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Cuthbertson, Margaret (1864 - 1944)

6 September 1864
Bacchus March, Victoria, Australia
17 November 1944
Melbourne, Victoria, Australia
Child Welfare Worker, Factory inspector, Public servant and Women's rights activist


In March 1894 Margaret Cuthbertson was appointed to a three month trial as the first Female Inspector of Factories in Victoria. Having joined the public service six years earlier (she was employed as a Telephone Switch Operator in the Department of Postmaster-General on 25 July 1888) she was the succesful applicant for a position that required someone capable of reporting on the sanitary arrangements, hours of labour, remuneration etc of all places where women were employed. She was also expected to visit the premises of outworkers and make occasional visit to rural and regional centres. She was the main conduit of information between women workers and the Chief Inspector of Factories.

Sources used to compile this entry: Hyslop, Anthea, 'Cuthbertson, Margaret Gardiner (1864 - 1944)', in Australian Dictionary of Biography Online, Australian National University, 2006,; Public Record Office Victoria, 'Ten Victorian Women: Caroline Chisholm', in First Ladies: Finding Women in Public Record Office Victoria, 2005,

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