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The Australian Museum first employed a female scientist in 1920 and has continued to employ women in a wide variety of roles ever since. Here you can catch a glimpse of the women working at the Museum in the 1950s.

This newspaper clipping from 1957 gives a fascinating insight into the prevailing attitude to women in the workplace. The inclusion of Mrs. Frank Goodwin indicates that the Museum was quite advanced in its attitude towards women working, as many employers at this time refused to employ married women. This is supported by the varied departments in which the women were employed.

The clipping was donated by Anthony Houghton and accompanied two contemporary letters written to his sister Lucy by Oliver Chalmers, Head of Mineralogy and Petrology.

In 1954 Lucy Houghton was seconded from the Public Library of New South Wales to act as Library Assistant at the Museum. During her time here she became friendly with several members of the permanent staff, among them, Oliver Chalmers. When she returned to live with her family in Charleville, Queensland, they exchanged letters including those donated by Mr. Houghton.

women at the museum
Women at the museum in the 1950's Image: unknown
© Australian Museum