- 8 December 1900
Sydney, New South Wales, Australia
- 2 October 1986
Gosford, New South Wales, Australia
- Lawyer, Public servant and Solicitor
In May 1940, when Veronica Pike was admitted as a solicitor, there were very few woman solicitors in New South Wales. A pioneering woman lawyer, Pike was active in the International Federation of Women Lawyers and the Women Lawyers' Association of New South Wales, of which she was a founding member.
Veronica Pike was born on 8 December 1900 in Sydney. Pike's sister discouraged her from going to university because she would 'only be a schoolteacher', so she joined the New South Wales public service as a shorthand writer and typist. In 1927 she resigned and enrolled in the New South Wales State Conservatorium of Music.
After her brother, Vincent, was admitted as a solicitor in 1929, Pike became his articled clerk. She interrupted her Solicitors' Admission Board studies in 1935 to travel. Upon her return, Vincent was obliged to leave his practice for medical reasons. Although still unqualified, Veronica conducted the practice under the supervision of the prothonotary. She was admitted as a solicitor on 24 May 1940 and entered into a partnership with her brother. Unusually for a female solicitor, she undertook conveyancing, building and tenancy cases.
Pike helped found the Women Lawyers' Association of New South Wales. She was president in 1960 and became an honorary life member in 1986. In 1952 she attended the convention of the International Federation of Women Lawyers in Istanbul, Turkey, and was elected vice-president. She attended another convention in New Mexico, USA in 1979. Pike was also a delegate to a women's law conference in Iran in 1974. Pike enjoyed gardening and playing golf, as a member of the Australian Golf Club. A Catholic, she served on the council of the St Thomas More Society in the early 1970s. She died on 2 October 1986 at Gosford.
Sources used to compile this entry: Flynn, Rosslyn, 'Pike, Veronica (1900-1986)', in Australian Dictionary of Biography Online, Australian National University, National Centre of Biography, Australian National University, 2012, http://adb.anu.edu.au/biography/pike-veronica-15462/text26678.
Prepared by Nicola Silbert
Created: 22 February 2016, Last modified: 11 May 2016