• Entry type: Person
  • Entry ID: AWE0665

Walker, Ellinor Gertrude

(1893 – 1990)
  • Born 1 January, 1893, Melbourne Victoria Australia
  • Died 7 November, 1990, Adelaide South Australia Australia
  • Occupation Educator, Poet, Women's rights activist


Daughter of Arthur Walker and his wife Frances (née Sinclair), Ellinor Walker was born in Melbourne, Victoria and moved to Adelaide, South Australia when she was nine years old. She attended the Wilderness School, and was awarded the Tennyson Medal for English at the age of fifteen. Walker graduated as a kindergarten teacher, and spent two years as Director of the Halifax St Free Kindergarten. She then opened the Greenways School at her family home in Fullarton, and directed this for 24 years. At the age of eighteen she and a friend formed a Girls’ Club to study political matters, and this led to her joining, at the age of 21, the Non-Party Association. She was an active member of this for 65 years, and when (as the League of Women Voters, which it had become) it voluntarily ended in 1979, she gave the valedictory speech. She was a passionate supporter of the League of Nations and the movement to maintain world peace. In 1940, with the help of Roma Mitchell (later Governor of South Australia) she drew up the Bill which became the Guardianship of Infants Act, No. 55 (1940), giving mothers equal rights with fathers over their children. In 1962 and 1963 she organised an Australia-wide campaign which resulted in recognition of the needs of civilian widows with dependent children. She was a member of the Women’s Christian Temperance Union (WCTU). In 1964 she helped form the Local Government Women’s Association, and in 1971 was president of the Women’s Christian Temperance League, of which she had been a member since 1935. Walker wrote several historical pageants and she also wrote a monologue, ‘The Story of the Franchise: How Women Won the Vote in SA’ (1944) for the Golden Jubilee of Women’s Suffrage. Her poem ‘Lullaby’ was set to music by Ruby R McCulloch, and is held in the Mortlock Library. Ellinor Walker was appointed an Officer of the Order of the British Empire on 12 June 1971 for her service to the community.

Published resources

Archival resources

  • State Library of South Australia
    • Ellinor Gertrude Walker : SUMMARY RECORD
    • Interview with Ellinor Walker [sound recording] Interviewer: Anne Geddes
    • Radio interview with Ellinor Walker [sound recording] Interviewer: Janet Robertson
    • Autobiographical notes
    • Citation for Life Membership
    • Copyright certificates
    • Interview with Ellinor Gertrude Walker [sound recording] Interviewer: Mary Hutchison
    • Interview with Ellinor Gertrude Walker [sound recording] Interviewer: Beth M. Robertson
    • Juvenile writings
    • Letters, invitation and postcards
    • List of holidays
    • Musical scores
    • Newspaper cutting
    • Obituaries
    • Papers relating to Pageants
    • Photographs
    • Play scripts for performance
    • Poetry
    • Typescripts of Ellinor Walker
    • Girls Social & Political Union : SUMMARY RECORD

Related entries

  • Foundation member
    • Australian Local Government Women's Association - South Australian Branch (1964 - )
  • Membership
    • Pan Pacific and South East Asian Women's Association - South Australia (S.A.) Branch
    • Women's International League for Peace and Freedom - South Australian Branch
  • Related Organisations
    • League of Women Voters of South Australia (1909 - 1979)
  • Founded
    • Girls Social and Political Union (1914 - 1917)
  • Related Women
    • Mitchell, Roma Flinders (1913 - 2000)