Black and white image of the National Museum survey team packing a canoe in preparation for excursion to Corner Inlet during the Museum's Wilson's Promontory expedition in January 1950. Pictured from left is Dermot Casey, Warren Hiscock, Charles Brazenor and Ruben Paton. It can be assumed that the only member of the survey team not pictured, Hope Macpherson, took this photograph. Hope Macpherson was the first female curator at National Museum of Victoria (now Museum Victoria).

Description of Content

Black and white image of four men packing a canoe on beach packing, rocky outcrop to the right behind them, island in the background on horizon.

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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