Joan Mavis Rosanove


11 May 1896
Ballarat, Victoria, Australia
8 April 1974
Frankston, Victoria, Australia
Barrister, Lawyer, Queen's Counsel and Solicitor
Alternative Names
  • Lazarus, Joan (birth name)

Joan Rosanove completed her legal studies at the University of Melbourne, and was admitted to practice as a barrister and solicitor in June 1919. In 1923 she became the first woman in Victoria to sign the Victorian Bar roll. The bulk of her work was in criminal and matrimonial cases. Rosanove was appointed Q.C. in 1965, and took silk in New South Wales two years later. She made a significant contribution to legal reform, particularly as it concerned the status of women.

Sources used to compile this entry: De Vries, Susanna, The Complete Book of Great Australian Women: Thirty-six women who changed the course of Australia, HarperCollins, Sydney, 2003; Falk, Barbara, 'Rosanove, Joan Mavis (1896-1974)', in Australian Dictionary of Biography Online, Australian National University, 2006,; Kerwin, Hollie and Rubenstein, Kim, 'Law', in The Encyclopedia of Women and Leadership in Twentieth-Century Australia, Judith Smart and Shurlee Swain (eds), Australian Women's Archives Project, 2014,; Women Barristers in Victoria: Then and Now, 2007,

Prepared by Barbara Lemon