- Nationality Australian
- Born 1 January, 1924, Dareel Queensland Australia
- Died 13 July, 1973, Wollongong (?) New South Wales Australia
- Occupation Aboriginal leader, Aboriginal rights activist, Administrator
Monica Clare was the daughter of an Aboriginal shearer and an English women who died in childbirth when Monica was two years old. Taken into care at the age of seven, she and her brother grew up in a variety of foster homes in Sydney. After learning the finer arts of domestic service, Monica went out to work as a waitress and a factory hand.
In the 1950s, Monica became interested in Labor Politics. Her second husband, the trade unionist Leslie Clare, encouraged this interest and also encouraged her to be active in Aboriginal politics. She became the Secretary of the Aborigines Committee of the South Coast at Wollongong during the 1960s and, subsequently, of an Aboriginal committee called the South Coast Illawarra Tribe, from 1968 to 1973.
Monica Clare worked tirelessly for the political and social equality of Aboriginal people, and their independence. She died suddenly on National Aborigines Day, 13 July 1973.
Monica Clare was born in 1924, at Dareel on the Mooni River, ten miles from Mungindi, on the Queensland side of the border. Her father was an Aboriginal shearer, and her mother, surnamed Scott, was English. The family roamed the upper Darling until Monica’s mother died in childbirth in c.1926. In 1931 Monica and her younger brother were taken by Child Welfare. They were first taken to ‘Yasmar’ Home, Haberfield, in Sydney, and then to Redmyre Road, Strathfield, where Monica learned domestic service. By 1932 the two children were fostered to Bill and Stella Woodbury who owned a farm near Spencer on the lower Hawkesbury River. During World War Two, Monica worked as a servant, in the W.D.&H.O. Wills cigarette factory, as a waitress at a Greek café, and in Peggy Page, a well-known Sydney dress factory. Her first marriage ending in divorce, Monica became interested in Labor politics. In 1956 she met Leslie Clare, a well-known secretary of several trade unions, and decided to move to Wollongong. Leslie was sympathetic to Aboriginal people and took her to various Aboriginal missions along the New South Wales coast. They married in 1960.
Monica was the Secretary of the Aborigines Committee of the South Coast at Wollongong during the 1960s and subsequently of an Aboriginal committee called the South Coast Illawarra Tribe, from 1968 to 1973. She worked tirelessly for the political and social equality of Aboriginal people, and their independence. She died suddenly on National Aborigines Day, 13 July 1973, before she could revise and rewrite the manuscript for her autobiographical book Karobran: The Story of an Aboriginal Girl which was published in 1978.
- Book Section
- Journal Article
- Newspaper Article
- Trove: Clare, Monica (1924-1973), http://nla.gov.au/nla.party-579444