Australian Women's Register

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

Skip to content

Use Trove to find more resources by/about this Woman

  • Trove

Hart, Helen (1842 - 1908)

6 March 1842
Birmingham, England
16 July 1908
South Yarra, Victoria, Australia
Feminist, Lecturer and Suffragist


Helen Hart was a feminist preacher and lecturer who actively campaigned for women's rights and suffrage in Britain, New Zealand and Australia. She was the first woman to speak publicly in many regions on the subject of women's rights and, as such, she was subjected to physical assault, practical jokes—such as having fireworks thrown at her—derision and even sexual harassment.

In her childhood, Hart became involved with anti-slavery and temperance movements, and began open-air preaching from the age of 19. She was in London by the 1860s, working as a lecturer and possibly a journalist. In 1876 she was on the executive committee of the National Society for Women's Suffrage and on the provisional executive committee of the Association to Promote Women's Knowledge of the Law. As such she was known to many of the leaders of the women's movement. Although she considered herself a leader of the women's suffrage movement in Australia, others did not acknowledge her as such.

Sources used to compile this entry: Harris, Helen D., 'Hart, Helen (1842-1908)', in Australian Dictionary of Biography, National Centre of Biography, Australian National University, 2006,

Related entries

Nikki Henningham

Site-wide information and acknowledgements

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

© Copyright in The Australian Women's Register is owned by the Australian Women's Archives Project
and vested in each of the authors in respect of their contributions from 2000

The Australian Women's Register is licensed under a
Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Australia License

The Australian Women's Register is published quarterly by the Australian Women's Archives Project
ISSN 2207-3124