RHSV Women’s Biographical Dictionary


There is a perception that from its beginnings in 1909, the Royal Historical Society has been the domain of men. Yet from the outset women have played an active role in the Society in many capacities – as members, councillors, fellows, employees, volunteers, patrons, benefactors.


The RHSV Women’s Biographical Dictionary has been established to honour the contributions made by women to the Society, particularly those who do not appear in the Australian Dictionary of Biography  or Women Australia or The Australian Women’s Register.


Where the life of a featured woman has been documented elsewhere, her entry here will highlight her contribution to the RHSV.

Agar, Elizabeth

Early Member

Ahmed, Farzana

Office Administrator August 2017 to December 2017. 

Agnew, Jane

Early Member.

Andel, Lucille

Councillor 1985-1995, Vice President 1993-1995.

Agnew, M.E.

Early Member.

Bage, Mary Charlotte

Early Member. 

Bassett, Marnie (Flora Marjorie)

Lady Bassett. Fellow 1971. Early member under her maiden name Marjorie Masson.

Bermingham, Anne

Councillor 1977-1985.

Booth, Florence M.

Early member.

Broad, Helen Mary

Councillor 1988-1997, Vice President 1989-1995

Budd, M.E.

Early member.

Baker, Wendy

Secretary/Administrative Officer 1996-2002.

Beveridge, Constantina Augusta

Early member. 

Boyd, Jodie

Collections and Volunteer Coordinator June 2014 to early 2016.

Brogan, Elaine

Councillor 1990-2002, Vice President 1999-2002.

Bury, Emily

Early member.

Bakewell, Louise Eileen
Beggs Sunter, Anne

Councillor 1998-2002.

Bilszta, Judith Ann

Councillor 1983-2009. Fellow 2003

Bracey, Lucy

Councillor 2013-2015, 2018 to present

Buckrich, Judith Raphael

Councillor 2003-2004. Development Officer 2005.

Carnegie, Margaret Frances

Councillor 1971-1975, Fellow 1983

Chapman, Caroline

Councillor 1944-1956

Cole, Margaret Morison Ward

Early Member 

Cooper, Marie

Councillor 1986-2003.

Creswick, Helen

Early Member.

Campbell, Annie Jane Hope
Carolan, Jane

Councillor 2010 to 2018

Chennells, Mary

Councillor 1987-1995

Cole, Valda

Fellow 2003.

Cooze, Chris

Collections and Volunteer Coordinator 2009 – June 2014.


Crossman, Eleanor M.

Early Member 

Campbell, Joan

Councillor 1974-1977.

Clay, Amy

Office Administrator 2018-2019

Colligan, Mimi

Councillor 1989-1998. Fellow 2006.

Court, Vicki

It Manager 2005-2008. Local History Officer 2004-2011.

Damousi, Joy

Councillor 1995-1998

Deane, Mathilde Elzabeth

Early Member. Represented HSV at the Anglo-American History Conference in London. 

D'arlot, Christian Mehetabel Elizabeth

Early member.

Diffey, Rhonda

Councillor 2003-2005.

Davies, Alice

Early member.

Evans, Catherine Mclean

Early Member.

Falk, Barbara

Councillor 1980-1983

Fornari, Lena May

Fellow 1979.

Ferrier, Marcia (Later Marcia Maxwell)

Administrative Officer / Director 1967-1970, 1972. Fellow 1979.

Foster, Leonie June

Executive Officer / Director 1991-1993

Forbes, Alice Jeannette
Frost, Lenore

Councillor 2007-2015. Vice President 2013. Fellow 2013. HVSG Convenor to November 2013. Manager of the Bookshop October 2014 to present. 

Gillison, Joan Mary

Fellow 1982.

Grant, Katie

Early Member

Griffin, Cheryl

Councillor 2015-2017. HVSG Convenor 2016- August 2017. History Writer Group Convenor 2020.

Gleadell, Lottie

Early Member

Gray, Christine

Councillor 1985-1990: Vice Present 1989-1990

Grace, Mrs N.

Early Member 

Green, Nanette

Councillor 1993-1997.

Hancock, Marguerite

Councillor 2000-2003.

Harrison, Kate W.

Early Member

Henderson, Mrs J.C.

Early Member

Hitchins, Pauline

Councillor 2020 to present

HVSG Convenor 2020 to present

Hopkins, Miss

Assistant Secretary October 1967 to June 1969

Hoskin, Greeba

Executive Officer / Director 1973

Hunter, Margaret

Councillor 2001-2005.

Hanson, Alma

Early Member

Harrison, Nora

Assistant Secretary 1960-1967

Hill, Mrs M.

Research Officer 1969

Hocking, Patricia

Councillor 1974-1975.

Horgan, Gerardine

Secretary / Administrative Officer 2003 to August 2017.

Howitt, Mary Edith Boothby

Early Member.

Hyde, Emily Hansley

Early Member

Harrison, Jessie B

Early Member

Hebden, Elizabeth Spence

Early Member

Hockley, Alleyne

Councillor 2016 to Jan 2020. HVSG Convenor 2017-2019

Horner, Lillian

Early Member

Hunt, Joan

councillor 1988-1994, 2002-2014. Vice President 2002-2009. HVSG Convenor 2005-2009. Fellow 2008.

Jackson, Elisabeth

Councillor 2013. Vice President 2017 to present.

Chair of Collections Committee 2013 to present.
Fellow 2020

Kilpatrick, K.

Early Member

Latham, Annette

Early Member.

