- 28 February 1867
Paddington, New South Wales, Australia
- 15 November 1896
Waverley, New South Wales, Australia
- Journalist, Print Journalist and Satirist
- Alternative Names
- Sappho Smith (pen name)
- Wildman, Ina (preferred name)
Alexina Wildman spent all of her short but succesful career in journalism working as a columnist on the Bulletin. Her weekly column, written under the pseudonym of 'Sappho Smith' and headed by a Phil May cartoon, appeared from 28 April 1888 to 22 August 1896. It was Sydney's first gossip column: an acerbic, heavily satirical and bitingly funny account of society's comings and goings in the form of a letter from the fictitious Sappho to her 'dear Moorabinda'. The segment became one of the most popular in the Bulletin and appeared without interruption for over eight years, ending only with the premature death of its author. Wildman died of nephritis in November 1896, aged 29.
Often referred to as 'the incomparable Ina Wildman', she was celebrated by her colleagues as a brilliant writer and a good comrade. Her brief, bright career was an encouragement to many women journalists.