Helen Macvean

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Helen Macvean is associated with Brunswick, melbourne, victoria located at these coordinates -37.767872, 144.961929

Date of Birth: 1869
Date of Death: 9th October 1896
Also known as:
Related Resource URL: http://www.parliament.vic.gov.au/WomensPetition/
User Tags: 1891 women's suffrage petition, helen macvean, petrena macvean, catherine macvean

Helen Macvean is the younger sister of Petrena Mcvean who also signed the 1891 Women's Suffrage Petition.

Most of the following information was provided for Henderson's Australian Families by family members in or about 1940.

Helen was born in 1869. In 1878, when Helen was 8, she became a student at Presbyterian Ladies' College (PLC) where three of her sisters, including Petrena, already attended. Marjorie Theobald, in The Encyclopedia of Melbourne (Brown-May & Swain, eds., 2005), wrote "This independent school was established in 1875 in East Melbourne...one of the new 'academic' secondary schools for girls, its beginnings allied with the admission of women to the University of Melbourne in 1881. ... To prove that women were the intellectual equals of men, PLC had to achieve academically, yet it also had to produce 'true women'. ... the school did indeed achieve brilliant results, though it developed a distinctive curriculum, blending 'male' academic studies with 'female' studies of music, modern languages and art."

Helen was one of the ten children of Allan Macvean (who came to Australia from Scotland in 1853) and Catherine MacPherson (who was born in the Bathurst district of New South Wales three years after her parents arrived from Scotland in 1825). Her father was a minister of the Free Church of Scotland and when he came to Australia was a minister of the Presbyterian Church, mostly in Brunswick, and was a moderator of the Victorian Synod of that church one year. Seven of the ten siblings were girls. Two of her sisters died as infants before she was born. Another died in 1887, aged 23.

Helen died on the 9th of October, 1896, aged 27, just over four months after her father had died and a little more than two years before the death of her mother (who, according to her great-grand-daughters, had moved to Middle Brighton before her husband's death).

(Information courtesy of Anne Macvean. Helen and Petrena were Anne's great great aunts)

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