Notable People of Collingwood

Collingwood Notables Database

Displaying 1 - 9 of 9

William Thomas Dartnell


Soldier, Victoria Cross recipient

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Dartnell was one of two Collingwood boys who were awarded the Victoria Cross, but unlike William Ruthven, Dartnell spent only his early years in Collingwood, as his parents later moved to Fitzroy.  Also unlike Ruthven, he did not survive his act of bravery. 

Mildred Demaine


Memoir writer

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The Snowdens taking tea on the veranda, 1904

Mildred Snowden was the daughter of solicitor Arthur Snowden (later Sir Arthur) and was born at the family home in St Helier’s Street Abbotsford. In later life she wrote reminiscences of her childhood and youth, giving us a rare insight into domestic and social life of the times.

Harriet Elphinstone Dick

1852 - 1902

Swimmer, swimming teacher, gymnast

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Sketch of Miss Dick in swimming costume

Harriet Elphinstone Dick (Rowell) was a champion swimmer, a gymnast and gymnasium proprietor who made quite a splash after her arrival in Melbourne. In a period when corsets and other restrictive clothing were de rigueur for middle class women, and physical activity was often deemed unladylike or even unhealthy, Harriet’s swimming exploits, her establishment of the Ladies Gymnasium in 1879, and her advocacy of sensible dress, made her an object of considerable attention. At the peak of her career Table Talk waxed lyrical:

Her pupils can be recognised anywhere by their splendid figures, fine carriage, and graceful movements … strength is nothing without grace, and grace is a poor thing without strength.

John Dight


Early settler, flour miller

Dight has bequeathed his name to Dight’s Falls where he harnessed the flow of the Yarra to operate the first water-driven flour mill in Melbourne.  In 1840s Melbourne the stretch of the Yarra in what is now Abbotsford attracted people to build houses on large landholdings in an almost rural environment, but Dight was the first to combine home and industry.

Charles Jardine Don


Stonemason, councillor, Member of Parliament

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At his death, The Age wrote that Don ‘had opened for his whole class the portals of the senate’.  He was a pioneer labour parliamentarian as member for Collingwood in the Legislative Assembly of Victoria. Don claimed to be the first working tradesman to sit in a parliament of the British Empire.

Bridget Doyle, Mother Mary of St Joseph


Nun, founder of the Convent of the Good Shepherd Abbotsford, first Mother Superior

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Bridget aged about 22

Bridget Doyle, born in Roscrea (County Tipperary) Ireland in 1835, grew up in Rahan (County Cork) during the Famine Years 1847-50. In the late 1850s she entered the Order of the Good Shepherd in Angers, France. She led a party of four nuns to Melbourne in June 1863 at the invitation of Bishop James Goold, who believed that ‘A penitentiary for Females and a juvenile reformatory for girls are much needed.' The little band of sisters immediately set about looking for a suitable house in which to establish their Convent of the Good Shepherd.

Anne Drake



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Mr and Mrs Drake c. 1870, by George Reed

Mrs Anne Drake was a well-known teacher and resident of Abbotsford. She spent twenty years as the head mistress of Abbotsford School, established in 1855 under the Denominational system, followed by twelve years at Cambridge Street State School.

Joshua Dyason

c. 1815 - 1888

Cordial manufacturer

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Joshua Dyason established a cordial business which became very well-known in Collingwood and throughout Melbourne. The business, eventually known as Dyason and Son, and later Dyason, Son and Co., was started by Joshua Dyason in a small way in 1869, possibly in Carlton, although in the 1870s he had a business address in Eastern Arcade in the city. 

John Prescott Dyason

1855 - 1936

Cordial and sauce manufacturer, councillor

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John in 1888

John Dyason was a manufacturer who became well-known in the Collingwood district for his firm’s cordials, preserves, sauces and jams. He has left a delightful architectural legacy in the remaining Dyason and Son’s factory, at 44 Oxford Street, Collingwood. John was the tenth child of Joshua Dyason, the founder of the firm. His middle name, Prescott, was supposedly bestowed on the boy to reflect his father’s pride in securing the sole colonial agency for Prescott’s Parramatta Lime Juice. This famous West Indian lime juice was not only a refreshing beverage but was also supposed to prevent scurvy.

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