WOMEN WHO PAVED THE WAY
Her heels click on the pavement as she confidently walks the city streets – and why shouldn’t she be confident? Rosa Praed (1851-1935) is Australia’s first internationally published author.
Now she has perfected the art of time travel to share her knowledge of her hometown and the incredible women who helped shape it on Brisbane’s Herstory Tour.
We leave from the School of Arts Building on Ann St and weave our way through the CBD, across to the river and into the City Botanic Gardens as Rosa (played by Natalie Cowling) “introduces’’ us to a host of women, most of whom I’ve never heard of, which seems a shame. Where were the stories of these women when I was in need of an Aussie role model to look up to and all I seemed to hear about in history class was a host of men? Better late than never I guess.
My favourite story of the tour was of Dr Lilian Violet Cooper (1861-1947) and her partner Josephine Bedford (1861-1955) – out (as much as they could be at the time) and proud. Dr Cooper was the first female doctor registered in Queensland. After offering her services to the Australian Army in World
War I and being knocked back because war was no place for a woman, she volunteered with the Scottish Women’s Hospital Service and worked on the frontline in France and Serbia. Josephine worked alongside her as an ambulance driver. And that’s just part of their story – seriously, google them.
Natalie does a great job channelling Rosa.