Dame Roma Mitchell AC, DBE, CVO, QC

People of Adelaide


Posted on 01 Sep 2019

Dame roma mitchell ac dbe state library of sa

Dame Roma Mitchell (1913-2000) was admitted as a barrister in 1935 and became Australia’s first female Queen’s Counsel on her appointment in 1962. Three years later she became a judge of the Supreme Court of South Australia, the first woman in Australia to hold that position.

Again, when Mitchell became Chancellor of the University of Adelaide in 1983 (serving until 1990), she was the first Australian woman to fulfil such a role.

As Governor of South Australia between 1991-1996, Mitchell was also the first female governor of an Australian state.

A pioneer of the Australian women's rights movement, she advocated for women to have the right to sit on juries, and for equal pay for equal work for women.

In 1996 the City of Adelaide awarded Dame Roma Mitchell the Key to the City, and in 1999 unveiled a commemorative sculpture of her in Prince Henry Gardens, North Terrace, to celebrate her achievements.

Celebrating 125 years of women's suffrage in South Australia.

Image: State Library of South Australia PRG 778/57/1, circa 1954