Henrietta Augusta Dugdale

Henrietta Augusta Dugdale (1827-1918) was a radical, free-thinking feminist. In 1884 she took office as inaugural President of the Victorian Women’s Suffrage Society, convinced that the vote would help women achieve equal social, legal and political privileges with men. She believed that progress and the perfectibility of humankind were achievable through reason and the co-operation and equality of the sexes.


13 April 1869

Women’s equal justice campaign begins

The first public demand for equal justice for women is reported to be made by feminist Henrietta Augusta Dugdale in a letter to the Melbourne Argus. Her letter was written in response to debate on a Married Women’s Property Bill. Signing the letter ‘ADA’, Dugdale made a plea for the complete revision of marriage law, which was unjust to women.


Henrietta Dugdale's article, in the name of ADA, to the Melbourne Argus, 13 April 1869
7 May 1884

First women's suffrage society

Henrietta Dugdale, Annie Lowe and several other women establish the Victorian Women’s Suffrage Society to campaign for the female vote. Their model is followed by other colonies.


Henrietta Dugdale, 1895. Photo courtesy of Mitchell Library-State Library of New South Wales.