After graduating Bella worked as a teacher, firstly at Loreto College, Ballarat where she was criticised by colleagues for being too proud of her degree. Later she taught at the Ballarat School of Mines as Principal of Matriculation. In 1975 a hall at the University of Ballarat was named after her. When she married in 1891, to poet Henry Halloran, she left teaching. However, shortly after the birth of her son, her husband died, and she returned to teaching from financial necessity.