Woman Marshall, May (1902 - 1995)


Perth, Western Australia, Australia
Lecturer and Teacher

Written by Deborah Towns, Swinburne University

May Marshall was born in Perth in 1902. In 1921 she passed her Leaving Certificate and was appointed a teaching monitor at West Leederville School for two years. While teaching she attended the University of Western Australia in the evening. From 1923 to 1924 she studied at the Claremont Teachers College, continued her university studies and gained a BA. After graduation she taught at Osborne Park School for a short time and then went to Buckland Hill. She worked there for seven years and had classes with up to 85 children. In 1933 she won a one year exchange to London and worked in 42 different schools overseen by the London County Council. She returned to Buckland Hill and taught a class of 75 children. The next year she gained a promotion to Collie Infants' School as the headmistress and stayed there for most of the war years.

In 1945 Marshall returned to Claremont Teachers College as a junior lecturer. She founded the Junior Primary Teachers Association in 1950 and was its the first president. Appointed to a senior lecturer position in 1951, she also acted as a principal lecturer with no additional salary until she was appointed as the College's first Woman Warden a position she occupied until her in 1967. The Woman Warden was a 'new concept' encompassing responsibility for the women students, conduct of the staff room as well as the 'general tone' of the College. Marshall was also the senior lecturer-in-charge of Infant Method and organised in-service programs for practising teachers. Her responsibilities grew over the years. In 1951 she was supervised four staff. When she retired she was responsible for more than seventy.

Marshall was active in many milieus. She was a foundation member of the Australian College of Education (Australian College of Educators today) in 1959 and was elected a fellow in 1971. In 1956 and 1962 she was president of the Australian Federation of University Women where she had been a member since 1926. From 1954 to 1973 she served on the University of Western Australia's St Catherine's College Council. Her achievement in raising funds for the College was recognised in 1988 when she was named as an Honorary Fellow of the College. Awarded an MBE in 1979, May Marshall died in 1995.

Published Resources

Book Sections

  • Pyke, Daphne and Jeffery, Chris, 'Interview with Mary Marshall', in Lynne Hunt and Janina Trotman (eds), Claremont Cameos, Women Teachers and the Building of Social Capital in Australia, Interview Transcript, Edith Cowan University, Perth, Western Australia, 2002, pp. 45-59. Details

Online Resources

See also