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Annie O'Brien (1874–1925)

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Annie O’Brien, née Carroll, (1874-1925) Labor Party activist 

Birth: 1874 at Wangaratta, Victoria, daughter of Irish-born parents Maurice Carroll (1833-1896), a gatekeeper and railway employee, from Usk, County Kildare, and Ann (Annie), née Barton (1838-1884), from County Tyrone. Marriage: 1895 at Coburg, Victoria, to native-born Joseph O'Brien (1873-1951), labourer. They had one daughter and one son. Death: 23 February 1925 at Brunswick, Melbourne. 

  • Her father arrived in Western Australia as a convict aboard the Robert Small on 19 August 1853. He and her mother married in South Australia in 1858 and had moved to Sandhurst (Bendigo), in Victoria by 1860. Annie and her husband Joseph lived at Brunswick, Melbourne, from the early 1900s.
  • Annie was founding honorary secretary of the Victorian Labor Women's Organising Committee in 1917 and was appointed permanent secretary on 17 June 1922, retaining the post until her death.
  • During the anti-conscription campaign “her work was outstanding. Though not a speaker she strongly controlled many an agitation” [Labor Daily]. Was also active in the 1919 maritime strike, Melbourne.
  • She was prominent in the 1924 bread boycott against profiteering and as a fundraiser for the Women's Hospital and other charities.
  • Also campaigned for the appointment of women justices of the peace.
  • In Frank Anstey’s electorate she was “a real power” [Sun News Pictorial]. Was a close associate of Mary Rogers.
  • Cause of death: cardiac debility (3 weeks), pleurisy and rheumatism.

H. J. Gibbney & Ann G. Smith, A Biographical Register 1788-1939, vol 2 (Canberra, 1987); Labor Call, 26 February 1925, p 4, & 5 March 1925, p 10; Australian Worker (Sydney), 4 March 1925, p 1.

Additional Resources

  • funeral, Labor Call (Melbourne), 5 March 1925, p 10

Related Entries in NCB Sites

Citation details

'O'Brien, Annie (1874–1925)', People Australia, National Centre of Biography, Australian National University,, accessed 17 July 2024.

© Copyright People Australia, 2012

Life Summary [details]

Alternative Names
  • Carroll, Annie

Wangaratta, Victoria, Australia


23 February, 1925 (aged ~ 51)
Brunswick, Melbourne, Victoria, Australia

Cause of Death

heart disease

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.

Religious Influence

Includes the religion in which subjects were raised, have chosen themselves, attendance at religious schools and/or religious funeral rites; Atheism and Agnosticism have been included.

Key Events
Political Activism