“For all the dinners are cooked; the plates and cups washed; the children sent to school and gone out in the world. Nothing remains of it. All has vanished. No biography or history has a word to say about it. And the novels, without meaning to, inevitably lie! All these infinitely obscure lives remain to be recorded.”

Virginia Woolf, English author and feminist

Tapestry is a collection of stories acknowledging ordinary Australian women. They are written by friends or family members and cover many decades of our history.  The Tapestry Project encourages women to write their own stories or those of their mother, grandmother or friend.

Some are available online while others can be accessed at the Library itself. The stories highlighted here are just a sample of the stories that the Library has collected of the extraordinary, unrecognised contributions made by women to Australian society.

Number Name    
1 Lillian MacKay 56 Adeline (Chaplin) Mellington
6 Edna Briggs 58 Antonina Komarowski
10 Gertrude Myrtle Leggo 64 Winnie Edwards
13 Daisy Peaters 65 Alma Hamilton
16 Jill Hunter 70 Helen Ruby
18 Margaret Ruby Hughes 72 Dinah Myrtle McGee
34 Elizabeth Astbury 74 Nona Pearce
35 Margaret Pearl Fraser 79 Patricia Degens
36 Janie Pearce 80 Evelyn Hussey Brown
37 Clara Weston 91 Hana Fried
38 Hilda Finnerty 97 Winifred Lily McKevett (née O’Neill)
39 Marjorie Grace Simpson 101 Isabel Cavanagh
40 Maud Mary Beckett 102 Isatu Jalloh
42 Madge Edis Pickburn 104 Lesley Edith Lambert
43 Jean Cooke 105 Joan Godsall
52 Sheila Hungerford 113 Joyce Lillian Reid
54 Helena Richmond Meaney    


Women are encouraged to add their story or that of another women they think should be acknowledged. Just download the Tapestry leaflet and send in your contribution to:

Jessie Street National Women’s Library
GPO Box 2656
Sydney NSW 2001

OR Scan and send your story with the form as an attachment to ua.gr1553273759o.yra1553273759rbils1553273759nemow1553273759lanoi1553273759tan@o1553273759fni1553273759

Contributions should be up to 2,000 words and a $20 administration fee is charged.