Rhoda Yeomans holding her baby daughter Darma. This photograph came into the collection from Hope Black (nee Macperson) who was the first female curator at National Museum of Victoria (now Museum Victoria). Hope was introduced to Rhoda Yeomans and husband Alan by her late brother. Hope remembers meeting a number of interesting people through the Yeomans including Harry Hopman, the tennis player and the shark expert Peter Goadby.

Description of Content

Black and white image of lady crouching under tree holding baby. Houses lining street in background.

Physical Description

Black and white image.


The Hope (Macpherson) Black Collection is a significant addition to Museum Victoria's working lives collection, it reveals the journey of a woman from depression era Melbourne and illustrates the power of education. It also reveals the often discriminatory policies in place in Victoria before the equal opportunity developments of the late 20th century. In balance though it also exposes the somewhat free expression possible for empowered women in this period. Hope Macpherson clearly states that in her day to day work she never felt discrimination and believes she was given great opportunity to pursue her career and aspirations. However, on analysis her role was often shaped by her gender and its perceived strengths and weaknesses; she was dissuaded from applying to become a taxidermist as it was 'an unsuitable job for a woman', although part of the first group of female scientists allowed to travel to Macquarie Island they were not permitted to camp on land with the male crew for fear of inciting passions. And finally after a distinguished career she was forced to resign her tenure as Australia's first female Curator when she married late in life, as a consequence of the Marriage bar.

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