Woman Ogg, Margaret (1863 - 1953)

3 August 1863
Brisbane, Queensland, Australia
19 May 1953
Clayfield, Brisbane, Queensland, Australia
Journalist, Suffragist, Temperance activist and Writer

Written by Patricia Grimshaw, The University of Melbourne

Margaret Ogg was a journalist and a leader in the suffrage campaign in Queensland, where she also aligned herself with temperance reform. Born in Brisbane in 1863, the fifth of ten children of a Presbyterian minister and his wife, she joined the Woman's Christian Temperance Union (WCTU) and served as its missions' superintendent, with a special concern for seamen; as an outcome, she founded the Brisbane Mission to Seamen as a separate organisation.

Ogg worked as the sub-editor of the Presbyterian Austral Star and became an advocate for the suffrage. In her reminiscences she recounted how she travelled around the outback on speaking tours on the suffrage. If refused the use of the public halls, she would speak outside them standing on the top of her sulky, persisting despite being told by a heckler to 'go home and cook your husband's dinner' (The Courier-Mail, 2 October 1937, p. 18). In 1903 following the federal franchise she became secretary of the Queensland Women's Electoral League, a position she held for 30 years; politically she maintained an anti-socialist stance.

After the vote passed in Queensland in 1905 she fought for many causes, including for legislation to raise of the age of consent and to ensure widows' entitlement to a share of their husbands' estate. Her biographer details the many causes which owed much to Ogg's energetic activism: the Women's Progressive Club, the National Council of Women, the Lyceum Club (Brisbane), the women's central committee of the Queensland Deaf and Dumb Mission, and the Queensland Bush Book Club. In these various arenas Ogg served in positions (often inaugural) as secretary or president in an honorary capacity. She remained an active citizen in many areas until her death in 1953. A memorial fund to assist women to enter politics was set up in her honour (The Courier-Mail, 25 June 1953, p. 8).

Published Resources


  • McCulloch, John, From Suffragists to Legislators, Central Queensland University (CQU) Press, Rockhampton, Queensland, 2005. Details

Newspaper Articles

Online Resources