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Deborah Gare

Professor Gare works in the School of Arts and Sciences of Notre Dame University in Fremantle.


Gare Deborah 2011, The Female Frontier: Race and Gender in Fremantle, 1829-1839, UND.

Gare, Deborah [2013], Divorcing Bridget Taafe: The Mad, Bad and Sad Women of Fremantle, 1850-1900, unpub.

The careful observance of good behavior in colonial Fremantle, by men and women, was an instrument used to set good society apart from what might have been considered ‘savage’. A ruthless code of etiquette regulated expectations of women in all aspects of the colonial world: on the street, in private company, in education and, most importantly, in their home. Fremantle’s middle class women rose magnificently to the challenge of abiding by such etiquette codes, despite the extra burden this added to life on an isolated frontier of Britain’s empire. A rare woman, like Mary Higham, might succeed despite living beyond the rules established for respectable women. But there were many who fell short of the rigid expectations of colonial women in Western Australia, and it was into the institutions of Fremantle the asylum, the courts and the prison that they were swept. Bridget Taafe, Anne Tippett and Mary Kelly were just a few. In fact, so many troubled women were flung into the town’s institutions that Fremantle might be considered the home of Western Australia’s abandoned women. The experiences of such women now point to the disconnection between expectations of colonial women and the reality of their existence; their forced separation from ‘respectable’ society; and the failure indeed, the complicity of the state in their disempowerment.

Gare, Deborah & Jane Davis 2014, The Fremantle Workers Social and Leisure Club 1914-2014, FWSLC. [See also: Fremantle Workers Club.]

Gare, Deborah & Madison Lloyd-Jones 2014, When War Came to Fremantle, 1899-1945, Fremantle Press.


Gare, Deborah 2014, 'The female frontier: race and gender in Fremantle 1829-1839', Fremantle Studies, 8: 1-18.

Garry Gillard | New: 28 August, 2017 | Now: 26 October, 2023