Australian Women in Agriculture Movement(1990 – )
Political organisation, Social action organisation
The Australian Women in Agriculture Movement had its beginnings in the state of Victoria. It involves a number of interconnected organisations, networks and community groups that emerged in Australia in the 1990s, although its roots spread back through the previous decade. It was driven by the desire of farm women for visibility and recognition of their contribution, for a greater role in decision making, and for a hearing for their broader concerns, which focussed on community, social justice and the environment, as well as productivity
The Knickers Fund(1998 – 2006)
The Knickers Fund was a philanthropic fund initiated and ultimately administered by the Central Victorian Women in Agriculture Inc. from 1998 to 2006. The fund aimed to give ‘women in tragedy a glimpse of humour and of caring’, from farm women to farm women, to enable them to buy the small, and otherwise impossible, comforts which helped them face the demands of a particularly challenging time, such as economic crisis, or the aftermath of floods after drought.
Central Victorian Women in Agriculture Inc.(1994 – 2006)
Social activist organisation
The Central Victorian Women in Agriculture group was formed in the aftermath of the First International Women in Agriculture Conference. Many of its original members had helped to organise the conference, and the organisation aimed to support women of Central Victoria to achieve the goals highlighted by the conference: to establish a supportive network, stimulate women to recognise and value their skills and abilities, to give women the chance to gain confidence and make a difference in their industry and community, to encourage and provide knowledge and practical skills, and to strengthen Australian agriculture through strong partnerships. The organisation was successful in its aims, its members going on to positions on industry boards, as representatives of state and national organisations, and in local government , and it was wound up in 2006.
Geelong and Western District Ladies Benevolent Association(1855 – )
The Geelong and Western District Ladies Benevolent Association is a non-sectarian philanthropic organisation, whose aims on formation were to provide emergency relief to the poor, in particular to women, and homes for ‘aged helpless females’.
The demands on their services rose and fell with economic circumstances such as the collapse of the land boom. The advent of the aged pension, and later the extension of Government welfare, reduced the call on their services in the early – mid-twentieth century. The Association is still in existence, providing assistance during illness and other misfortunes.
Geelong District Nursing Society(1907 – )
Voluntary community support organisation
The Geelong District Nursing Society (For Nursing the Sick Poor in their own Homes) was founded on 1 February 1907. An initial meeting was convened by Geelong’s Lady Mayoress, Mrs Bostock, in October 1906, which was presided over by the mayor, and a committee formed of volunteer workers. The first nurse, Miss Edwards, was engaged and began work on 31 January 1907. By the mid –twenties, a car had been purchased for the nurses’ use. The Society was funded by donations, bequests and subscriptions, grants from the Hospitals and Charities Commission, and collections, and received support from the Geelong Hospital. The Society applied to the Ladies’ Benevolent Society when help was needed for a patient, relieved distress where extra nourishment was needed, and distributed parcels donated by Geelong societies to patients at Christmas. Though they deleted the words ‘poor and needy’ from the description of their work in 1960, by 1980 demand for the Society’s services had risen, because of the aging population, the policy of early discharge from hospital, and the desire to nurse the aged and terminally ill in their own homes.
Women on Farms Gatherings(1990 – )
Social support organisation
The first Women on Farms Gathering was held in Warragul, Victoria, in 1990. The Gatherings have been held annually in different rural locations across the state since that time, with organisation handed over to an autonomous committee of local women each year. Women from Queensland, Tasmania and New South Wales attended the fifth gathering in Tallangatta in 1993, and the movement spread to Queensland and New South Wales in 1993, and Tasmania in 1994. Held over a weekend, the Gatherings bring together rural women to learn new skills, share stories and, especially in the beginning, to reaffirm their identity as farmers. They were a vital thread in the women in agriculture movement, providing a public collective space for women to build an alternative knowledge about their disadvantaged position in farming, and fostering a political voice.
Geelong Girls’ Unity Club(1924 – 1965)
Community organisation, Social support organisation, Sporting Organisation
In 1924 a committee of middle-class women of Geelong, concerned that girls beginning work at fourteen were not fully prepared for life, met to form the Blue Triangle Community. Their stated aim was ‘to help Girls to find the best in life by offering opportunities to develop all their powers’. Employers provided support, including an annual donation. Industry-based teams played basketball on Saturday afternoons, and tennis clubs and a swimming club were formed. Club rooms were secured, and educational and social activities were held for Senior girls (those over 20) and younger ‘Girl Citizens’. They included sex education. A Friday night ‘At Home’ and Sunday teas were instituted. Volunteers visited workplaces each pay day to collect money to bank on the girls’ behalf, a summer camp was run to provide an annual holiday at a reasonable cost, and opportunities were provided for service to the community.
