Marianne Helena Brydon

Marianne Helena Brydon

Name: Marianne Helena Brydon

Epoch: Early 20th Century (the \'Long Early Twentieth Century\')

Grouping Field: Humanities (Ideas Formatted as Ideas) and Social Science (Models)

Location Grouping: Individual\'s Work Location

Map Coordinates: 27°28\'57.7\"S 153°01\'34.3\"E

Years At Location: 1906-1909

One Historical Setting: Madam Marianne Helena Brydon, Principal, South Brisbane Technical College, 472 Stanley Street, South Brisbane (1906)

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Marianne Brydon was an educational innovator in ‘domestic science’, a women’s movement of the early twentieth century. Brydon had larger roles, though, in both women’s education and technical education. She was a form mistress at Brisbane Girls’ Grammar School in 1883, and had opened the South Brisbane High School and Kindergarten, a private school for girls in 1885. Brydon became Principal at South Brisbane Technical College in 1906, and worked as a teacher of English, physics and French at the newly formed Central Technical College in Ann Street in 1909. By 1914, with the college transferring to new buildings in George Street, Brydon had been appointed the first supervisor of the domestic science department. She was also supervisor of women’s work from 1916 and inspector of women’s work from 1919.

Impact On Brisbane Society

Brydon developed and popularised the ‘domestic science’ movement. In particular, was the domestic science railway carriages program in the 1920s for Queensland’s remote areas. Shunted to a railway siding, the carriages remained for up to seven weeks in each regional location, with girls attending classes in cookery, dressmaking, housewifery, laundry-work and needlework. A full-time domestic science day school would offer instruction for girls in cookery theory and practice, laundry-work and housewifery, ambulance and home nursing, domestic science theory, English and arithmetic. Each female student had the opportunity of a three-year domestic science and art diploma. The question has to be asked, how innovative was the program for the women’s movement? As a skills-based curriculum, it did liberate domestically-working women. The limitations were the mentality of the educational pragmatism (and highly instrumentalist).

Brydon was well-connected in women’s education. She was the first vice-president of the Brisbane Girls’ Grammar School Old Girls’ Association and served as treasurer for eleven years on the standing committee of the Women’s College, University of Queensland. In retirement from 1932, Brydon was active in Redcliffe local community, and participated in philanthropic and church affairs.


Marendy, Michael (2005). “Brydon, Marianne Helena (1864–1941)” Australian Dictionary of Biography. Retrieved 3 March 2017. (;

“Marianne Helena Brydon”, Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia. Retrieved from″ This page was last edited on 25 November 2018, at 09:43 (UTC).

Image Citation

Marianne Helena Brydon. Photographer: Unknown