In 1870, an Act was passed so that married women could own personal property.
August, 1902, NSW women were finally granted the right to vote. The federal and state move was welcomed by women's groups. .
In 1902, Ada Emily Evans was the first woman in Australia to qualify in law when she graduated from Sydney Uni. But ironically, she was not able to practice her new skill under the current law.
Australia didn't need women to replace men in the paid work force desperately. .
Australian women's main wartime work was in traditional female roles related to: nursing and volunteer service, and the food, clothing and textiles industries. .
The government refused them roles auxiliary units for the army.
Voluntary work provided the main way for women to contribute to the war.
The "Australian Branch of the Red Cross" was established. Its patriotic focus and links with the social elite attracted many middle-class women, and significant donations from many groups. .
The other major organization for volunteer work was the ACF, which provided the army with "comfort boxes" which contained luxury foods, clothing and other items.
The volunteer women in the ACF also knitted socks; they provided soldiers with dry socks to help prevent trench foot.
These volunteers also helped by shipping costs for these organisations by fund-raising. They sold cakes, organizing fetes and street stalls, and door-knocking. .
Hundred's of women joined the Australian Women's Service Corps when it formed in 1916. They wanted a more active role in the war, as cooks, ambulance drivers, or hospital orderlies. .
The defence department would not appoint female doctors, arguing that women would not be able to cope with the demands of war. .
The Australian Army Nursing Service provided the only opportunity for women to serve overseas during WWI. Almost 2000 nurses served.
The nurses cleaned and dressed the horrific wounds created by the new weapons of warfare and assisted in operations.