Celebrating Mary Rogers
Wednesday 21 October 2020
We recently installed a plaque to commemorate the Centenary of the election of Mary Rogers to the City of Richmond Council in 1920.
Mary Rogers was the first female elected to any tier of Government in Victoria and one of the first women to be appointed as a Justice of the Peace in Victoria.
Mary was born in Richmond and lived all her life here in the heart of Yarra. Mary became active in the Australian Labor Party, and was appointed secretary and later president of the Women Office Cleaners' Union.
In 1920 Mary became Victoria’s first female Local Government councillor, and second in Australia, when she was elected to Richmond Council.
Being a leading woman in a male dominated era was a very brave step and has helped pave the way for many other great female leaders in the sector. She was a passionate advocate for helping those in need. Mary lead ground-breaking progress in welfare, education and family issues, initiating the very first community maternal and child health services in Victoria. And at a Trades Hall Council in 1923, she moved a resolution calling for equal pay for women.
In 1928, Mary was one of the first women to be appointed a Justice of the Peace in Victoria and later was a special magistrate at the Children's Court in Richmond.
Mary was an extraordinary woman and we’re very proud to continue her legacy here in Yarra. You can see the commemorative plaque at the front of Richmond Town Hall.