Blaze e-catalogue - Catalog - Page 98
First women Justices
of the Peace
“The time has arrived when
women in New South Wales
should be admitted to the
State Archives NSW: Attorney General; NRS 302/333,
Letters received – Special bundles [3/3165], Papers
re shoplifting, the First Offenders (Women) Act, and
the Women’s Legal Status Bill 1905–1939, 05/12652
law & justice
The three Golding sisters Annie, Catherine (Kate)
and Belle, joined the Womanhood Suffrage
League of NSW led by Rose Scott. In 1901, they
formed the Women’s Progressive Association. It
advocated appointing women to public roles such
as inspectors and police, and to the law
In 1906, school teacher Annie, representing
the Public School Teachers’ Association, drew
attention to the ‘great discrepancies’ between
male and female teacher salaries. Outside
teaching, she served on the State Children’s
Relief Board and the Babies Hospital Board.
Kate—whose career as a teacher ended when
she married in 1887—was heavily involved in the
labour movement and the rights and conditions
of female workers. She was a University of Sydney
Senate Fellow (1916-1924), and served on
numerous boards, including the Royal Hospital
for Women and the Renwick Hospital for Infants.
In 1925, she stood (unsuccessfully) for election to
the NSW Legislative Assembly.
Annie and Kate led a string of delegations
to advance equality and opportunities for women.
Their efforts contributed to the introduction
of the Women’s Legal Status Act, 1918, which
granted women the right to practice law, to be
appointed Justices of the Peace and to sit for
election to the NSW Legislative Assembly.
Along with Millicent Preston Stanley, they were
among the first sixty women appointed NSW
Justices of the Peace in 1921.