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Discover Wayward Women? Come along to the exhibition at the Old Treasury Building, and meet some women who don’t fit the stereotype of demure Victorian womanhood.
There are some familiar faces like Madam Brussels, the successful brothel-keeper and Frances Knorr, the Brunswick baby farmer. But have you heard of Beatrice Phillips, ‘the worst woman in Melbourne’, who was convicted for various offences over 227 times, or Brettena Smyth, an early feminist who sold contraceptive devices from her druggist shop in North Melbourne, while campaigning for votes for women.
Some of these stories might shock you, but they caught the eye of social reformers who in time improved the position of all women. Explore these ten stories of life in the city that might make you view Melbourne differently.