Woman Pankhurst, Adela Constantia

Pacifist, Political Activist and Suffragist

Written by Caitlin Stone, The University of Melbourne

Adela Pankhurst was born in England in 1885 and with her mother and sisters was a leader of the suffrage movement. Moving to Australia in 1914 she was active in the Women's Political Association, the Women's Peace Army and the Victorian Socialist Party and was a close associate of Vida Goldstein. In 1917 she married trade unionist Tom Walsh and together with him was one of the founders of the Communist Party of Australia. Her politics shifted, however, and in 1928, she established the anti-Communist Australian Women's Guild of Empire to provide financial support for working-class women and children. A flirtation with Fascist causes saw her interned in 1942. She died, a widow, in 1961. Her three children survived her.

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