was a major step towards gender equality and positive change for women in South Australia.

To celebrate the 125th Anniversary of Women’s Suffrage in South Australia, the City of Adelaide is launching an Honour Roll to recognise women in our community who have achieved significant firsts, delivered extraordinary outcomes, and who have helped shape our city.

The Suffrage 125 City of Adelaide Honour Roll showcases some of Adelaide’s founding females, trailblazers and cultural icons, Council members and City of Adelaide employees.

The City of Adelaide also pays tribute to the Women’s Suffrage movement with a Suffrage 125 display in the Southern Gallery of the Adelaide Town Hall. Suffrage 125 celebrates pioneering South Australian women who have led progressive social reform in the state.

This display features photographs of Catherine Helen Spence (1825-1910), Mary Lee (1821-1909) and Dame Roma Mitchell AC, DBE, CVO, QC (1913-2000), paired with material about Muriel Matters (1877 – 1969) as well as original ballot boxes sourced from the City Archives. Discover more about these remarkable women by exploring our city and visiting the commemorative sculptures located in in Prince Henry Gardens, North Terrace (Mary Lee and Dame Roma Mitchell) and in Light Square/Wauwi (Catherine Helen Spence).

Suffrage graphical element

City of Adelaide would like to acknowledge the following organisations and resources for their support:

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Users of this website should be aware that in some Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities, seeing the names and photographs of deceased people may cause sadness and distress, particularly to relatives of those people.

Lady Esther Lipman Jacobs OBE

Lady Esther Lipman Jacobs was the first female Councillor elected to the City of Adelaide ...

Wendy Chapman AM

Wendy Chapman was the first female appointed Lord Mayor of Adelaide in 1983, making histor...

Dr Jane Lomax-Smith AM

Dr Jane Lomax-Smith served as City Councillor from 1991-1997, and as Lord Mayor from 1997-...

Sandy Verschoor

Sandy Verschoor is the first female to hold the positions of Lord Mayor, Deputy Lord Mayor...

City of Adelaide Council: Achieving Gender Balance

For the first time in history, a City of Adelaide Council Chamber comprised a balance of m...

Anne Moran

Anne Moran will be the first female City of Adelaide Councillor to achieve 25 years of con...

Mary Couros

Mary Couros was elected as a Councillor for the North Ward of the City of Adelaide in 2018...

Dr Helen Donovan

Dr Helen Donovan was elected as a Councillor for the South Ward of the City of Adelaide in...

Priscilla Corbell-Moore

Priscilla Corbell-Moore was Councillor for the South Ward of the City of Adelaide between ...

Megan Hender

Megan Hender served two terms as a Central Ward Councillor of the City of Adelaide.

Natasha Malani

Natasha Malani was elected an Area Councillor of the City of Adelaide in 2010 and re-elect...

Susan Clearihan

Susan Clearihan was elected a North Ward Councillor of the City of Adelaide from 2003 to 2...

Professor Judith Brine AM

Professor Judith Brine AM was a City of Adelaide Councillor from 1998 to 2007.

Linda Kirk

Linda Kirk was elected Councillor of the City of Adelaide from 1998 to 2000.

Léonie Ebert

Educator and advocate, Léonie Ebert was a City of Adelaide Councillor from 1997 to 1998.

Debra Mewett

Debra Mewett was an elected Councillor of the City of Adelaide from 1995 to 1998.

Jacqueline Gillen

Jacqueline Gillen was an elected Councillor of the City of Adelaide from 1989 to 1993.

Francene Connor

Francene Connor was elected Councillor of the MacDonnell Ward of the City of Adelaide from...

Jane Jose

Jane Jose was a City of Adelaide Councillor and Alderman between 1989 to 1995.

Elizabeth Gordon

Elizabeth Gordon, businesswoman, was elected Councillor for the Young Ward for the City of...

Mary-Lou Jarvis

Mary-Lou Jarvis was the youngest female elected Councillor of the City of Adelaide.

Marlene Powell

Marlene Powell was elected as Councillor of the Robe Ward in May 1987.

Rosemary Boucaut

Freda (Rosemary) Boucaut was elected as Councillor of the Robe Ward of the City of Adelaid...

