- Occupation Social action organisation
The Victorian Section of the St Joan’s International Alliance, was established on the initiative of Margaret Flynn an Australian member of the English section of the St Joan’s International Alliance. An avowedly feminist organisation, it was open to all Catholics who agreed with the stated object of action ‘to secure the political, social and economic equality between men and women and to further the work and usefulness of Catholic women as citizens’. A New South Wales sector was established in 1946, with South Australia and Western Australia following suit in 1950. The first national conference was held in Sydney in 1951.
The English section of the St Joan’s International Alliance was established in 1911 as the Catholic Women’s Suffrage Society, but once the suffrage was gained in 1918, the Society gradually broadened its role to consider social issues affecting women and changed its name to reflect that change of emphasis. In 1923 it became the St Joan’s Social and Political Alliance. From 1954 the United Kingdom group was known as the Great Britain and Northern Ireland Section of the St Joan’s International Alliance.
The inaugural executive of the Victorian Sector of the St Joan’s Social and Political Alliance included Enid Lyons, wife of the Australian prime minister Joseph Lyons and member of the English section, as president, Kathleen Walsh as vice-president and Margaret Flynn as secretary/treasurer. Other foundation members included Anna Brennan, also a member of the English section, Julia Flynn, Teresa Wardell and Dr Inez Parer.
Foundation members of the New South Wales section included Norma Parker, Mary Tenison Wood and Phyllis Burke.
- Brennan, Anna Teresa (1879-1962), Campbell, Ruth and Morgan, Margaret, 2006, http://www.adb.online.anu.edu.au/biogs/A070404b.htm