Lyceum Club Brisbane Incorporated(1919 – )
The Lyceum Club Brisbane, founded in 1919, was directly modelled on the London Lyceum Club. It is a club for women interested in the arts, science, contemporary issues and the pursuit of lifelong learning. The club is apolitical and non-sectarian. Membership of the club is open to women who have university, conservatorium or other tertiary qualifications of a standard approved by the Management Committee; have published original work in literature, science, art or music; or have given important public service
Brisbane Women’s Club(1908 – )
Philanthropic organisation, Women's reform group, Women's Rights Organisation
One of the oldest women’s clubs in Queensland, the Brisbane Women’s Club was formed in 1908 under the sponsorship of the Queensland Women’s Electoral League. Originally called the Women’s Progressive Club, the name was changed to the Brisbane Women’s Club in May 1912. Ardent feminist and women’s rights campaigner Margaret Ogg was one of the 59 founding members.
The objectives of the club were to provide a social centre for women workers in the cause of reform and to encourage free discussion on subjects of public importance, including social, political and municipal matters. The club lobbied the Brisbane City Council and the State Government for the betterment of the community. In an effort to improve the life of rural women, the club was instrumental in the establishment of the Queensland Country Women’s Association in 1922 and the Bush Book Club in 1921. The Brisbane Women’s Club celebrated its centenary in 2008 and continues to provide a social and cultural centre with a philanthropic charter.
Women Against Nuclear Energy (WANE)(1980 – )
Anti-nuclear group, Feminist organisation, Peace organisation
Women Against Nuclear Energy (WANE) was formed as a result of a growing feminist concern about, and a desire for action on, uranium and nuclear power issues. WANE’s objectives included educating and activating women as citizens rather than as mothers and carers. The exclusion of males was felt to better enable this, providing women with an environment free from the constraints of sexism that were felt to be inherent in the hierarchical structure of other anti-nuclear groups.
WANE aimed to work with women’s groups in unions against uranium. The group also supported investigation into finding alternative energy sources. WANE believed the implications of a solar future were inherent in feminist theory (for example, people before profits). WANE maintained strong links to Campaign Against Nuclear Energy (CANE) and helped organise Women’s Action for Nuclear Disarmament (WAND).
Women’s Action Against Global Violence (WAAGV)
Peace organisation, Political organisation, Social action organisation
Women’s Action Against Global Violence (WAAGV) was formed in Sydney in the early 1980s, as an organisation that aimed to support “women and children of all races and cultures in their struggle against violence and oppression”. WAAGV was distinctly anti-nuclear, citing the nuclear arms race and its direct link to uranium mining, as well as the desecration of Australian Aboriginal land, the endangerment of workers’ health and environmental instability as the basis for the group’s opposition to uranium mining.
WAAGV organised and supported numerous protests and events, including the Pine Gap Peace Camp, 1983, an all women’s peace camp at Lucas Heights, women’s only dances and a ‘Die-In’, a peaceful action that was intended as a symbolic representation of nuclear attack. The group felt that it was necessary to retain a women only composition as it provided an environment where women could speak out, enabling a correction of a gender imbalance that was identified within the decision making process in other groups.
They had strong links to other women’s peace groups including Feminist Anti-Nuclear Group (FANG) and Women Against Nuclear Energy (WANE) in Adelaide.
Women’s Theatre Group(1975 – 1989)
The Women’s Theatre Group was active in Adelaide from 1975 to 1989. The group wrote, produced, directed, scored, performed and built the stage for their productions. They performed cabaret and theatrical works. All-women productions were a first in Adelaide. The women worked through a collective. They won the Adelaide Festival Centre best production award for ‘Redheads Revenge’ in 1978.
