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I am a writer of Australian history in the areas of education, indigenous studies and women's history. I have a Bachelor of Arts in Anthropology and History from UQ, and have post-graduate qualifications in education and archives and information management. For many years i worked as an archivist establishing archival, museum and art collections. I love to write history concerning themes that have been overlooked or under-represented in the historical record.

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Australian History, Biography/Memoir
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Australian History, Biography/Memoir

Janet O'Connor, an educated, cultured woman of the Victorian Age, was the first Principal of the new Brisbane Girls Grammar School in 1875. Her philosophy of education clashed with the grammar mode. She established her own purpose-built, boarding and day school - Duporth, in Oxley, Qld. The school ran from 1885-1920 and educated girls from across Brisbane, Qld and Nthn NSW. Duporth had a liberal curriculum and emphasised the study of literature, art and music, and enjoyed a special friendship with Dame Nellie Melba which dated from the O'Connors' time in Victoria. The work includes select biographies of girls and families and extensive enrolment lists of students and staff, providing a window into the world of early Qld and Australia. Richly illustrated with images of rare art and photographs, fully referenced and indexed, with a select bibliography.

The focus of Elisabeth's book is personally relevant to my family history as my Grandmother and her cousin attended in the 1890s. It is pleasing to see the attention to detail in referencing the sources the author has used to support the information in her book. Elisabeth has created good understanding for the reader of what life was like in the Qld community around the turn of the century. The girls at the school obviously respected their Principal and the encouragement she gave them to contribute to their society.

A wonderful account of the Education of the young women of the early Settlers of Queensland by Duporth's Janet O'Connor and how that open education influenced the development and history of Queensland.

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