The First Female Medicine Students Enrolled in 1887

Although women were finally admitted to the University of Melbourne in 1879, they were not permitted to study medicine until 1887. The women pictured were the first to be admitted to study medicine; they are, seated from left to right, Clara Stone, Margaret Whyte, Grace Vale, Elizabeth (or Annie) O’Hara, and standing from left to right, Helen Sexton, Lillian Alexander, Annie (or Elizabeth) O’Hara. In 2011, slightly more than half of the students at the Melbourne Medical School, due to celebrate 150 years in 2012, are women. Many more of these fascinating glimpses into history can be viewed at the University of Melbourne Archives image catalogue. See

Above: Women medical students, University of Melbourne, 1887, photographer unknown, University of Melbourne Archives (UMA/I/2003).

2 Responses to “The First Female Medicine Students Enrolled in 1887”

  1. Judith Mitchell says:

    The First Female Medicine Students Enrolled in 1887 is this publication (book) available to purchase please?

    1. kjstone says:

      Hi Judith,

      There is book titled “Strength of mind: 125 years of women in medicine” edited by Jacqueline Healy published by the University in 2013. For more information please contact the Medical History Museum:

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