Australian Women's Register

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

Skip to content


  • Australian Women Lawyers as Active Citizens

Use Trove to find more resources by/about this Woman

  • Trove

Hain, Gladys Adeline (1887 - 1962)

1 July 1887
Maldon, Victoria, Australia
6 March 1962
Carlton, Victoria, Australia
Barrister, Lawyer, Solicitor and Women's rights activist
Alternative Names
  • Taylor, Gladys Adeline (birth name)


In 1954 Gladys Hain signed the Victorian Bar Roll, becoming the fifth woman to do so. She had previously been a solicitor with Sir James McCay (his daughter Beatrix was the second woman at the Victorian Bar), as well as a journalist with the Argus newspaper, and a president of the Housewives' Association of Victoria. During the 1920s, Hain campaigned for standardisation of divorce laws and was a legal advisor to women's groups on subjects such as prostitution, and the adoption of children.

Hain graduated from law school in 1912, completed her articles with James McCay and then set herself up as a solicitor in private practice. She married in 1915 and did not practise law again until after her husband, a veteran of the First World War, died in 1947. Even then it wasn't until the 1950s that she resumed her law practice, first as a solicitor and from 1955 as a barrister. At the same time she became more actively involved in women's organizations. As a journalist she had been radical in politics, a 'fighter for the ordinary people'.

In 1952 Hain was elected fourth president of the Housewives' Association of Victoria and was for six years federal president of the Federated Housewives' Association of Australia. She campaigned for better conditions for housewives, lobbying producer and government groups for better prices and quality of essential food items such as bread. She was a representative of the Dairy Products' Board and in 1956 was appointed to the royal commission on the Victorian Housing Commission.

She died in 1962, after receiving treatment for cancer and breaking her leg in a subsequent fall.

Sources used to compile this entry: 'Hain, Gladys Adeline (1887-1962)', in Australian Dictionary of Biography, National Centre of Biography, Australian National University, 2006,; Women Barristers in Victoria: Then and Now, 2007,; Williams, Gordon, 'Woman of the year: she's a crusader!', The Argus, 23 December 1954, p. 4,

Related entries

Ariel Couchman

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