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Bella Guerin (1858–1923)

Bella Guerin, T. Humphrey &​ Co. n.d.

Bella Guerin, T. Humphrey &​ Co. n.d.

University of Melbourne Archives, ​128116

The first woman in Queen Victoria's Dominions to take the degree of Master of Arts seems to belong very much to past ages, but, instead, she was with us until last week in Mrs. Bella Guerin Lavender, M.A. With her passing at the residence of her son, Dr. Henry O'Halloran, on July 26, what might be described as an historic link in education has been snapped. Educated by her mother, who had had the advantage of many years' schooling in France and Belgium, Mrs. Lavender was a brilliant scholarly woman, and spoke French as fluently and wittily as her mother tongue, and she was very proud of her University Degree, won in the "dark ages," when brainy woman were regarded as undesirable blue stockings, and their presence at the University was frowned upon. She was a writer, and her efforts in the press and on the platform helped in a great measure to secure the suffrage for women. Sir John and Lady Quick were associated with her in this work. Mrs. Lavender's first husband was the Hon. Henry O'Halloran, C.M.G., one time Under Secretary for New South Wales, while her second, Mr. G. Lavender, was also a man of some attainment.

Original publication

Additional Resources

Citation details

'Guerin, Bella (1858–1923)', Obituaries Australia, National Centre of Biography, Australian National University,, accessed 20 May 2024.

© Copyright Obituaries Australia, 2010-2024

Bella Guerin, T. Humphrey &​ Co. n.d.

Bella Guerin, T. Humphrey &​ Co. n.d.

University of Melbourne Archives, ​128116

Life Summary [details]

Alternative Names
  • Guerin, Julia Margaret
  • Halloran, Julia Margaret
  • Lavender, Julia Margaret

23 April, 1858
Williamstown, Melbourne, Victoria, Australia


26 July, 1923 (aged 65)
Adelaide, South Australia, Australia

Cause of Death

cirrhosis of the liver

Cultural Heritage

Includes subject's nationality; their parents' nationality; the countries in which they spent a significant part of their childhood, and their self-identity.

Religious Influence

Includes the religion in which subjects were raised, have chosen themselves, attendance at religious schools and/or religious funeral rites; Atheism and Agnosticism have been included.

Key Organisations
Political Activism