Clara Stone

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Clara Stone
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Clara Stone, 1887
Hobart, Tasmania
Alma materUniversity of Melbourne
OccupationGeneral practitioner

Grace 'Clara' Stone (12 January 1860 – 10 May 1957) was a medical doctor from Melbourne Australia, who was one of the founders of the Queen Victoria Hospital and she was a co-founder, and the first president, of the Victorian Medical Women's Society. She was also in the group of seven women who successfully fought the ban against women studying medicine at Melbourne University in 1887, she was one of the first two women to graduate as a doctor in 1891.[1][2][3]


Studying Medicine[edit]

In 1887, the University of Melbourne allowed women to study in all faculties other than medicine.[4] Earlier, in 1883, Stone's sister Constance had her admission to the faculty of medicine refused, she travelled overseas to obtain her medical degree[4] Stone subsequently also applied to Melbourne University and was refused, until she responded to an advertisement that Lilian Alexander, and Helen Sexton put in the paper seeking other women who were interested in enrolling in medicine at the university. Five women including Stone responded, Grace Vale, Margaret Whyte, and Elizabeth and Annie O'Hara.[5] Together they actively agitated through their connections on the University council, and through the media to force the University to allow them to enrol in Medicine.[5] On the 21 February 1887, the university council met and approved a motion to allow women into medicine, ten votes to three.[5] All seven women were enrolled, and graduated, with Stone being one of the first, graduating with Whyte in 1891.[4][5]

Her sister, Constance Stone, was the first woman to practice medicine in Australia.[6]

On her graduation from the University of Melbourne, 1891


Stone was inducted onto the Victorian Honour Roll of Women in 2007.[7]


  1. ^ Penny Russell, 'Stone, Grace Clara (1860–1957)', Australian Dictionary of Biography, National Centre of Biography, Australian National University, Archived 27 March 2020 at the Wayback Machine, published first in hardcopy 1990, accessed online 9 June 2018.
  2. ^ Whitworth, Judith A. (1987). "Women In Medicine In Australia". British Medical Journal (Clinical Research Edition). 295 (6607): 1211. doi:10.1136/bmj.295.6607.1211-a. JSTOR 29528801. PMC 1248287. S2CID 70887672.
  3. ^ "SOCIAL EVENTS". The Argus (Melbourne). No. 24. Victoria, Australia. 8 February 1926. p. 13. Archived from the original on 13 December 2019. Retrieved 9 June 2018 – via National Library of Australia.
  4. ^ a b c Turner, Elizabeth K (1984), The 88th Presidential Address to the Victorian Medical Women's Society, 18th November 1983 (PDF), Chiron Newsletter (March ed.), Melbourne, Victoria: University of Melbourne Medical Society, pp. 3–6
  5. ^ a b c d Healy, Jacqueline, ed. (2013). Strength of mind: 125 years of women in medicine (PDF). Melbourne, Victoria: Medical History Museum, University of Melbourne. ISBN 9780734048608. Retrieved 19 March 2024.
  6. ^ "Stone, Emma Constance". The Australian Women's Register. Archived from the original on 16 June 2023. Retrieved 23 March 2024.
  7. ^ "Victorian Honour Roll of Women List of Inductees 2001-2011" (PDF). Archived (PDF) from the original on 5 March 2019. Retrieved 20 March 2019.