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Ogg, Margaret Ann (1863 - 1953)

Born
3 August 1863
Brisbane, Queensland, Australia
Died
19 May 1953
Clayfield, Brisbane , Queensland, Australia
Occupation
Electoral reformer, Feminist, Journalist, Musician, Poet and Writer
Alternative Names
  • Ann Dante (pen name)

Summary

Margaret Ogg is best known for her extensive political, social and feminist activities. Additionally she was a poet, writer and an accomplished musician, playing viola in the family quartet, as well as holding membership with the Musical Association. A staunch monarchist and anti-socialist, Ogg actively toured outback townships in Queensland promoting women's suffrage, and encouraging pioneer women to become involved in state and national affairs. As founder, co-founder and member of many Queensland women's organisations, she was consistently at the forefront of political and social campaigns to secure reforms for the Queensland's women and children. Ogg remained an active member of the Brisbane political and cultural scene up until her death.

Details

Margaret Ogg was born in the manse of the Presbyterian Church, Anne Street Brisbane to Charles Ogg, Presbyterian minister and his wife Agnes, née McKellar. She was one of ten children and first attended school in South Brisbane. Later Margaret attended the Brisbane Girls' Grammar School where she became proficient in languages. For a number of years she was editor of the women's section of the United Grazier, a New South Wales publication for country folk. She wrote under the pseudonym "Ann Dante" (Andante). Ogg loved wildflowers and as a result of outings to the Daffodil Farm at Sunnybank and many picnics to Mt Gravatt, St. John's Wood and Petrie, she wrote the poem titled "Out in the Bush". She was active in Brisbane literary circles and also sub-edited the Presbyterian Austral Star.

Miss Ogg joined the Women's Christian Temperance League in 1886 when it established a Queensland Branch of the organisation. Primarily concerned with controlling alcohol abuse in the State, the League's broader agenda was the welfare of women and children, as well as women's voting rights. In 1891 Margaret helped the Women's Christian Temperance Union form a Colonial Suffrage Department but stressed their non-political involvement. Through the Women's Christian Temperance Union she was instrumental in setting up the Mission to Seamen. Ogg in 1903 became a founding member and secretary for the Queensland Women's Electoral League (QWEL), a position she held for 30 years. The QWEL campaigned for such things as equal pay, the establishment of bush nursing homes, and a chair of domestic science. They also lobbied the Premier to raise the age of consent to 17. Upon Margaret Ogg's death in 1953 the QWEL honoured her by creating a fund to assist women candidates into public office.

Margaret co-founded the Brisbane Women's Progressive Club in 1908 which changed its name to the Brisbane Women's Club in 1912. At a meeting in 1909 Miss Ogg raised the following points of interest: (a) equal divorce laws; (b) equal pay for equal work for men and women; (c) making seduction a criminal offence; and (d) a deputation to be sent to the Minister for Education to ask that Domestic Science be a compulsory subject for girls in state schools. The Brisbane Women's Club established a scholastic bursary in memory of Margaret Ogg, and continues to award bursaries to music students at the conservatorium.

On Friday 2 May 1919, Ogg presided at a meeting of the Brisbane members of the London Lyceum Club to discuss founding a Queensland Branch of the Club. That evening a general committee was formed with nominated members assigned to draw up a constitution and rules. Margaret Ogg was elected President and May Paten Honorary Secretary. At various stages of her life she was the only woman executive-member of the National Political Council, organising secretary of the women's central committee of the Queensland Deaf and Dumb Mission, and co-founder of the Queensland Bush Club. Her advice and organisational ability assisted Irene Longman into parliament in 1929. Through persistently lobbying the State government, Ogg was instrumental in having the Criminal Code Amendment Act 1913 passed, as well as the Testators' Family Maintenance Act 1914 through which widows were entitled to a proportion of the husband's estate.

Margaret Ogg was multitalented, intellectual, community minded, indomitable, and quick witted. Shortly before her death, in a letter dated 28 October 1946, Miss Ogg wrote:

"No woman can do more than her little bit - often falling far short of intention, but it has been my privilege to have as co-workers some of the finest women in Queensland, and the success and development which attended our efforts was, and is due to their loyalty and self-sacrifice, without which no sure foundation can be laid".

