Australian Women's Register

An initiative of The National Foundation for Australian Women (NFAW) in conjunction with The University of Melbourne

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    Mary Owen, 13 March 2001, courtesy of AWAP Collection.
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Owen, Mary (1921 - 2017)

OAM, 2001 Victorian Honour Roll of Women

Born
8 February 1921
Balwyn, Victoria, Australia
Died
23 March 2017
Victoria, Australia
Occupation
Women's Liberationist and Trade unionist

Summary

Mary Owen was founding Coordinator of The Working Women's Centre Melbourne, 1975-1986, when it was absorbed into the Australian Council of Trade Unions. She was a staff member of AAESDA (Association of Architects, Engineers, Surveyors & Draughtsmen of Australia), 1965 -1975 and a member of La Trobe University Council 1983-1990. She was appointed Deputy Chancellor of La Trobe University 1989. A founding member of Emily's List, Mary Owen was also a Member of the Women's Electoral Lobby (WEL) for over forty-three years. She represented WEL on many Government committees, making a significant impact on policies advancing the status of women, especially the fight for equal pay.

In 1986 the first Mary Owen Dinner was organised in Melbourne to celebrate Mary's retirement. Held annually, the event lasted twenty years. There was always a female keynote speaker and the audience, normally in the order of 600 women, wearing the feminist colours of purple, green and white, was a sight to behold. The last dinner was held in 2005.

Mary Owen was a very early supporter of the Australian Women's Archives Project, which began as a community based organisation's response to a request from Mary Owen for help with conserving the records of her long and varied contribution to public life.

Born in 1921, Mary was a woman who effected change - and made Australia a better, more equal place for all of us coming after her. She died 23 March, 2017.

Details

Events

1977
Awarded the Queen's Silver Jubilee Medal
1984
Order of Australia Medal
2001
Inducted onto the Victorian Honour Roll of Women

Sources used to compile this entry: Vale Mary Owen, National Foundation for Australian Women, National Foundation ofor Australian Women, Australia, 26 March 2017. Also available at http://www.nfaw.org/farewell-mary-owen-feisty-strong-feminist/.

Related entries

Archival resources

National Library of Australia Manuscript Collection

  • Papers of Edna Ryan, 1948 - 1993, MS 9140; National Library of Australia Manuscript Collection. Details

National Library of Australia Newspaper Microcopy Reading Room

  • [Biographical cuttings on Mary Owen, co-ordinator of the Working Women's Centre, Melbourne, 1981]; National Library of Australia Newspaper Microcopy Reading Room. Details

State Library of Victoria, Australian Manuscripts Collection

  • Papers of Mary Owen, 1951 - 1997, MS 13367; Owen, Mary (1921 - 2017); State Library of Victoria, Australian Manuscripts Collection. Details

The University of Melbourne Archives

  • Mary Owen Papers; The University of Melbourne Archives. Details
  • Working Women's Centre Papers, 1907 - 1985; The University of Melbourne Archives. Details

Digital resources

Title
Mary Owen
Type
Image
Date
13 March 2001
Source
AWAP Collection

Details

Patricia ni Ivor

Site-wide information and acknowledgements

National Foundation for Australian Women The University of Melbourne, eScholarship Research Centre

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The Australian Women's Register is published quarterly by the Australian Women's Archives Project
ISSN 2207-3124