Other productions included ‘Christobel in Paris’ 1975, ‘Caroline Chisel Show’ 1976, International Women’s Day Concert and ‘Chores 1’ in 1977, ‘Chores 2’ and ‘I want I want’ 1979, ‘Out of the Frying Pan’ 1980,’ Onward to Glory’ 1982, ‘Margin to Mainstream’ and ‘Women and Work Women and Paid Work’ 1984, ‘Sybils Xmas Concert ‘1985, and 1989 ‘Is this Seat Taken?’, this last show explored relationships between Indigenous and non-Indigenous women. The group included the Women in Education Theatre Group and the Feminist Theatre Group.
Adelaide Women’s Liberation Movement Archive(1984 – 2009)
Historical collection, Research
The Adelaide Women’s Liberation Movement Archive was established in 1984 by a concerned group of women who wanted to preserve the history of what was called the second wave of feminism. With the aid of the Community Employment Program and the feminist community, memorabilia was collected along with the papers of a variety of groups and individuals. The material was collected from late 1969 through to 2008.
Women for Survival
Anti-nuclear organisation, Non-violent organisation, Peace organisation
Women For Survival was a national feminist peace coalition. It was formed in 1983, as an umbrella organisation to bring together the various feminist peace groups around Australia in order to coordinate the Pine Gap Women’s Peace Camp planned for November that year. The two week vigil in November 1983 at Pine Gap, just outside of Alice Springs, sought to demonstrate support for the women of the peace camps at Greenham Common (United Kingdom) and Comiso (Italy), and to bring to public attention the secrecy of the US Base and Australia’s vulnerability as a nuclear target. It maintained a philosophy of collectivity, consensus and collaboration, using non-violent direct action and creativity in its approach to protest.
WFS published a newsletter – Survival News – and held national conferences. Another national protest was organized the following year at Cockburn Sound in Western Australia – the Sound Women’s Peace Camp in December 1984. Local actions by branches coincided with the peace camps, and continued in their involvement in protests against Salisbury Defence Centre (South Australia), Roxy Downs (South Australia), Lucas Heights (New South Wales), and the hosting of United States nuclear-capable warships. Women For Survival was part of an international women’s peace movement at the end of the Cold War with the formidable threat of nuclear war.
Sound Women’s Collective
Political organisation, Social action organisation
Sound Women’s Peace Collective was formed from Women For Survival after their successful Pine Gap Women’s Peace Camp in 1983 to organize another national women’s protest at Cockburn Sound, WA. The Western Australian group, Women’s Action for Nuclear Disarmament, played a key role in preparing this event. It was held in December 1-14, 1984 at Point Perron in Cockburn Sound, near the HMAS Stirling Naval Base on Garden Island and close to Fremantle where nuclear capable US warships frequently docked and utilized the services of local women for ‘rest and recreation’. An innovative Peace Train was organized with the railways and unions to bring women from the Eastern states for this action, but the costs became burdensome; the Peace train was transformed into a Road Train, a cavalcade of buses travelling together, but even this proved impossible to coordinate. The memory and idyll of the Peace Train remains however in posters and newsletter images, which are testament to its ingenuity.
Adelaide Women’s Liberation Movement(1969 – 1989)
Feminist organisation, Social action organisation
The Adelaide Women’s Liberation Movement began at the University of Adelaide in 1968, inspired by the women who were active in Young Labor, and the anti-Vietnam war campaign. These women questioned their role in these organisations and vented their frustration about these male dominated groups.
Anna Yeatman, Anne Summers and Julie Ellis are credited with starting the feminist newsletters Sisterhood and Body Political. By late 1969 they produced Liberation, the Adelaide Women’s Liberation Newsletter which replaced Sisterhood.
Their first protest was against the Miss Fresher competition, which brought media focus to the expression of their feminist ideals for women’s liberation. Public meetings where called and the broader community involvement brought about the establishment of the Women’s Liberation Movement housed at Bloor House situated in Bloor Court off Currie Street, in Adelaide. They provided an environment where ideas for supporting women’s rights were fostered.
The Group wrote a Women’s manifesto which was published in Liberation newsletter in June 1971. The Adelaide Women’s Liberation Group took part in the first Women’s Liberation Conference in Melbourne in 1970.
The Women’s Liberation Movement in Adelaide was the catalyst for the establishment of the Women’s Health Centre at Hindmarsh, The Rape Crisis Centre, Women’s Studies Resource Centre, Abortion Action Campaign, St Peters Women’s Community Centre, Women’s Health Centres at Christies Beach and Elizabeth. They lobbied for Women’s Studies to be part of tertiary education, women’s representation in parliament, a Working Women’s Centre to protect women’s working rights, the Women’s Peace Movement. Bloor House provided a space for women to express their personal political ideas and to get feedback and support. The Women’s Liberation Movement moved from Bloor House to Eden St in Adelaide and then to Mary St, Hindmarsh were it was closed in 1989.
