Hidden women of history

Catherine Hay Thomson, the Australian undercover journalist who went inside asylums and hospitals

Kerrie Davies, Willa McDonald

Research output: Contribution to Newspaper/Magazine/WebsiteArticle

Abstract

In 1886, a year before American journalist Nellie Bly feigned insanity to enter an asylum in New York and became a household name, Catherine Hay Thomson arrived at the entrance of Kew Asylum in Melbourne on “a hot grey morning with a lowering sky”. Hay Thomson’s two-part article, The Female Side of Kew Asylum for The Argus newspaper revealed the conditions women endured in Melbourne’s public institutions. Her articles were controversial, engaging, empathetic, and most likely the first known by an Australian female undercover journalist.
Original languageEnglish
Specialist publicationThe Conversation. Academic rigour, journalistic flair.
Publication statusPublished - 17 Jan 2020

Bibliographical note

Version archived for private and non-commercial use with the permission of the author/s and according to publisher conditions. For further rights please contact the publisher.

Keywords

  • Women in Journalism
  • Australian journalism history
  • journalism
  • patient rights
  • women's suffrage
  • women's right to vote
  • patient advocacy groups

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