WOMEN WHO PAVED THE WAY

Life & Style Weekend - - MAGAZINE| ESCAPE - Visit bris­bane­time­trav­eller­tours.com.au.

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.

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