Lidwill, Matilda Florance

Early Member

Lazarus, Mary Ellen

Councillor 1972-1975.

Long, Nonie

Councillor 1999-2003, 2005-2007.

Lenox, Mrs V. (or N.)

Early Member.

Lyell, Mary Emma
Marquand, Fanny

Early Member

McDonald, Mrs A. Grant

Early Member

McEwan, Mary M.

Early Member

McLaren, Miss

Early Employee – Typist. 

Lady Murdoch (Dame Elisabeth Murdoch)

Member 1940s then 1980s. Benefactor

Murray, Elizabeth

Early Member 

Masson, Marjorie

Early Member. See also Marie Bassett.

McDuff, Laura

Councillor 1986-1987. Award of Merit 1991.

McKellar, Jane Campbell

Early Member.

Moore, Lady Edith Eliza Harrison

Early Member.

Murphy, Joan M

Secretary / Administrative Officer 1983-1995.

McCullum, Mrs L.C.

Early Member

McEwan, Kathleen Agnes Rose (Kitty)

Councillor 1952-1967.

McKellar, Nesta

Early Member 

Moore, Vada

Fellow 1984.

Murray, Clara

Early Member 

Nicholson, Joyce

Councillor 1966-1975. Fellow 1977.

Nicholson, Margaret Georgina

Early Member.


Nixon, Barbara D.

Councillor 1975-1979. Fellow 1982. Hon Librarian from 1975.

Oakes, Bertha Ellen

Early Member. Later Mrs W.H. Seamons

Panton, Alice Julia

Early Member 

Peterson, Lucinda

(City of Melbourne) Councillor 2002-2004.

Priestley, Susan

Councillor 1991-2009. Vice President 1995-1997. President 1997-2002. Fellow 2001.

Parker, Mrs K.K.

Early Member 

Phelps, Anna Josepha

Early Member 

Prinsley, Kate

Executive Officer / Director 2005 to August 2017.

Penrose, Judith

Project Officer ‘Making Tracks’ 2005.

Poole, Grace Hendy

Early Member. 

Pullin, Ellie V.

Councillor 1970-1973. Executive Officer / Director 1973-1977. Fellow 1977. 

Reilly, Dianne

Fellow 2017.

Ritchie, Agnes

Early Member.

Ross, Jane

Early Member.

Reynolds, Patricia (see also Wilkie)

Councillor 1966-1970. Fellow 1975 (as Patricia Wilkie). 

Ritchie, Millicent

Early Member 

Rushen, Elizabeth

Executive Officer / Director 2001-2004.

Richards, Mrs W.

Early Member

Roberts, Frances H.

Early Member

Savill, Barbara Jean

Fellow 1981. hon. Reserach Officer 1990-1991

Scott, Jessica

Marketing Manager 2019 to present

Simson, Mrs John

Early Member

Starke, Monica

Councillor 1979-1983

Sayle, Mrs Julia Osier

Early Member

Scott, Mrs J.M.

Early Member

Smart, Judith

Councillor 2008 – May 2017. Editor Victorian Historical Journal 2005 to present. Fellow 2012

Stewart, Annie Eliza

Councillor 2008 – May 2017. Editor Victorian Historical Journal 2005 to present. Fellow 2012

Schäfer, Louise
Scott, Louisa

Project Officer ‘Making Tracks’ 2005.

Southcombe, Mary

Early Member

Thompson, Joyce A.

Councillor 1979-1983.

Tipping, Marjorie Jean

Councillor 1959-1968, 1970-1985. Fellow 1968. President 1972-1975. Vice President 1966-1968.

Turnbull, Emily

Early Member.

Tyers, Grace B.

Early Member.

Thomson, Mrs F.A.

Early Member.

Triolo, Rosalie

Councillor 2014 to present.

Convenor of Membership Committee.

Fellow 2020

Turner Shaw, Mary (Mollie)

Councillor 1971-1974. Fellow 1974

Thomson, Mary
Trotter, Elizabeth

Secretary / Administrative Officer 2002 – 2003. 

Twining, Elizabeth

Early Member

Uhl, Jean Mary

Councillor 1962-1966.

Virgoe, Jean Bizzett

Early Member.

Wanliss, Eliza

Early Member

Wilson, Mrs E.

Early Member

Worthington, Christine

Volunteer and Collections Manager 2016-2017.

Watt, Phillipa

Councillor 1995 – 1996.

Whitehead, Jan

Executive Officer/ Director 1970-1971

Withers, Mrs A.R.

Early Member.

Webb, Jessie Stobo Watson
Wilkie, Patricia (see also Reynolds)

Fellow 1975.

Woods, Carole

Councillor 2009 to present.

Hon Secretary 2009 to present.

Victorian Community History Awards (VCHA) 2000 to present.

Fellow 2008.

Zada, Susie

Councillor 2003-2005.

Project co-ordinator:

Cheryl Griffin


Margaret Anderson

Rosemary Cameron

Cheryl Griffin

Elisabeth Jackson

Judith Smart

Katrin Strohl

Carole Woods

The project co-ordinator, in consultation with the Committee, is responsible for selecting and prioritising entries for inclusion.

How you can be involved:

By providing biographical material and images (as long as this material has copyright clearance)

By providing suggestions for source material, such as books, newspapers, journals, magazines, manuscripts

By sending copies of published material such as obituaries and newspaper articles

By contacting us if you find mistakes in an entry

The Royal Historical Society of Victoria holds the copyright on these entries. Please contact us for permission to use the information.

We welcome your feedback.

Please email us with your comments, questions and suggestions for future inclusions.