Jessie Rooke


Burnie in about 1900, when Jessie Rooke lived there (AOT, PH30/1/76)

Jessie Spinks Rooke (18451906), temperance advocate, was one of the first Tasmanian women to gain prominence for philanthropic activities outside the state. Contemporaries believed she was 'a well-born Scotch woman', while it is now thought that she was born in north-western Tasmania. She married Dr Charles Rooke, the Port Health Officer in Burnie. She was best known for her work in the Woman's Christian Temperance Union, and was elected Australian president. The primary advocate of women's suffrage in Tasmania, she believed that temperance control could only be secured with the vote. As state president of the Woman's Christian Temperance Union she led the campaign for suffrage in Tasmania until 1903, then helped form the Women's Suffrage Association, which aimed to educate women in their duty as voters and encouraged them to vote.

Renée Jordan