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Mathews, Iola (1943 - )


Melbourne, Victoria, Australia
Author, Feminist, Industrial advocate, Industrial officer and Journalist
Alternative Names
  • Hack, Iola (birth name)


Iola Mathews was one of the ten women who founded the Women's Electoral Lobby in February 1972. She was a journalist at The Age for many years, writing mainly on Education and Women's Issues. In 1983-4 she helped establish the Action Plan for Women in the Victorian Public Service, and in 1984 was appointed Coordinator of the Action Program for Women Workers at the Australian Council of Trade Unions (ACTU).

In 1988 Mathews became an ACTU Industrial Officer and Advocate in national test cases to improve wages and conditions for women workers, including the Parental Leave test case. In 1996 she was awarded an Order of Australia Medal (OAM) for services to women's employment. She has published numerous books and articles and in 2006 established Glenfern writers' studios in Melbourne.


Iola Mathews has published numerous books, pamphlets and newsletters as a journalist. The following (short) list indicates the range of her experience in the industrial relations field.

  1. Work and Family Issues: Guidelines for Negotiations (ACTU 1992)
  2. Parental Leave: the Award Provision Explained (ACTU 1991)
  3. Women in the Australian Workforce, Past, Present and Future (ACTU 1990)
  4. Guidelines for Part-Time, Casual Work and Job Sharing (ACTU 1990)
  5. Removing Discriminatory Clauses in Awards (ACTU, 1987)
  6. Affirmative Action: Negotiating Document (ACTU 1986)
  7. Non-Sexist Language (ACTU 1986)
  8. Superannuation and Women (ACTU 1986)
  9. Legislative and Award Restrictions on Women's Employment (ACTU 1986)
  10. Editor: Women at Work, ACTU Newsletter (1984-92)
  11. Discrimination in Sporting Clubs, (Victorian Equal Opportunity Board, 1983)


c. 1970 - c. 1980
Career in journalism active
Membership - Founding member of Women's Electoral Lobby (WEL) and member of first coordinating committee, public relations committee and publications committee
1978 - 1980
President - Freelance section, Australian Journalists' Association
1982 - 1983
Membership - Working party to establish the Victorian Women's Information and Referral Exchange (WIRE)
1982 - 1983
Membership - Task Force to establish a Women's Centre for Victoria's 150th anniversary
1983 - 1984
Membership - Victorian Women's Advisory Council to the Premier
1983 - 1984
Membership - ALP Vic, Status of Women Committee
1984 - 1988
Secretary - ACTU Women's Committee
1984 - 1990
Membership - National Labor Consultative Council - Committee on Women's Employment
1987 - 1989
Membership - Expert Group on the Impact of Structural Adjustment on Women in Commonwealth Countries (CHOGM, London)

Sources used to compile this entry: Coorespondence with Iola Mathews, 17 August 2015.

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