Louisa Lawson

Louisa Lawson (1848-1920) wrote poetry and short stories and started the magazine Dawn in Sydney in 1888, announcing that it would publicise wrongdoings against women, fight their battles and sue for their suffrage. An immediate commercial success, it also included literary works and items of interest to women. From 1889 she led the campaign in New South Wales for women’s suffrage.


15 May 1888

First Australian women’s newspaper

Louisa Lawson, poet, novelist and mother of Henry Lawson, establishes Dawn magazine to promote women’s independence and rights. In the previous year Louisa had bought the ailing Republican journal which she co-edited with her son Henry under the pseudonym ‘Archie Lawson’. However, Dawn remains a commercial success for 17 years, and is the only Australian newspaper to be printed and published by women.


Portrait of Louisa Lawson, c.1880.