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Articles on Hidden women of history

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Missionary Annie Lock with Enbarda (Betsy) left, and Dolly Cumming, both children from the Alice Springs area in Central Australia. Photo taken in Darwin. National Archives of Australia

Hidden women of history: Annie Lock was a bolshie, outspoken Australian missionary, full of contradictions

I thought I had uncovered a feminist heroine, but for all her intrepid and gutsy behaviour, Lock held intensely socially conservative views in line with her religious conviction.
Kyniska drawn with her horses in the Biography of Illustrious Women of Rome, Greece, and the Lower Empire, published in 1825. Brooklyn Museum

Hidden women of history: Kyniska, the first female Olympian

After her win in 396 BC, Kyniska erected a statue of herself, reading: ‘I am the only woman in all Greece who won this crown.’
Catherine Hay Thomson went undercover as an assistant nurse for her series on conditions at Melbourne Hospital. A. J. Campbell Collection/National Library of Australia

Hidden women of history: Catherine Hay Thomson, the Australian undercover journalist who went inside asylums and hospitals

A passionate crusader for the rights of women and children, Catherine Hay Thomson went undercover to investigate their treatment in public institutions and testified before a Royal Commission.
Though her brave acts were acknowledged after her death, Wauba Debar’s grave was later robbed in the name of “science”. Tirin/Wikimedia

Hidden women of history: Wauba Debar, an Indigenous swimmer from Tasmania who saved her captors

A grave stands in Bicheno, paid for by locals in the 1800s. It stands as a testament to the lifesaving ocean feats and tragic life of Indigenous woman Wauba Debar.
Elephants destined for Wirths’ circus on a ship’s deck circa 1925. Early last century, Frances Levvy asked school students to write an essay on whether the exhibition of wild animals in travelling menageries was consistent with humanity. By Sam Hood ca. 1925-ca. 1945, State Library of NSW

Hidden women of history: Frances Levvy, Australia’s quietly radical early animal rights campaigner

Born in 1831, at a time when animals were widely regarded as property, Frances Levvy used the power of the press and the passion of children to advocate for their welfare.

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