Woman Anderson, Maybanke Susannah (1845 - 1927)

Paris, France
Suffragist and Writer
Alternative Names
  • Self, Maybanke Susannah (Maiden, 1845 - 1867)
  • Wolstenholme, Maybanke Susannah (First Married Name, 1867 - 1892)

Written by Patricia Grimshaw, The University of Melbourne

Maybanke Anderson was a leader in the suffrage movement in New South Wales and a writer. She was born Maybanke Susannah Self in England in 1845. In 1855 she migrated with her family to Australia, where in 1867 she married Edmund Wolstenholme. After a divorce in 1892 she taught school, becoming a respected educator. She remarried in 1899 to Francis Anderson, Professor of Philosophy at the University of Sydney.

A close colleague of Rose Scott, in 1891 Anderson became a founding member and vice president of the Womanhood Suffrage League of New South Wales; she served as president from 1893 to 1896. She wrote suffrage pamphlets and in 1894-5, published and edited the bi-monthly journal the Woman's Voice. She also became involved in a number of welfare groups and women's associations, serving as an organiser in the University Women's Society supporting female students, and assisting in the establishment of a free kindergarten at Woolloomooloo in 1895 and in the formation of two organisations, the Kindergarten Union and the Playgrounds Association of New South Wales, for which she was a long-term secretary.

Post suffrage Anderson was active in the state branch of the National Council of Women, promoting particularly the right of women to be elected to local councils. She was also a journalist and serious writer of studies that included Mother Lore (on the education of young children), published in 1919 and the following year a chapter on the position of women for Meredith Atkinson's book, Australia: Economic and Political Studies. She died in Paris in 1927, predeceased by two daughters and two sons, but survived by two sons from her first marriage.

Published Resources


  • Roberts, Jan, Maybanke Anderson: Sex, Suffrage and Social Reform, Hale & Iremonger, Sydney, New South Wales, 1993. Details

Newspaper Articles

Online Resources