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Guérin, Julia Margaret (Bella) (1858 - 1923)

Born
23 April 1858
Williamstown, Victoria, Australia
Died
26 July 1923
Norwood, South Australia, Australia
Occupation
Teacher, political activist and feminist
Alternative Names
  • Halloran, Bella (married name, 29 June 1891 - )
  • Lavender, Bella (married name, 1 October 1909 - )

Summary

Bella Guérin became the first woman to graduate from an Australian university when she was awarded her Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of Melbourne (number 255) in December 1883. She taught first at Loreto Convent, Ballarat then as lady principal of Ballarat School of Mines university classes, resigning upon marriage to Henry Halloran. A civil servant and poet, Halloran married Guérin on 28 June 1891 aged 80. Following his death Guérin married George D'Arcie Lavender.


Bella Guérin was politically active and a member of the suffrage movement. She became vice-president of the Women's Political Association in 1912, and later joined the Labor Party.

Details

Events

October 1878
Passed the University of Melbourne Matriculation Examination, passing in Latin, English, French, Arithmetic, Algebra, Euclid and History
December 1883
Awarded a Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of Melbourne (number 255)
29 June 1891
Married 80 year old Henry Halloran (died 19 May 1893) at St Patrick's Cathedral, Melbourne, she bore him a son, Henry Marco.
1898 - 1903
Office-bearer with the Bendigo Women's Franchise League
1904 - 1917
Teacher at schools in Camperdown, South Yarra, St Kilda, Parkville and Brunswick
1 October 1909
Married George D'Arcie Lavender, 30 years her junior
1912 - 1914
Vice-president of the Women's Political Association
1913
Co-authored Vida Goldstein's Senate election pamphlet
1916
Led the Labor Women's Anti-Conscription Fellowship campaign during the referendum
March 1918
Appointed vice-president of the Labor Party's Women's Central Organizing Committee

Sources used to compile this entry: Campbell, Dianne, 'Bella Guérin, M.A.: 'First Lady Graduate'', in The Millennium Scholars (ed.), A chequered past : pieces of Melbourne University, University of Melbourne, Dept. of History, Melbourne, 2000, pp. 6-17; Kelly, Farley, 'Guerin, Julia Margaret (1858 - 1923)', in Australian Dictionary of Biography Online, Australian National University, 2006, http://www.adb.online.anu.edu.au/biogs/A090130b.htm.

Related entries

Archival resources

The University of Melbourne Archives

  • Guerin, Bella, 1878, 74/14; The University of Melbourne Archives. Details

Anne Heywood

Site-wide information and acknowledgements

National Foundation for Australian Women The University of Melbourne, eScholarship Research Centre

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