Sources used to compile this entry: 'Queenslander 17 November', Queenslander, 1927; Courier Mail 20 May 1953, Courier Mail, Brisbane, 1953; Brisbane Memories, Margaret Ogg, Griffith University, Brisbane, 2006, http://eresearch.griffith.edu.au/brisbanememories/index.php/Margaret_Ogg; Crouchley, Betty, 'Ogg, Margaret Ann (1863 - 1953)', in Australian Dictionary of Biography Online , Australian National University, Canberra, ACT, 2006, http://www.adb.online.anu.edu.au/biogs/A110073b.htm.

Related entries

Archival resources

John Oxley Library, Manuscripts and Business Records Collection, State Library of Queensland

  • Brisbane Women's Club Records, 1908 - 2008, Reference Code:7976; Brisbane Women's Club; John Oxley Library, Manuscripts and Business Records Collection, State Library of Queensland. Details
  • Lyceum Club Brisbane, 1995 - , Reference Code: 1453, Box: 3825; Lyceum Club Brisbane (1919 - ), Lyceum Club Brisbane Incorporated; John Oxley Library, Manuscripts and Business Records Collection, State Library of Queensland. Details
  • Lyceum Club Brisbane, 1995 - , Reference Code: R 1229, Location: Box 3819; Lyceum Club Brisbane (1919 - ), Lyceum Club Brisbane Incorporated; John Oxley Library, Manuscripts and Business Records Collection, State Library of Queensland. Details
  • Lyceum Club Brisbane Inc Records, 1996 - 1, Reference Code: R 1694, Location: Box 3819; Lyceum Club Brisbane (1919 - ), Lyceum Club Brisbane Incorporated; John Oxley Library, Manuscripts and Business Records Collection, State Library of Queensland. Details
  • Lyceum Club Brisbane Inc Records, 1995 - 1, Reference Code: R 1600, Location: Box 3891, and the following box which is oversized: 10146 O/S (Items 23 to 26); Lyceum Club Brisbane (1919 - ), Lyceum Club Brisbane Incorporated; John Oxley Library, Manuscripts and Business Records Collection, State Library of Queensland. Details
  • Lyceum Club Brisbane Inc. Records, 1998 - 2000, Reference Code: TR2080, Box 3811; Lyceum Club Brisbane (1919 - ), Lyceum Club Brisbane Incorporated; John Oxley Library, Manuscripts and Business Records Collection, State Library of Queensland. Details
  • Lyceum Club Brisbane Records, 1931 - 1994, Reference Code: 1218, Boxes: 3810 and 3811; Lyceum Club Brisbane (1919 - ), Lyceum Club Brisbane Incorporated; John Oxley Library, Manuscripts and Business Records Collection, State Library of Queensland. Details
  • Margaret Ann Ogg and Williamina Anderson Ogg, 1947 - , Image Number: 40254; John Oxley Library, Manuscripts and Business Records Collection, State Library of Queensland. Details
  • Margaret Ogg and Ernest Briggs at the Brisbane residence, Dunrobin, 1951 - , Image Number: 199634; John Oxley Library, Manuscripts and Business Records Collection, State Library of Queensland. Details
  • Margaret Ogg Fund: List of names for appeal letters: 1953, 1953 - , OM71-47/25: Box 8807; Queensland Women's Electoral League; John Oxley Library, Manuscripts and Business Records Collection, State Library of Queensland. Details
  • Margaret Ogg, pioneering campaigner for women's rights : [suffragette movement in Queensland], 40252; Henderson, Ian; John Oxley Library, Manuscripts and Business Records Collection, State Library of Queensland. Details
  • Ogg, Margaret Ann, 1824 - 1962, OM83-01: Box 9160; Briggs, Ernest and Ogg, Margaret Ann ; John Oxley Library, Manuscripts and Business Records Collection, State Library of Queensland. Details

Lee Butterworth

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