• Entry type: Person
  • Entry ID: AWE1807

Williams, Mary Jamieson

(1870 – 1947)
  • Nationality Australian
  • Born 1 January, 1870
  • Died 19 February, 1947, Katoomba New South Wales Australia
  • Occupation Political candidate


Mrs Mary Jamieson Williams was a pioneer of the women’s movement and a staunch temperance worker. She ran for election to the New South Wales Legislative Assembly seat of North Shore in 1925 as an Independent.


Mrs Mary Jamieson Williams had been engaged in temperance work in Scotland and South Wales before she arrived in Australia with her husband, the Reverend T. Jamieson Williams, a Presbyterian minister.

On arrival in Australia, she first joined the Woman’s Christian Temperance Union (WCTU) in Tamworth in 1913 and was President 1913-1916. The Williams moved to Nowra where she became President of the Nowra Temperance Union 1917-1921. She was elected the Recording secretary for Australasia at the Triennial Convention of the WCTU in Perth in 1918 and held the office until at least 1926. In 1923 she attended two European conferences, representing the WCTU and the Council of Women’s Union of Service at the International Women’s Suffrage Congress in Rome and, at the invitation of the Danish Government, the International Anti-Alcohol Congress in Copenhagen. She also took part in the Scottish No-License Campaign while she was abroad.

Mrs Jamieson Williams formed the Manly branch of the WCTU in 1921, and became State Treasurer 1925-26, and President 1926-1929. She was active in many areas of interest to women, presenting petitions to Members of Parliament on the status of women, speaking in favour of amendments to the Liquor Bill in 1929, writing letters to the paper on women police, child endowment and the Vagrancy Bill.

When she ran for election as an independent candidate for North Shore in 1925, The Sydney Morning Herald described her as particularly strong on international affairs and kee4nly interested in problems affecting her sex.

In 1930 she attended the Pan Pacific Conference in Honolulu which led to the formation of the Pan Pacific Women’s Association. She was also a delegate to the NSW National Council of Women.
Mrs Jamieson Williams was one of the few women who had conducted church services.
In 1933 she was appointed an Australian delegate to the League Of Nations.


Published resources

Archival resources

  • National Library of Australia, Manuscript Collection
    • Papers of Mary Jamieson Williams 1933-1935 [manuscript]

Related entries

  • Related Organisations
    • National Council of Women of New South Wales (1896 - )
    • The National Woman's Christian Temperance Union of Australia (1891 - )
    • Woman's Christian Temperance Union of New South Wales (1882 - )
  • Related Concepts
    • Women in Politics: Independents
    • Women's Non-party Political Organisations