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Mary Shields Killury (1869–1947)

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Mary Shields Killury, née MacGillivray (1869-1947) trade unionist, feminist, political activist 

Birth: 1869 at Sandhurst, Victoria, daughter of Paul Howard MacGillivray (1834-1895), a medical practitioner, born at St Cuthberts, Edinburgh, Scotland and Isabella (Isobel), née Shields (1842-1917), born at Launceston, Tasmania. Marriage: 1907 at Bendigo to native-born Michael Thomas Killury (1871-1940), a labourer of Irish descent. They had no children. Death: 29 October 1947 in St Vincent’s Hospital, Fitzroy, Melbourne; usual residence Munster Terrace, North Fitzroy 

  • Member of the Australian Labor Party. Attended Victorian Socialist Party meetings.
  • Delegate for the Marble and Stone Workers’ Union at the Women’s Convention held at the Trades Hall, Melbourne in October 1912. Active in Clerks' Union. Supported Vida Goldstein during 1917 candidature.
  • Active anti-conscriptionist during World War I. Member Labor Women's Anti-Conscription Committee.
  • Concerned at war-time plight of women workers, she served as secretary of the Labor Women's Unemployed Relief Committee 1915. Also sought to establish a Women Workers' Union.
  • Cause of death cerebral thrombosis, hypertension and arteriosclerosis and broncho-pneumonia.

Joy Damousi, Socialist Women in Australia, c.1890-c.1918, Ph.D. thesis, ANU, 1987.

Additional Resources

  • photo, Labor Call (Melbourne), 24 October 1912, p 3
  • photo, Labor Call (Melbourne), 30 November 1916, p 3

Citation details

'Killury, Mary Shields (1869–1947)', People Australia, National Centre of Biography, Australian National University,, accessed 23 April 2024.

© Copyright People Australia, 2012

Life Summary [details]

Alternative Names
  • MacGillivray, Mary Shields

Bendigo, Victoria, Australia


29 October, 1947 (aged ~ 78)
Fitzroy, Melbourne, Victoria, Australia

Cause of Death

cerebral thrombosis

Cultural Heritage

Includes subject's nationality; their parents' nationality; the countries in which they spent a significant part of their childhood, and their self-identity.

Key Organisations
Political Activism