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Dame Roma Mitchell collection


MM 5


The Migration Museum's extensive costume collection features clothing and accessories bequeathed by the late Dame Roma Mitchell. Highlights include a Chinese costume given to one of Dame Roma's aunts aged 13-14 while she was living in Darwin, and lace sent to her mother Maude (nee Wickham) by her father Harold from France during the First World War (he was killed in action in 1918). The bequest also includes photos of Dame Roma wearing the clothing she donated, e.g. the hats she wore at her swearing in as Governor (1991) and unveiling of her statue on North Terrace, Adelaide (1999).

Dame Roma Mitchell (1913-2000) has been christened 'Roma the First' by her biographers (Magarey & Round, 2007) due to her long list of pioneering achievements. She was the first female Queen's Counsel (QC) in Australia (1962); the first female judge of a Supreme Court in Australia (1965); first Chair of the Human Rights Commission (1981); first female chancellor of an Australian University (1983); and the first female Governor of an Australian state (1991). Dame Roma was a champion of multiculturalism and supporter of the Migration Museum. Her smart fashion sense was often observed in the social pages of the Adelaide press.

A Migration Museum collection. Access to collection items held in Museum Stores is by appointment only.


Clothing; Photographs

Clothing; Clothing accessories; Hats; Headwear; Lace lengths; Photographs; Textiles

Costume; Costume accessories; Dame Roma Mitchell; Harold Flinders Mitchell; Hats; Lace; Maude Mitchell; Photographs

Costume; Photography

Dame Roma Mitchell; Migration Museum, South Australia

Coverage Spatial

Australia; South Australia

Coverage Temporal



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