Williams, Adela

Personal Details

First nameAdela
Date of birth1875
Place of birthMelbourne
Date of death1940
Place of deathBrisbane
Age at death60 years


Miss Williams obtained the Degrees of Bachelor of Medicine and Bachelor of Surgery at the Melbourne University, gaining honors in her examinations, and was well recommended. She is expected to arrive in Muttaburra on the 8th inst. Dr. Williams is the first lady doctor be appointed to any public position in western Queensland.

[Source: Muttaburra Hospital. (1905, May 8). The Western Champion and General Advertiser for the Central-Western Districts (Barcaldine, Qld. : 1892 – 1922), p. 9. Retrieved August 25, 2013, from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article75609796]

May 1905 saw the arrival of Adela WILLIAMS, “the first lady doctor to receive a public appointment in Western Queensland”. She was born in Melbourne in 1875, and had graduated from Melbourne University in 1904. There had been some apprehension regarding the appointment of a “lady doctor”, but at the AGM of the Muttaburra Hospital in January 1906, a report stated that Dr Williams had carried out her duties “to the entire satisfaction of the committee and patients”. It could be considered a mark of approval in Muttaburra that more lady doctors followed Dr Williams. She resigned her position in Muttaburra in June 1907, in order to marry Henry Arthur PORTER of the QN Bank in Brisbane (see farewell and wedding reports), where she continued to practise, becoming known as “the little Mother Doctor”. One daughter was born, and Dr Williams/Porter died in Brisbane in 1940, aged 60 (see death report/obituary).
[Source: Dr Arratta Museum]


Muttaburra Hospital
Start Date05/1905
Finish Date06/1907
PositionDoctors - Permanent, Medical Officer M.D., Medical Officer