• Entry type: Person
  • Entry ID: AWE0093

Graham, Diana

(1909 – 1999)
  • Born 1 January, 1909
  • Died 31 December, 1999
  • Occupation Aboriginal rights activist, Women's rights activist


Diana Graham was a member of the Women’s Electoral Lobby (WEL) Rape Law Reform Action Group from 1976, and co-convenor of the WEL Family Law Action Group from 1977.


Di Graham was central to the debate on probate duties. Legislation around probate duties discriminated against women, she argued, as wives were obliged to wait for the probate period to expire despite their substantial direct and indirect contributions to assets which were seen as wholly belonging to their husbands or partners. Graham was convenor of the WEL probate group from c.1973.

From 1977, Graham was co-convenor (with Dr Jocelynne A. Scutt) of the WEL Family Law Action Group, of which Kerry Heubel was also an active member. She wrote numerous submissions to federal members of parliament, including a submission (written with Scutt and Heubel) to the joint select parliamentary committee on the Family Law Act in 1979.

In 1976, Graham had become a member of the WEL Rape Law Reform Action Group (again, convened by Scutt). The WEL draft bill on rape and other sexual offences formed the basis of rape law reform around Australia as well as substantially affecting reform and reform discussions in Aotearoa/New Zealand, the United Kingdom, Fiji, Canada and the USA. It was the basis of discussion at the first national conference on rape law reform, held in Hobart, Tasmania, in 1980 and hosted jointly by the Australian Institute of Criminology, the Tasmanian Law Reform Commission, and the University of Tasmania Law School.


Published resources

  • Edited Book
    • Different Lives, Scutt, Jocelynne A., 1987
  • Conference Proceedings
    • Rape Law Reform, Scutt, Jocelynne A., 1980
  • Book
    • Getting Equal: the History of Australian Feminism, Lake, Marilyn, 1999
  • Resource
  • Newspaper Article
    • Di Graham, OAM, Scutt, Jocelynne A., 1999

Archival resources

  • National Library of Australia, Manuscript Collection
    • Papers of Di Graham, 1975-1997 [manuscript]

Related entries

  • Related Organisations
    • Women's Electoral Lobby Australia (1972 - )