A Feminist a Day: Flos Greig

Who is she?

flos-greig_60x60Flos Greig was the first woman to be admitted as a barrister and solicitor in Australia.

She enrolled in an arts/law degree at the University of Melbourne in 1867 – the first woman to enter any law school in Australia. Her fellow male students strongly opposed her studying law, but at the end of her first year they agreed she should be allowed to practise (how big of them).

Placing second in her entire year level, Flos campaigned for women to be allowed to practice law – they weren’t allowed to at the time. In April 1903 the Victorian Parliament passed the rather strikingly named Women’s Disabilities Removal Act 1903, nicknamed the “Flos Greig Enabling Act”, to specifically allow women to practice.

She passed the bar in 1905 and went on to represent the Women’s Christian Temperance Union in their campaign to establish the Victorian Children’s Court.

Why should we thank her?

For taking on the establishment and winning. Imagine studying at university when none of your fellow students want you there, or choosing a career knowing you’d need to fight the law to actually do your job? Flos is an inspiration and all women, not just female lawyers, owe her a debt.

 

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A Feminist a Day: Flos Greig

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