Constance Stone

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Constance Stone
Dr Constance Stone, 1890.png
Born(1856-12-04)4 December 1856
Hobart, Tasmania
Died29 December 1902(1902-12-29) (aged 46)
Alma materUniversity of Trinity College

Emma Constance Stone (4 December 1856 – 29 December 1902) was the first woman to practice medicine in Australia. She played an important role in founding the Queen Victoria Hospital in Melbourne.

Early life[edit]

Stone was born on 4 December 1856 in Hobart, Tasmania to William and Betsy Stone. The family moved to Melbourne in 1872.[1] In 1882, Stone met Reverend David Egryn Jones, who had emigrated from England. Moved by the poverty his parish, Jones decided to study medicine, and Constance followed suit.[2] She was forced to leave Australia to study medicine since the University of Melbourne would not admit women into the medicine course.[3] She graduated from the Women's Medical College of Pennsylvania, and was awarded her MD from the University of Trinity College, Toronto in 1888.[4] Jones followed her to Canada to earn his MD.[2]


Stone went on to London where she worked in the New Hospital for Women and qualified as a licentiate of the Worshipful Society of Apothecaries in 1889. It was her time at the New Hospital which was her inspiration to one day found a hospital that was run 'by women, for women'.[5][6]

In 1890, after she returned to Australia, she became the first woman to be registered with the Medical Board of Victoria.[7] Her sister, Grace 'Clara' Stone followed her into medicine. Clara had been allowed to study in Australia and was one of two women who graduated from the University of Melbourne in 1891. The sisters went into private practice together and both worked at the out-patients' dispensary in La Trobe Street.[8][9]

Stone married Reverend David Egryn Jones in 1893.[2]

In 1895, the first meeting of the Victorian Medical Women's Society convened in Constance's house, with Clara taking up the presidency. In September 1896 eleven of Melbourne's women doctors decided to found the Queen Victoria Hospital for women. Construction of the hospital was funded by a jubilee shilling fund appeal, it officially opened in July 1899.

Stone gave birth to her daughter, Constance Bronwen, in 1899.[2]


In 1902, Stone fell ill with tuberculosis and died on 29 December, aged 45.[10] Her husband Rev David Egryn Jones MD, and daughter Bronwen, who also became a doctor in London, survived her.


  1. ^ Penny Russell, 'Stone, Grace Clara (1860–1957)', Australian Dictionary of Biography, National Centre of Biography, Australian National University,, published first in hardcopy 1990, accessed online 9 June 2018.
  2. ^ a b c d Macdonald, Wendy. "The Life of Constance Stone - Australia's First Woman Doctor" (PDF).
  3. ^ "MISS EMMA CONSTANCE STONE, L.S.A., LONDON, M.D. AND CH.M., TRINITY COLLEGE, TORONTO". Australasian (Melbourne, Vic. : 1864 - 1946). 1895-03-16. p. 23. Retrieved 2017-06-04.
  4. ^ "NEWSY NOTES". Queenslander (Brisbane, Qld. : 1866 - 1939). 1903-01-10. p. 94. Retrieved 2017-06-04.
  5. ^ Russell, Penny. "Stone, Emma Constance (1856–1902)". Australian Dictionary of Biography. Australian Dictionary of Biography, 2006-2012. Retrieved 9 March 2012.
  6. ^ "Death of a Lady Doctor". Australian Town and Country Journal (Sydney, NSW : 1870 - 1907). 1903-01-07. p. 38. Retrieved 2017-06-04.
  7. ^ Women Tasmania. Dr (Emma) Constance Stone (1856-1902) Archived 17 September 2006 at the Wayback Machine
  8. ^ Penny Russell, Stone, Emma Constance (1856 - 1902), Australian Dictionary of Biography, Volume 12, Melbourne University Press, 1990, pgs. 98-100
  9. ^ "A permanent memorial to the woman who showed that doctoring was not a male preserve". Argus (Melbourne, Vic. : 1848 - 1957). 1951-12-28. p. 4. Retrieved 2017-06-04.
  10. ^ "CONCERNING PEOPLE". Adelaide Observer (SA : 1843 - 1904). 1903-02-07. p. 31. Retrieved 2017-06-04.