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Williamson, Ada Jean Hounsell (Jean) (1891 - 1977)

31 October 1891
Belmont, New South Wales, Australia
14 January 1977
Ashfield, New South Wales, Australia


Jean Williamson was a journalist who succeeded Florence Baverstock as social editor of the Sydney Morning Herald in 1918. In 1933 she moved to the Women's Weekly and by 1934, she edited a page entitled 'New Books'. She recalled: 'I didn't like it at first but there came an upsurge of excitement when country women began writing such intimate letters saying how The Weekly enriched their lives-revealing unconsciously their loneliness. I began to think of the shortage of lighter-type reading matter in my family home in the country and my ideas changed'.

In 1936 she went to the revamped Daily Telegraph where she was appointed as one of its 'Ten Brilliant Editors'. She was one of the best-known women journalists at the time, one who combined 'a rare understanding of women's interests with a polished newspaper technique'.

Sources used to compile this entry: Lawson, Valerie, 'Williamson, Ada Jean Hounsell (1891-1977)', in Australian Dictionary of Biography Online, Australian National University, 2006,

Nikki Henningham

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