• Entry type: Person
  • Entry ID: PR00124

Banner, Esma Mavis

(1910 – 2001)
  • Born 28 July, 1910
  • Died 30 June, 2001
  • Occupation Refugee support worker


Esma Banner worked in Europe for the United Nations Relief and Rehabilitation Administration (UNRRA) as an employment officer (c. 1945-50) and a welfare officer in a displaced persons camp (c. 1950-51).


Esma Banner left school at fourteen to look after her sick mother. She attended a business college for one year in 1926. She then found a position as a shorthand writer and typist for a business and moved quickly through the ranks to the position of secretary to the Director. She worked there for thirteen years. When her mother died in 1940 she worked with her father in his haulage business as well as for a Sydney solicitor.

Esma Banner started work with United Nations Relief and Rehabilitation Administration (UNRRA) in 1944 in its Sydney office. From 15th to2 0th February she attended the 7th meeting of the Committee of the Council for the Far East at Lapstone Hotel, Glenbrook, NSW. She then worked in the Melbourne office of UNRRA for a period of three months. Whilst there she was selected to work in Germany with the International Refugee Organisation (IRO) and left Sydney for London on 28 June 1945. Her position as Area Employment Officer involved travel to places such as Munich, Nellingen, Ludwigsburg, Pforzbeim and Traunstein. Her final position in Germany was in a Displaced Persons’ Camp in Pforzheim.

She returned to Australia in 1951. A few years later Ms Banner applied to the University of Sydney for a Diploma Course in Social Work and was accepted. On completion of her course she worked for the Department of Social Security for eighteen years at which point she retired.


Published resources

Archival resources

  • National Archives of Australia, Sydney Office
    • Esma BANNER