Silent Lives



Warrnambool has never done justice to the women who shared with their menfolk the hardships of the pioneering days.

Silent Lives fills a void in the history of Warrnambool and surrounding districts during the early decades 1840s to 1900, providing a narrative about some of the people, in particular women, missing so far in our documented history. Elizabeth O’Callaghan has meticulously researched the period, drawing on early newspapers, diaries, letters, unpublished family histories, honour board listings as well as public documents such as hotel licensing and teacher records held in the Public Record Office of Victoria and State Library of Victoria.

By their unremitting labours and self-sacrifice the pioneering women of Warrnambool and district helped to lay the foundations of our communities today.

Elizabeth taught in primary and secondary schools throughout Victoria and in England and has a school library named in her honour. Upon retiring from her position as principal of Derrinallum Secondary College Elizabeth moved to Warrnambool and settled into the business of documenting the history of the district.A prodigious and productive researcher, Elizabeth is the author of five books including The Great Warrnambool Exhibition, Leading Lights and copious booklets on interesting topics. Silent Lives is the fiftieth publication she has written on aspects of Warrnambool’s history. A Life Member of Warrnambool and District Historical Society, Elizabeth has been involved in all aspects of the society’s operation. She has an extensive knowledge of the collection and of the significant people, places and events in the history of the area.

Further reading: Silent Lives apendix click here

New book gives 19th Centuary women a voice The Standard Newspaper.

Hear Elizabeth speaking about her book (copyright The Standard)



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