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Department of Premier and Cabinet

Georgiana Kermode

Significant Tasmanian Women icon

Woman's Christian Temperance Union

Georgiana KermodeGeorgiana Fawns married Rt. C. Robert Crellin Kermode JP, a wealthy landowner, in 1885 at Caulfield, Victoria. The couple lived in the stately home, Mona Vale near Ross, that was known for many years as the Calendar House due to its reputed 365 windows, 7 entrances, 52 rooms, and 12 chimneys. Later they moved to the neighbouring property Lochiel.
Georgiana Kermode was active in the Campbell Town WCTU, obtaining petition signatures and leading a well-attended public suffrage meeting in 1896 - despite the opposition of family and friends. She accompanied Jessie Rooke to the triennial WCTU convention in Queensland in 1897.

As the Colonial Suffrage Superintendent of the WCTU, Georgiana proposed an aggressive propaganda initiative to pressurize politicians over the vote. She undertook a 'winter campaign' in 1896 with Jessie Rooke, addressing well-attended drawing-room and public meetings all over Tasmania, gaining much public support and 2,278 signatures for a petition to parliament - a creditable effort, given the small and isolated population.

She later became 'a prominent worker' in the Liberal organisation, the Tasmanian National League. Georgiana died in September 1923 at Middlesex, England.

References:

Oldfield, A., Woman Suffrage in Australia: a Gift or a Struggle? Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1992

Alexander, A., The Public Role of Women in Tasmania, 1803-1914, Unpublished PhD thesis, University of Tasmania, 1989

Jordan, R., White-Ribboners: the Woman's Christian Temperance Union of Tasmania, 1885-1914, Unpublished BA Hons thesis, University of Tasmania, 2001
Information provided by Kermode descendants.


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