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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Anderson, Maybanke Susannah (1845 - 1927)

2001 Victorian Honour Roll of Women

16 February 1845
Kingston-on-Thames, United Kingdom
15 April 1927
St Germain-en-Laye, Paris, France
Activist, Feminist and Journalist
Alternative Names
  • Lois (pen name)
  • Selfe, Maybanke (maiden name)
  • Wolstenholme, Maybanke (former married name)


Author and committee member Maybanke Anderson was a vociferous advocate for women. She founded and edited the fortnightly paper, Woman's Voice.


Maybanke Susannah Selfe, as she was born, married Edmund Kay Wolstenholme in 1867. They lived in Balmain, then Marrickville, before Wolstenholme deserted his wife in 1884. Maybanke established her own school, Maybanke College, and built up a solid reputation based upon the success of her pupils. She formally divorced Wolstenholme in 1892.

From 1891, Maybanke Wolstenholme was a foundation vice-president of the Womanhood Suffrage League of New South Wales, becoming president in 1893. She was also a member of the Women's Literary Society. From 1894 she began publishing and editing her own fortnightly paper, Woman's Voice. She was connected with both the Playgrounds Association and the Kindergarten Union of New South Wales.

In March 1899, Maybanke Wolstenholme married (Sir) Francis Anderson, professor of philosophy at the University of Sydney. She became active in the National Council of Women of New South Wales, and heavily involved with the activities of the University Women's Society.

Maybanke Anderson published Mother Lore in 1919, a handbook on the education of young children. The following year she wrote a chapter on the position of women for M. Atkinson's book, Australia: Econonic and Political Studies. From her travels in Europe, accompanied by her husband, Maybanke sent a series of articles to the Sydney Morning Herald. She died in Paris, predeceased by four children, but survived by two sons from her first marriage.


Inducted onto Victorian Honour Roll of Women

Sources used to compile this entry: Kingston, Beverley, 'Anderson, Maybanke Susannah (1845-1927)', in Australian Dictionary of Biography Online, Australian National University, 2006,

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Archival resources

National Library of Australia

  • Woman's Suffrage in Australia, 1924, NLA MS 3447; Anderson, Maybanke Susannah (1845 - 1927), Anderson, Maybanke; National Library of Australia. Details

Barbara Lemon

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

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