Sections of black and white newspaper on a beige background.
Detail from the cover of Bold Types.

Bold Types: How Australia’s First Women Journalists Blazed a Trail by Patricia Clarke

In this new title from NLA Publishing, Dr Patricia Clarke tells the story of women journalists in Australia covering the period from 1860 to the end of World War II. Her book traces the journey of more than 13 independent, adventurous women who ventured far and wide and fought for relevance and gender equality.

From Anna Blackwell, Australia’s first female foreign correspondent, to Iris Dexter who reported domestically on World War II, together these stories illustrate the gains and setbacks of women journalists over nearly a century. In each successive story, their tenacious determination and courage shines through.

As the only woman on the Melbourne staff at the Australian News and Information Bureau in the early 1950s, Dr Patricia Clarke was also a trailblazer. In a detailed epilogue, Patricia shares stories of her own life and career in the days of crowded newsrooms, clattering typewriters, and overflowing cigarette trays.

The book also features an introduction by Amy Remeikis, political reporter at Guardian Australia, who reflects on the struggles and achievements of her early counterparts as well as the current working environment for women journalists.

Bold Types is a book that will resound with and inspire readers, in a world where women are still fighting against workplace discrimination, gender-based violence and for sexual and reproductive rights.

About the author

Dr Patricia Clarke is a writer, historian, editor and former journalist, who has written extensively on women in Australian history and the history of journalism. In 2001, she was awarded the Medal of the Order of Australia for services to Australian history, and she is an honorary fellow of the Australian Academy of Humanities. Bold Types is her fifteenth book.

Additional Information

Images and extracts from the book are available on request.


Georgia McDonald, Media Liaison, National Library of Australia

M: 0401 226 697