Mary Malone's lessons: A narrative of citizenship in Federation Australia

Mark Hearn*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Citations (Scopus)


Between 1886 and 1896 Mary Malone, a young Australian woman of Irish Catholic background, selected eighty-two articles and fifty-nine poems to preserve in an old school exercise book. This article argues that the clippings Mary assembled in her exercise book formed a narrative designed to secure a sense of social identity as the Australian colonies moved towards Federation in 1901. The exercise book reflects Mary's meditation on the stories of the colonial public sphere, a meditation that in turn faciliated her participation in community, work and as a citizen. Mary's exercise book reveals the mutual dependence of public and private realms of knowledge and experience, and the subjective assimilation of public discourse required to take a place in the social world.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)376-396
Number of pages21
JournalGender and History
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2004
Externally publishedYes

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