Mary Catherine Rogers

Mary Catherine Rogers (1872-1932) became Victoria’s first female councillor in 1920 when she was elected to Richmond Council.  

A widowed mother who worked and raised four children, Mary spearheaded ground-breaking progress in the areas of welfare, education and family issues. She initiated the first community maternal and child health services in Yarra and, also in 1920, was appointed to a board of enquiry into neglected children. Mary’s aim was to improve the sanitary and living conditions of the poor in Richmond.

Mary was also an active union member, worked on a range of committees and was the president of the Richmond Baby Health Centre.  She made an enormous contribution to the health of the community at Richmond and wider Victoria.

Mary remained a councillor at Richmond until 1925. Mary Rogers portrait and traffic light

Yarra City Council honoured Mary Rogers in 2008 when it upgraded a square on the corner
of Bridge Road and church Street Richmond and renamed it Mary Rogers Square.

In 2016, following a resolution at Yarra Council, VicRoads was asked to install a female silhouette at a pedestrian crossing to further honour Mary. The idea came from Wellington, New Zealand, where the city had honoured suffragette Mary Shephard in the same way.

In March 2016 VicRoads and the City of Yarra jointly announced plans to install a female silhouette at a new pedestrian crossing in Bridge Road, near the corner of Bosisto street.  

The crossing has been in use since late May 2016.

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