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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Golding, Annie Mackenzie (1855 - 1934)

27 October 1855
Tambaroora, New South Wales, Australia
28 December 1934
New South Wales, Australia
Activist, Feminist, Suffragist and Teacher


A devout Catholic, Annie Golding was president of the Women's Progressive Association in Sydney from 1904. She lobbied for equal pay for women, and equal opportunity in the work force.


Annie Golding was the eldest daughter of Joseph Golding, a gold-miner from Galway, Ireland, and his wife Ann (nee Fraser). She began teaching near Bathurst, New South Wales, and gained further experience at a number of Catholic schools in Newtown and Sydney, as well as at the Asylum for Destitute Children in Randwick. Golding was mistress in charge at West Leichhardt (Orange Grove) Public School from 1900, retiring in 1915. Throughout her teaching career, she was active in the Teachers' Association of New South Wales, the Public School Teachers' Institute and the New South Wales Public School Teachers' Association.

With her sisters, Belle Golding and Kate Dwyer, Annie was a member of the Womanhood Suffrage League of New South Wales before her Newtown branch was expelled for defiance of the central council in Woollahra. With friends and fellow Labor supporters, Annie and her sisters formed the Women's Progressive Association with Annie as president from 1904. The Association lobbied for equal pay and the equality of women before the law, with a particular focus on education and employment conditions for women. Annie Golding became a member of the State Children Relief Board in 1911.

Golding was a powerful orator. Speaking to the Australasian Catholic Congress in 1909, she announced that 'the industrial, social, and moral development of a nation may be judged by the position of its women. In all decadent nations women are in a state of bondage or intellectual atrophy; regarded as slave or puppet.' She strongly endorsed the philosophy of equal pay for equal work.

Sources used to compile this entry: Daniels, Kay & Murnane, Mary, Uphill all the way: a documentary history of women in Australia, University of Queensland Press, St Lucia, QLD, 1980, 335 pp. for a transcript of Golding's 1909 paper on women at work.; Kingston, Beverley, 'Golding, Annie Mackenzie (1855 - 1934)', in Australian Dictionary of Biography, National Centre of Biography, Australian National University, 2006,

Related entries

Archival resources

National Library of Australia, Manuscript Collection

State Library of New South Wales

  • Aspinall Family - papers, 1903-1908, 1903 - 1908, MLMSS 7118/23; State Library of New South Wales. Details
  • SUFFRAGE Group, 1902., 1902, Call No.: ON 219/96; Freeman Studio, Sydney - studio portraits, ca. 1874-1908 [exhibition held at the State Library of N.S.W., August 2003 - May 2004]; State Library of New South Wales. Details

Barbara Lemon

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