• Entry type: Person
  • Entry ID: AWE3753

Smyth, Brettena

(1840 – 1898)
  • Born 1 January, 1840, Kyneton Victoria Australia
  • Died 15 February, 1898, Melbourne Victoria Australia
  • Occupation Advocate, Suffragist


Brettena was a mature woman of 43 when she became involved in politics – by then a widow, a business owner, and the mother of several children. In 1888 she formed the Australian Women’s Suffrage Society, later enveloped by the Victorian Women’s Franchise League. A freethinker, Smyth was opposed to orthodox religion and strongly advocated the use of birth control. In 1893 she published The Limitation of Offspring, and she sold rubber pessaries at her grocery shop. Smyth was a competent public speaker and a respected Melbourne identity in the 1890s.

Published resources

Related entries

  • Founded
    • The Australian Women's Suffrage Society (1888 - 1970)