I have no specific knowledge about Australia other than I think women got the vote there very early on, at the beginning of the 1900s.
I thnink in general women most probably did the same kind of jobs that they did in the UK and America at this time. That is, there would have been a lot of women schoolteachers, nurses, typists and secretaries, telephonists, sales clerks (shop assisstants), seamstresses, women working in factories, and women working in domestic service. There would have been women working as barmaids in pubs, and as waitresses in restaurants.There would have been washerwomen (washing clothes was a very common job for poor women in the early 1900s, with no washing machines, anyone who could afford paid someone else to do their washing) There would probably have been some women doctors, as there were in the Uk and the USA. And maybe a few women lawyers.
In general, most women gave up work when they married, unless they were very poor and had no choice but to keep on working. Women professionals like schoolteachers, librarians, doctors, nurses etc, would have been single women.
Some women from well off families did not work at all, but stayed at home until they married. theer were probably some such women in Australia, though I imagine less than there would have been in the USA or the UK, I am just assuming (I don't actually know), that the number of families who could afford to keep daughters at home without working would have been smaller in Australia than either the USA or the UK.
In Australia, there were a lot of families living on very isolated farms, and there the women would be n charge of running the household, maybe overseeing farm work etc when their husbands were absent. They would be accustomed to doing without much socialising, and to keeping themselves amused. There is a very interesting series of books by Mary Elwynn Patchett, who was a child in the early 1900s and wrote bassed on her own childhood 'Ajax the Warrior' 'Tam the Untamed' 'The Call of the Bush' are among some of her books, and show that in the early 1900s children, even girls, could have adventurous childhoods, exploring with horses, dogs, etc.
Generally, women in the early 1900s wore long dresses, with petticoats underneath, and always hats when they went out. Hats were often quite big at this time, and might be decorated with artificial flowers, feathers, ribbons etc. tight corsets which squeezed the waist in to make it small were fashionable. Judging by pictures i have seen, even in Australia such fashions were worn, despite the heat.
Answered By: Louise C - 2/19/2010