• Entry type: Person
  • Entry ID: PR00156

Berry, Margaret

(1832 – 1918)
  • Born 24 August, 1832, Naas Kildare Ireland
  • Died 3 November, 1918, New Farm Queensland Australia
  • Occupation Educationist


Immigrating to Australia in 1856 to begin her career as a teacher, Margaret Berry was soon appointed to the position of headmistress and teacher trainer at Brisbane National School in 1860. She later moved to the Brisbane Girls’ Normal School, where she became the first headmistress, serving there for forty-three years. Taking a stand for female teachers and students in Queensland, Berry was the only female teacher to give evidence to the Royal Commission into Education in 1874. She also campaigned for the equal pay of female teachers, as well as stressing her faith in the ability of senior girls to undertake advanced scientific subjects.  Late in her career, she became an official examiner of female teachers.

Berry always expected the highest standards from her pupils and above all, she wanted her them to maintain a cultured mind and charming personality.

Published resources

  • Resource Section
  • Book Section
    • Miss Berry: The Normal (Girls and Infants) School, McMullen, C., 1994
    • There Was a Spirit About the Place, Watson, T., 1992
  • Report
    • Royal Commission in Education, Votes and Proceedings (Queensland), 1875
    • Board of General Education (Queensland), Annual Report, 1860
    • Minister of Public Instruction (Queensland), Annual Report, 1876
  • Journal Article
    • Margaret Berry - a pioneer of Queensland education, Hewson, Jenny-Lea, 1991
  • Resource

Archival resources

  • Queensland State Archives
    • Brisbane National School
    • Female Teachers Registrar