The Australian Dictionary of Biography is Australia’s major biographical dictionary. In it you will find concise, informative and fascinating descriptions of the lives of over 12,000 significant and representative persons in Australian history. Those listed come from all walks of life — from prime ministers, governors-general and premiers, generals and bishops, artists, actors and authors, engineers and schoolteachers, to prostitutes, thieves and murderers — providing a wonderful cross-section of Australian society.

Produced by the National Centre of Biography at the Australian National University, they have recently put the call out for more female entries to be added to the ADB. They say only about 4% of ‘colonial entries’ in the Australian Dictionary of Biography relate to women, and they’re hoping to add another 1500 women entries to help rectify this imbalance. So they’re asking for your help by nominating who you think should be included.

Women must have lived their ‘productive’ years in the colonial period to qualify for inclusion in the project though they can have died in the 1900s.

If nominating a woman/women you can simply fill in the template and send it to ANU or send Word document with the woman/women’s name/s; year and date of birth and death or approximate dates; reasons for nomination; and any sources that you are aware of for your subject. You can email them at:

To learn more about the colonial women in the ADB project and to download a nomination form click here.