Saturday, January 28, 2012

Weekly Drawing: Week 26 - Louisa Lawson printing Australia's first female-produced journal, 1888.

Louisa Lawson printing The Dawn on an old press at her cottage.
 The Dawn was Australia's first female-produced journal, published from 1888-1905.
This week's drawing is of Louisa Lawson printing Australia's first female-produced journal, The Dawn, which she founded in 1888. I admire the DIY attitude of Louisa and her all-female team of editors and printers (very controversial at the time!).

NSW women only gained the right to vote in 1902, 14 years after they first published. I wanted to create an image which depicts the joy these women must have felt at having an independent outlet to express themselves.

Mosaic tribute to Lousia Lawson by Cynthia Turner
 Lousia Lawson Reserve, Renwick St Marrickville. 

I first heard about Louisa Lawson only recently, whilst watching Federation: Australia's journey to nationhood. She was a fascinating person: publisher, journalist, feminist, poet and the mother of Henry Lawson. Plus while researching her background I discovered she had lived on Renwick St, Marrickville, only a few streets away from where I live. Wow! I'd love to read her biography. She's an important part of Austarlian history.


  1. Hey Joel,

    Would love to republish your drawing of Louisa Lawson and her printing press on

    On 8 March, International Women's Day - the National Library made the entire archive of The Dawn available online in Trove -

    1. I would be honored, I'm glad you like the drawing.

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