Rape Crisis Centre(1976 – )
Educator, Feminist support service, Social change
The Adelaide Rape Crisis Centre was formed as an outgrowth of the Hindmarsh Women’s Community Centre, a free medical service for women. It became obvious after a short time that a separate service was needed, given the number of women reporting past rapes and the lack of available services. The founders of the Rape Crisis Centre had three main purposes: 1) to support women after the rape, 2) to change attitudes to rape and 3) to teach self defence. They organised the first ‘Reclaim the Night March’ in Adelaide. The group made a submission to the Mitchell Report on Rape and Other Sexual Offences.
5 MMM(1980 – )
5 MMM was a public radio broadcaster that presented a number of women’s programs, including; Women’s Weekly, and Sunday Monthly . The programs had female presenters at a time when commercial stations did not. The women produced, wrote, presented and were the audio engineers. A small collective organised the programs’ content, time lines and themes. The station became 3D radio in 1988.
Unemployed Women’s Union(1980 – 1981)
Feminist organisation, Social action organisation
The Unemployed Women’s Union was a response to the economic downturn of 1980. The members wanted to debunk the myth of married women who were working as the cause of unemployment, to defend the right for all women to work, and to act as a support group for unemployed women. They picketed employers, published a newsletter, spoke at rallies, wrote letters to newspapers and politicians, and applied for jobs en masse.
International Women’s Day Collective(1974 – )
Event organiser, Social awareness organisation
The International Women’s Day (IWD) Collective is not to be confused with the IWD Committee which was formed in 1938. The IWD Collective was formed by the second wave feminists and was concerned with the IWD March; the festival or picnic after the march and the IWD Dance. They organised themes for the day and speakers. They also produced posters, badges and t-shirts.
Feminist Anti-Nuclear Group (FANG)(1982 – 1984)
Anti-nuclear group, Feminist organisation, Peace organisation
Feminist Anti-Nuclear Group (FANG) was formed in November 1982, initially as an organisation which enabled women to demonstrate their solidarity with the women of the Greenham Common Peace Camp.
Central to FANG’s philosophy was a non-hierarchical structure, where women were free to feel empowered and express their desire to work toward the common goals of peace, social justice and a nuclear-free future.
The group organised several actions, including a peace camp at the US Base at Smithfield, and a 2-week vigil in support of the Pine Gap Peace Camp. The group also coordinated women’s only spaces at Roxby Downs actions, as well as information and film nights to educate women about worldwide peace movements and anti-nuclear actions, to educate its members about non-violent direct action techniques.
Hindmarsh Women’s Community Health Centre(1974 – 1989)
Hindmarsh Women’s Community Health Centre was the first women’s health centre in South Australia. The Women’s Liberation Movement recognised the need for a separate women’s health centre from the number of health related calls and personal enquiries it received and lobbied the government for assistance. Funding was granted in 1974 and 6 Mary St, Hindmarsh was officially open in 1976. The Health Centre became a teaching centre for women’s health in late 1975 and produced pamphlets on both general and gynaecological health. The Rape Crisis Centre evolved from the Health Centre.
Funding came through the state government and as a result there were some clashes between the bureaucracy and the feminist executive over how the centre should be run. This was further complicated by the clashing politics of the various feminist groups involved in the centre, which was run by a feminist collective. Conflict with the State Health Department eventually lead to the withdrawal of funding.
After the intervention of the Women’s Adviser to the Premier, who argued the case for the need for specialised women’s health services, the centre was moved to North Adelaide and became Women’s Health Statewide. The Centre then became known as the Welling Place, providing alternative health including a vegetable patch for the community. 6 Mary St was demolished in 1989 to make way for the Adelaide Entertainment Centre.
Women Against Rape Adelaide(1981 – 1982)
Protesting, Social awareness organisation
Women Against Rape (WAR) was formed after the 1981 ANZAC Day March in Canberra where three hundred women demonstrated about and for women raped in war. The Adelaide women organised a rally in support of the women who had been arrested in Canberra.