Karrakatta Club

Coordinates: 31°57′24″S 115°51′46″E / 31.9566°S 115.86283°E / -31.9566; 115.86283 (Karrakatta Club)
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Karrakatta Club
PredecessorSt George Reading Circle
FormationOctober 1894; 129 years ago (October 1894) Edit this at Wikidata
Founded atPerth, Western Australia
TypeFemale-only women's club
Headquarters28 St George's Terrace
  • Perth, Western Australia
Coordinates31°57′24″S 115°51′46″E / 31.9566°S 115.86283°E / -31.9566; 115.86283 (Karrakatta Club) Edit this at Wikidata
Official language
Websitewww.karrakattaclub.com.au Edit this at Wikidata

The Karrakatta Club is a female-only women's club in Perth, Western Australia.[1][2] Established in 1894, it was the first women's club in Australia.


The Karrakatta Club was founded in 1894 by members of Amy Jane Best's St George Reading Circle.[3] The St George Reading Circle was formed around 1887 for the purpose of exchanging and discussing reading material, and debating current affairs. Following a visit from an American woman named Dr Emily Ryder, the Circle decided to form a new club modelled on the Education Clubs that were popular in America.[4] Amy Jane Best constructed the constitution.[3] The objective of the Club was to bring into one body the women of the community for mutual improvement which included involvement in local issues affecting women at that time, social justice issues, and social engagement. The club's motto, suggested by Edith Cowan, is Spectemur Agendo, which means "let us be judged by our actions".[5] The Club's first President was Lady Madeline Onslow.

In 1904, ten years after the founding of the Karrakatta Club, the first Lyceum Club was founded in London by Miss Constance Smedley. The aim of the Lyceum Clubs was similar to those of the Karrakatta Club. In 1923 it was decided by the members of the Karrakatta Club to align the Club with the international movement of Lyceum Clubs. This opened the Karrakatta Club to a wider contact with women all over the world.

In 1954 it had its diamond jubilee.[6]

In 1972/73 the Australian Association of Lyceum Clubs was formed to link all Lyceum Clubs in Australia under the one banner, and to be part of the International Association of Lyceum Clubs linking all Lyceum Clubs worldwide.

In late 1984 the Karrakatta Club moved into the Lawson Apartments building at the corner of Sherwood Court and The Esplanade. In October 2020 the club moved to new premises at the ANZAC house building on St Georges Terrace.

The former entrance to the Karrakatta Club on Sherwood Court

Notable members[edit]


  1. ^ Smith, Sean (4 August 2018). "Perth's private clubs fail test of time and relevance". The West Australian. Archived from the original on 4 August 2018. Retrieved 22 May 2022.
  2. ^ Robin, Myriam (21 June 2021). "Perth's Weld Club laid bare". Australian Financial Review. Archived from the original on 21 June 2021. Retrieved 22 May 2022.
  3. ^ a b "KARRAKATTA CLUB". The West Australian. Perth: National Library of Australia. 28 August 1935. p. 4. Retrieved 9 November 2023.
  4. ^ "GLIMPSES OF THE PAST". Western Mail. Perth: National Library of Australia. 30 November 1944. p. 30. Retrieved 12 June 2012.
  5. ^ Emery, Kate (11 September 2020). "Women-only club says why it still won't open to men". The West Australian. Retrieved 28 January 2022.
  6. ^ "Karrakatta Club Has Its Diamond Jubilee". The West Australian. Perth: National Library of Australia. 3 November 1954. p. 23. Retrieved 12 June 2012.
  7. ^ Heywood, Anne; McKinney, Lisa (29 October 2018). "Forrest, Margaret Elvire (1844 - 1929)". Australian Women's Register. Retrieved 25 May 2019.
  8. ^ "The Late Dr. Gertrude Mead". The West Australian. Vol. XXXV, no. 5, 488. Western Australia. 10 November 1919. p. 6. Retrieved 25 May 2019 – via National Library of Australia.

General references[edit]

  • "KarraKatta Club (1894–)". Australian Women. National Foundation for Australian Women. Retrieved 25 May 2006.
  • Cowan, Peter (1978). A unique position: a biography of Edith Dircksey Cowan 1861–1932. Nedlands, Western Australia: University of Western Australia Press. ISBN 0-85564-135-5.

Further reading[edit]

  • Mitchell, Judy; Karrakatta Club (1994). History of the Karrakatta Club, 1894–1994. Perth: Karrakatta Club. OCLC 222762673.

See also[edit]

External links[edit]