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Bridget Ellen Bodkin (1871–1937)

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This entry is from People Australia

Bridget Bodkin, n.d.

Bridget Bodkin, n.d.

Bridget Ellen (Ellen) Bodkin, née Callaghan (1871-1937) Labor activist 

Birth: 2 October 1871 in Cowra, New South Wales, daughter of Irish-born Lawrence Callaghan (1835-1923), miner and hotel-keeper, and native-born Mary Ann, née McDermott (1851-1935) whose parents had been born in Ireland and married in Scotland. Marriage: 6 December 1891 at Parkes, NSW, to George Clifford Bodkin. They had six sons and three daughters.  Death: 2 July 1937 at Royal Prince Alfred Hospital, Sydney. Religion: Catholic. 

  • Foundation member of the Political Labor League [Australian Labor Party]. Active in the Lithgow area. Prominent in anti-conscription campaigns in 1916 and 1917 and in the 1917 strike relief committee.
  • 1923-1924 honorary secretary Labor Women's Central Organising Committee, and frequent speaker for the party in election campaigns. Addressed 1924 convention of committee on 'Parents’ Responsibilities and Care of School Children'. A delegate to the ALP conference for many years and sometime member of its executive.
  • Voluntary organiser of Sydney white collar workers, especially shop assistants.
  • Reputedly associated with alteration of the constitution to allow women to sit in the Legislative Council. Stood for Labor preselection in that house.
  • In 1924 aspired to be ALP candidate for Western Suburbs in NSW Legislative Assembly elections and was credited with “thirty-three years in active political work”. Resided for many years in Marrickville.
  • An old age pensioner at her death from cerebral haemorrhage and hypertension.

Information from Peter Sheldon, 1992; Peter Sheldon, interview with Nick Bodkin, Sydney, 12 May 1988; Labor Daily (Sydney), 7 June 1924, p 7:

Additional Resources

  • photo, Labor Daily (Sydney), 30 November 1929, p 8

Citation details

'Bodkin, Bridget Ellen (1871–1937)', People Australia, National Centre of Biography, Australian National University,, accessed 24 June 2024.

© Copyright Labour Australia, 2012

Bridget Bodkin, n.d.

Bridget Bodkin, n.d.

Life Summary [details]

Alternative Names
  • Callaghan, Bridget Ellen

2 October, 1871
Cowra, New South Wales, Australia


2 July, 1937 (aged 65)
Camperdown, Sydney, New South Wales, Australia

Cause of Death


Cultural Heritage

Includes subject's nationality; their parents' nationality; the countries in which they spent a significant part of their childhood, and their self-identity.

Religious Influence

Includes the religion in which subjects were raised, have chosen themselves, attendance at religious schools and/or religious funeral rites; Atheism and Agnosticism have been included.

Political Activism