Eileen Sharman

Eileen Sharman was elected to the City of Adelaide as Councillor for Young Ward 1980-1987.

Babilly Bruce

Babilly Bruce was elected Councillor for the Young Ward of the City of Adelaide from 1976 ...

Aunty Shirley Peisley AM

Aunty Shirley Peisley AM was the first Co-Chair of the City of Adelaide Reconciliation Com...

Queen Adelaide

The City of Adelaide was named after Queen Adelaide, who was known for her tireless commit...

Queen Victoria

Queen Victoria was the Queen of the British Empire six months after South Australia was pr...

Maria Gandy

Maria Gandy, born in England, was one of Adelaide’s founding females.

Elizabeth Fisher

Elizabeth Fisher, pioneer and Lady Mayoress, emigrated to South Australia in July 1836 abo...

Lady Mary Colton

Lady Mary Colton, philanthropist, suffragist, and Lady Mayoress, was Secretary of the Sout...

Elizabeth Glover

Elizabeth Glover (1870-1950), philanthropist and Lady Mayoress, was the wife of Charles Gl...

Dame Roma Mitchell AC, DBE, CVO, QC

Dame Roma Mitchell was admitted as a barrister in 1935 and became Australia’s first female...

Gillian Rolton AM

Gillian Rolton, equestrian, was the first Australian woman to win an Olympic equestrian go...

Ivarrityi

Ivarrityi was a principal female Kaurna informant, sharing her knowledge about Kaurna cult...

Kudnartu

Kudnartu (1831-1855) was born in the Crystal Brook area to a Ngadjuri father and Kaurna mo...

Mukata

Mukata, also known as ‘Pretty Mary’, was one of the four wives of Murlawirrapurka, a Kaurn...

Tangkaira

Tangkaira, also known as Charlotte, was the wife of Ityamaiitpinna, called 'King Rodney' b...

Wauwi

Wauwi was the wife of Kadlitpina, a prominent Kaurna Elder, called ‘Captain Jack’ by the c...

Denise Norton

Denise Norton was the first South Australian woman to represent Australia at the Olympic a...

Nellie Raminyemmerin

Nellie Raminyemmerin was a tribal sister of Ivarritji and Lartelare, who were the daughter...

Aunty Josie Agius

Josie Agius (1994-2016) was a Narungga, Kaurna, Ngarrindjeri and Ngadjuri leader.

Aunty Gladys Elphick MBE

Gladys Elphick was a prominent Kaurna elder of Kaurna and Narungga descent.

Stella Bowen

Stella Bowen became the second woman to be appointed as an official war artist by the Aust...

Kate Cocks MBE

Fanny (Kate) Cocks, policewoman and welfare officer, was the State’s first probation offic...

Dr Helen Mayo OBE

Dr Helen Mayo was a prominent medical practitioner.

Mary Lee

Mary Lee was a key figure in the women’s suffrage movement at the end of the 19th century,...

Caroline Clark

Caroline Clark campaigned tirelessly for improved conditions and rights for destitute and ...

Theodora Sweetapple

Theodora (Dora) Sweetapple was the first woman to be employed by the City of Adelaide.

Jude Munro AO

Jude Munro AO was the first female CEO of the City of Adelaide.

Mandy Smith

Mandy Smith was the first female employee of the City of Adelaide to be awarded Employee o...

Amanda Grocock

Amanda Grocock was the first female to be appointed General Manager of the Rundle Mall Man...

Jodie Kannane

Jodie Kannane is the first female General Manager of the Adelaide Central Market Authority...

Justine Mules

Justine Mules, two time AFL Women’s Premiership Player for the Adelaide Football Club.

Gladys Sym Choon

Gladys Sym Choon, businesswoman, opened the China Gift Store at 235A Rundle Street, Adelai...

Dame Ruby Litchfield DBE

Dame Ruby Litchfield (1912-2001) was the first woman appointed to the Board of the Adelaid...

Marjorie Fitz-Gerald OAM

Marjorie Fitz-Gerald, arts advocate and patron, was instrumental in the establishment of C...

Robyn Archer AO

Robyn Archer, cabaret icon and national treasure, began singing at four years of age in he...

Rhana Devenport ONZM

In 2018 Rhana Devenport was appointed as the first female director of the Art Gallery of S...