Welcome to the Queensland Parliament web site - accessibility access keys available by clicking here or by using access key 9, sitemap available under access key 2Skip to Main Content or by using access key 0View Access KeysGo to sitemapGo to useful linksGo to contact usGo to latest sitting weekGo to current members listView Access KeysRemote Access

Search the Queensland Women’s Suffrage Petitions Database

Womens Suffrage Petitions

A searchable database of signatories to Queensland's women's suffrage petitions from the 1890s was officially launched at the Queensland Parliament on 9 September 2014.

To search this database, go to www.parliament.qld.gov.au/suffragepetitions

Proposals for women’s suffrage in Queensland appeared as early as 1870, when, during a parliamentary debate on electoral reform, Queensland Premier Sir Charles Lilley suggested women should have the vote. Movement towards women’s suffrage during the next two decades was sporadic but picked up pace during the 1890s.

In 1894 the Women’s Equal Franchise Association initiated a double petition – one for women to sign and the other for men  - which called for “a Bill granting to White women the Franchise embodying the principles of one adult one vote and one only.” A second group of women, through the Women’s Christian Temperance Union, again canvassed in 1897. These petitions galvanised support for women’s suffrage across Queensland.

Through a project organised in a partnership between the late Dr John McCulloch, Dr Deborah Jordan and the Queensland Parliament, and with the contribution of the Queensland Family History Society, these petitions have been digitally transcribed and developed into a database that is available to the public through the Queensland Parliament website.

An exciting resource for anyone interested in the rich and colourful history of our state, the database can be searched by those who are keen to look for famous names from the era, or who would like to find out whether their own ancestors signed one of these important documents and thus played their part in Queensland’s journey to democracy.

Acknowledgements:

  • Queensland Family History Society
  • Transcribers: Wendy Couper, Bryan and Jenny Hacker, John Perryn
  • Brisbane City Council, through the Lord Mayor’s Helen Taylor Research Award for Local History
  • Queensland State Archives
  • Dr Deborah Jordan
  • Dr Mary Crawford
  • Mrs Rosemary Kopittke
  • Dr John McCulloch
  • Professor Carole Ferrier