Australian Women's Register

An initiative of The National Foundation for Australian Women (NFAW) in conjunction with The University of Melbourne

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  • Faith, Hope and Charity Australian Women and Imperial Honours: 1901-1989

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Gorham, Kathleen (1932 - 1983)


Nerrandera, New South Wales, Australia


Kathleen Gorham began her classical dancing career with the Borovansky Ballet at the age of fifteen, retaining her association with the Ballet until it finally disbanded in 1960 on the death of Borovansky. She danced with other companies in Paris and London, and in 1962 Kathleen Gorham became prima ballerina of the newly formed Australian Ballet Company. She played an important role in the artistic development of a recognisably Australian ballet company and danced new roles in association with Robert Helpmann. She was appointed Officer of the Order of the British Empire in 1968 for her services to ballet. Retiring from dancing after the Australian Ballet's first overseas tour in 1966, she taught ballet in Melbourne and Southport, Queensland before her death in 1983 at a relatively young age.

Sources used to compile this entry: Radi, Heather (ed.), 200 Australian Women: A Redress Anthology, Women's Redress Press, Sydney, 1988, 258 pp. Also available at

Archival resources

National Library of Australia Newspaper Microcopy Reading Room

  • Biographical cuttings on Kathleen Gorham; National Library of Australia Newspaper Microcopy Reading Room. Details

Rosemary Francis

Site-wide information and acknowledgements

National Foundation for Australian Women The University of Melbourne, eScholarship Research Centre

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