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Graham, Diana (1909 - 1999)

OAM

Born
1909
Died
1999
Occupation
Aboriginal rights activist and Women's rights activist

Summary

Diana Graham was a member of the WEL Rape Law Reform Action Group from 1976, and co-convenor of the WEL Family Law Action Group from 1977.

Details

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.

Sources used to compile this entry: Scutt, Jocelynne A., 'Di Graham, OAM', Sydney Morning Herald, 4 December 1999, p. 50; Information kindly provided by Dr Jocelynne A. Scutt.

Related entries

Related Organisations

Archival resources

National Library of Australia Manuscript Collection

  • Papers of Diana Graham, 1975 - 1987, MS 7604; National Library of Australia Manuscript Collection. Details

Elle Morrell

Site-wide information and acknowledgements

National Foundation for Australian Women The University of Melbourne, eScholarship Research Centre

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