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Fanny Finch (1815–1863)
Fanny Finch is Australia's first known woman to have voted. Two days after she cast her vote, she was immortalised in the Melbourne-based newspaper The Argus, as “the famous Mrs. Fanny Finch.” So, how exactly did Fanny vote in 1856? Well, Fanny used a loophole that granted suffrage to all taxpaying “persons.”

It didn't matter that she was black, a woman and a single mother – because she was a business owner who paid rates, she was entitled to vote in 1856, almost fifty years before Australian women (excluding indigenous women) were granted suffrage.
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If you liked learning about Fanny Finch, we recommend reading...
To uncover Australia's hidden colonial history, read Samia Khatun’s Australianama: The South Asian Odyssey in Australia.

To uncover the stories of the remarkable women behind the Eureka Stockade, read Clare Wright’s The Forgotten Rebels of Eureka.

To uncover more of the African-Australian story (starting with the First Fleet!), watch SBS' Our African Roots.
Our ability to tell Fanny's story was made possible by the following people...
Our ability to tell Fanny’s story was made possible by Kacey Sinclair – Kacey’s incredible honours thesis uncovered the details of Fanny’s life. Kacey is currently working on a PhD which seeks to further recover Fanny’s incredible story. You can keep up to date with Kacey’s incredible work via her Twitter account.