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Leontine Cooper Leontine Cooper i(A14128 works by) (birth name: Leontine Mary Jane Buisson)
Also writes as: Onyx ; L. C.
Born: Established: 22 Apr 1837 Battersea, London,
United Kingdom (UK),
Western Europe, Europe,
; Died: Ceased: 12 Mar 1903 Toowong, Milton - Toowong area, Brisbane - North West, Brisbane, Queensland,
Gender: Female
Arrived in Australia: 30 Nov 1871
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Leontine Cooper was the eldest child born to Frenchman Jean Francois Buisson and his English wife Dorothea (nee Smithers). She spent her early life living in the inner-London precinct of Battersea, and then at seaside Brighton, and married her husband, Edward Cooper (a surveyor), in London in 1866. She arrived in Brisbane on the 'Royal Dane' in November 1871, and during the 1870s worked briefly as a school teacher at Chinaman's Creek (now Albany Creek), and subsequently Brisbane Girls' Grammar School, where she taught French.

During the 1880s and 1890s Cooper became a prominent Brisbane literary figure, serving on the influential Brisbane School of Arts committee, and playing an active role within the Brisbane Literary Circle, where she mixed with a number of leading social and political figures within colonial society. It was also during this period that Cooper emerged as a social justice and women's suffrage advocate. She was for many years a member of the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty, and in 1891 served as Queensland Government appointee to the Shops and Factories Royal Commission. By the late 1880s she was a leading voice within the women's suffrage movement, serving on the committee of Brisbane's first women's suffrage body, the Women's Suffrage League, then briefly as vice-president of the Women's Equal Franchise League, before founding and running the breakaway Women's Franchise League in 1894 (Cooper was concerned that the women's suffrage movement should not be 'captured' by the Labor Party, and become subject to party politics). She also briefly edited the Star, a women's suffrage newspaper, along with Flashes, a society newspaper, and for a while wrote 'Queensland Notes' for Louisa Lawson's feminist journal, the Dawn. In 1899 she founded and served as inaugural president of the Brisbane Pioneer Club, which like its London namesake, was a progressive women's club.

Leontine Cooper appears not to have been related to pioneering medical practitioner Lilian Cooper (q.v.), who arrived in Brisbane in 1891, and who was also a significant 19th and earlier 20th century Queensland feminist figure, a Pioneer Club member, etc. 

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Last amended 23 May 2019 11:13:04
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