Australian Women's Register

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Corrie, Christina Jane (1867 - 1937)

Born
26 July 1867
Helensburg-on-Clyde, Scotland
Died
7 May 1937
Brisbane, Queensland, Australia
Occupation
Mayoress and Woman's rights activist
Alternative Names
  • Macpherson, Christina (Birth Name)
  • Thynne, Christina (Second Married Name)

Summary

The Queensland Women's Electoral League (QWEL) was co-founded by Christina Corrie (wife of Brisbane mayor Leslie Corrie) in 1903. The Queensland Women's Electoral League differed from the Women's Electoral Franchise Association (WEFA) in that it was conservative, anti-socialist and pro private enterprise. Its membership was drawn from women in professions and wives of businessmen. Christina Corrie was one of the most well known women in Brisbane in the early 1900s and she used her notoriety to advance the causes of the many social, cultural and charitable institutions she supported.

Details

Christina Corrie was the daughter of James Drummond Macpherson and Georgina Wood Robertson and was one of seven children. She was born during a visit to Scotland by her parents from New Zealand. Following a short time in Christchurch, New Zealand, the family returned to Scotland when Christina reached school age. She completed her education in Wales, however the family later returned to New Zealand.

Christina Macpherson married Leslie Gordon Corrie in St Thomas' Church Enfield, Sydney, on 25 March 1899. They lived in Brisbane at Koronui, Bowen Terrace, New Farm. An architect of some renown, Leslie Corrie worked with two consecutive partners before practicing as an architect in a sole practice in 1911. He was elected alderman for Brisbane East in 1901 and served as Mayor of Brisbane between 1902 and 1904. Both Christina and her husband became significant members of the intellectual, social and cultural scene in Brisbane.

Christina Corrie had a noteworthy role in the cause of the political advancement of women in Queensland. Her greatest contribution to women's causes was her work as first president of the Queensland Women's Electoral League (QWEL), which she co-founded with Margaret Ogg, who later founded the Brisbane Lyceum Club. The two women, both of whom were anti-socialists, were able to affect a major influence on the political development of women in Queensland. QWEL lobbied to win the vote for women in Queensland at state level, and on 25 January 1905 a bill was passed that gave full voting rights to Queensland women.

As Mayoress, Christina Corrie ensured that the League attracted publicity and social acceptance. By 1919 the QWEL had grown to become a significant force, with their activities concerning women's issues receiving regular press coverage. In 1908 Corrie and Ogg realised an objective of QWEL in founding a new club for women in Brisbane. Initially known as the Women's Progressive Club, the name changed to the Brisbane Women's Club (BWC) in 1913. The BWC still exists today as a social club for prominent and professional women.

Due to ill health Christina retired from office in QWEL in 1913, and in a fitting tribute to her contribution to the League, was made Honorary President. Christina's contribution to the Brisbane community extended a great deal further than her achievements through the Queensland Women's Electoral League. She was actively involved in:

  • Dr Barnardo's Home
  • National Council of Women
  • Women's College within the University of Queensland
  • National Council of Women
  • Crèche and Kindergarten Association
  • Bush Book Club (Vice-president)
  • Bush Nursing Association
  • New Settlers' League
  • Moreton Club (President 1931-32)
  • Lyceum Club
  • Mutual Service Club
  • Queensland Committee of the Australian Exhibition of Women's Work
  • The Red Cross
  • Lady Lamington and Brisbane General Hospitals
  • Social Service Institute
  • Queensland Ladies' Amateur Swimming Association
  • Scribblers

Leslie Corrie died at their residence on 2 August 1918. Christina still attended various social events following his death, and then on 11 October 1922 she married Andrew J Thynne in the vestry of St Patrick's Catholic Church, Sydney. Andrew Thynne died on 27 February 1927. Christina kept up her various community interests and having been a foundation member of the Moreton Club in 1924, she became president in 1931-32. She was talented, competent and extremely committed to advancing the well-being of the women and children of Queensland.

Sources used to compile this entry: Stewart, Jean, Scribblers: A Ladies Literary Society in Brisbane, 1911, J & D Stewart, Kenmore, 2007.

Related entries

Archival resources

John Oxley Library, Manuscripts and Business Records Collection, State Library of Queensland

Lee Butterworth

Site-wide information and acknowledgements

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

http://www.womenaustralia.info/biogs/PR00411b.htm

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