Women of the North

Celebrating the fascinating lives of women in the history of North Queensland

Author Archives

Trisha Fielding

I am an independent historian and freelance writer, living in North Queensland, Australia. My research interests include: private midwives in early 20th century North Queensland, infant and maternal health in the early 1900s, and Bubonic Plague in Queensland. Winner of the 2015 John Oxley Library Award for contribution to Queensland History. Author of 2016 book 'Queen City of the North: a History of Townsville'

    Harriett Brims – photographer

    Harriett Brims ran the Britannia photographic studio in Ingham, North Queensland, at the end of the nineteenth century. Harriett Pettifore Elliott was born near Toowoomba, Queensland, in 1864. In 1881 she married Donald Gray Brims, a contractor and coach builder. In the early years of their marriage, the Brims’ made their way to Townsville, where Donald worked as a contractor, and from there they went to Cardwell, where Donald became […]

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    Female Publicans

    In 1909 almost half of Townsville’s 43 hotels were run by women. It was a similar story in other North Queensland towns too. In Ingham, 46 per cent of the hotels were run by women, while in Charters Towers, 41 per cent of pubs had female licensees. Of Bowen’s 11 hotels, 7 were run by women and in Cairns, a third of the city’s 30 hotels had women publicans. Some […]

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    Matron Margaret Monaghan

    Margaret Monaghan set up and ran Bay View Private Hospital, one of the most successful and longest-running private hospitals in Townsville in the first half of the twentieth century. Margaret was a popular and well-respected woman, who deservedly enjoyed a revered position within the Townsville community. Margaret Jane Lewis Monaghan was born in Durham, England, in 1883 and later migrated to Australia with her family – arriving in early 1890. In […]

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    Sarah Wheelhouse

    When Sarah Wheelhouse was 89 years old, she told a reporter from the Bowen Independent newspaper that during her time as a midwife she had probably delivered as many as 500 children, “and most of them without the assistance of a doctor”. This was 1950 – three years before her death. Sarah gave the reporter enough first-hand information to write more than 1,600 words on her life, and with it, […]

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