Louisa BriggsPrint Page Print this page

A plaque commemorates Aboriginal nurse and midwife Louisa Strugnell Briggs.

Louisa Briggs, of Woiworung descent, was born on Preservation Island, Bass Strait. Around 1853 she and her husband, John, went to the Victorian goldfields. Then they worked as shepherds in the Beaufort district until 1871 when the family was admitted destitute to Coranderrk Aboriginal Station. There Briggs acted as nurse and midwife.

In 1876 she was appointed matron and became the first Aboriginal woman to replace a European on salaried staff. She fought the Aborigines Protection Board’s plans to sell Coranderrk and remove residents to other reserves, and gave evidence to the 1876 inquiry but was eventually forced off the reserve and moved to Ebenezer Aboriginal Station. After yet another inquiry in 1881 she moved back to Coranderrk where she was reappointed matron.


Address:Piccaninny Lane, Worawa College, Healesville, 3777
GPS Coordinates:Lat: -37.655833
Long: 145.518333
Note: GPS Coordinates are approximate.
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Monument Type:Plaque
Monument Theme:People
Approx. Event Start Date:1926
Approx. Event End Date:1926


Approx. Monument Dedication Date:1986
Front Inscription

In honour of Louisa Strugnell Briggs (1830? - 1926), an Aborigine of Coranderrk near Healesville, who played an important role in her community as nurse, midwife, teacher, administrator and defender of her people`s rights. In the late nineteenth century, various Aboriginal communities benefited from the work of similar resourceful women

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