Grata Flos Matilda Greig (Flos) was the first woman to graduate with a Bachelor of Laws degree in Victoria. After completing her articles with Frank Cornwall in 1905, she became the first female admitted to practise law in Australia.
Today, Cornwalls honours Flos through our ‘Female Leaders Owning Success’ (FLOS) women’s networking group. The purpose of this group is to help develop our female lawyers by providing them with networking and mentoring opportunities.
Flos Greig: A Pioneer for Australian Women Lawyers Grata Matilda Flos Greig (known as ‘Flos Greig’) (1880 – 1958)
To be the first, Flos had to overcome extreme adversity.
Despite graduating from the University of Melbourne with a Bachelor of Laws, at that time, females were not allowed to be legal practitioners. She successfully campaigned with John Mackey MP and a University of Melbourne professor to allow women to enter the legal profession.
In April 1903, the Parliament of Victoria passed the Women’s Disabilities Removal Act 1903 (Vic) (the ‘Flos Greig Enabling Act’), which removed ‘some anomalies in the law relating to women’ and allowed women to practice law in Victoria.
FLOS hosts an annual event with guest speakers, who like Flos, are groundbreakers in their fields
The network also runs workshops and provides opportunities for our younger female lawyers to be in leadership positions.