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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Dougall, Olga (c. 1896 - 1963)

c. 1896
Brunswick, Victoria, Australia
Malvern, Victoria, Australia
Professional photographer


Olga Dougall is known for her portraiture, commercial and magazine work.


Olga Dougall was born in Brunswick, Victoria, c.1896. She was one of four daughters. Her father was Alan Dougall, a professional photographer who owned the Sarong Studios in Elizabeth Street, Melbourne.

Of the four daughters, Olga was the only one to show an interest in photography and took to helping her father at his studio. She was trained in processing and developing film as well as printing. Dougall became very skilled working as a colourist, utilising watercolour and oil paint, a popular practice in the 1920s.

Dougall had been engaged to be married, but tragically her fiancé died during WW1. Following this loss she devoted herself to creating a career for herself as a photographer and also to caring for her elderly parents. She never married.

After her father died in 1943 she moved the studio to Sydney Road, Brunswick, changing its name to Home Studios. Dougall specialised in wedding photography, photographing children, and portraiture. By 1946 her health was deteriorating and she employed a Mr Brook to work as her assistant.

In 1952 she moved to Malvern and lived with her widowed sister. Dougall died in 1963.


During the 1920s she used a Grafflex quarter plate.


George Paton Gallery Collection, University of Melbourne Archives

Private collections


1920s - 1950s
Active as professional photographer. Location: Melbourne, Victoria.
Exhibition - Olga Dougall's work featured in Early Women Photographers 1840-1950. Location: George Paton Gallery, Melbourne, Victoria.

Digital resources

The Honorable James Cameron, M.L.A
c. 1909 - c. 1911
Sarony Studios
State Library of Victoria


Anne Maxwell (with Morfia Grondas and Lucy Van)

Site-wide information and acknowledgements

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

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