Australian Women's Register

An initiative of The National Foundation for Australian Women (NFAW) in conjunction with The University of Melbourne

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Quarrell, Lois (1915 - 1991)

Adelaide, South Australia, Australia
Adelaide, South Australia, Australia
Journalist, Print Journalist, Sports Administrator and Sports Journalist


Lois Quarrell covered women's sport in Adelaide for The Advertiser for forty years and is credited with doing much to 'educate public opinion in the value of various sports for girls and young women'. (The Advertiser October 1949). She joined the paper in 1932, at the age of seventeen, and four years later became their first woman sportswriter. In order to gather stories, she would ride her bike to venues, collect information and pedal back to the office to write it up.

Quarrell's half page column, devoted entirely to women's sports and the issues associated with them, commenced in 1936 and ran until her retirement in 1970. She used it to inform readers of the variety of women's sporting achievements and comparing them to women's efforts overseas in an effort to legitimize them. She also used her influence to encourage women to be involved in sport and to manage their own affairs. In particular, she argued for the inclusion of 'games' for girls in the standard school curriculum, against opposition groups who believed that girls playing sport would rob them of their femininity. Quarrell also encouraged debate on issues such as the suitability of rational dress and the early retirement of athletes due to motherhood.



1932 - 1970
Career in journalism active

Sources used to compile this entry: Daly, John, Feminae Ludens: Women's Competitive Sport in South Australia, 1936-1956 and the Influence of Sports Reporter Lois Quarrell, Openbook Publishers, Adelaide, 1994, 111 pp.

Archival resources

State Library of South Australia, Mortlock Library of South Australiana

  • Records of Lois Quarrell, 1937 - 1977, PRG 1016; Quarrell, Lois (1915 - 1991); State Library of South Australia, Mortlock Library of South Australiana. Details

Nikki Henningham

Site-wide information and acknowledgements

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

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ISSN 2207-3124