3. Ada Bromham (1880-1965), women’s temperance activist
Ada Bromham was born in Victoria, the daughter of a blacksmith and miner. The family came to Western Australia in 1893. In 1908 she formed a partnership and founded a Claremont drapery store. The business prospered and by the 1920s Ada Bromham’s financial situation permitted her to pursue her feminist and temperance interests.
She held office in the Women’s Service Guild, the WA Temperance Alliance, the Australian Women’s Equal Citizenship Federation and the Australian Federation of Women’s Societies. In 1926 she attended the International Suffrage Alliance Congress in Paris and led the Australian delegation to the British League on Emigration. She contested the Claremont seat for the State Parliament in 1930.
Ada Bromham moved to Melbourne in 1934 and devoted her efforts to the national office of the Women’s Christian Temperance Union (WCTU) in Victoria and South Australia. She was committed to the Chinese-Australian Friendship Society and joined the peace delegation to Peking in 1952. She returned to Perth in 1959 and worked for Aboriginal welfare.
As the Australian representative for the World WCTU, Ada Bromham fought State and Commonwealth ministers to improve conditions for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders.