Australian Women's Register

An initiative of The National Foundation for Australian Women (NFAW) in conjunction with The University of Melbourne

Skip to content

Exhibitions

  • From Lady Denman to Katy Gallagher: A Century of Women's Contributions to Canberra
  • The Encyclopedia of Women and Leadership in Twentieth-Century Australia

Use Trove to find more resources by/about this Woman

  • Trove

Daniels, Kay (1941 - 2001)

Born
1941
Australia
Died
17 July 2001
Occupation
Writer, Public servant and Historian

Summary

Kay Daniels taught and published widely in the fields of women's, social and colonial history. Until her two-volume work Women in Australia: An Annotated Guide to Records was published in 1977, it had been generally believed that women could not be included in history as they lived within the family and there were no records of their lives in the public sphere.
She spent part of her life as a Commonwealth public servant in Canberra, contributing in areas of cultural policy and intellectual property rights.

Details

After graduating from the University of Adelaide in 1963, Daniels chose an interdisciplinary studies course offered by University of Sussex. It was here that she completed her doctoral thesis on the publication of novels in England in the 1890s, under labor historian Asa Briggs and literary critic David Daiches.
From 1967 to 1988, Daniels taught history, applying the insights she had acquired to the new field of women's history, at the University of Tasmania. With a grant funded from the International Women's Year project, Daniels designed and supervised a project that set out to unearth in Australia's official archives all materials relating to women. Women in Australia: An Annotated Guide to Records was published in 1977. She also attended early women's movement conferences, as well as leading the fight to save the Cascades Female Factory and publishing the newsletter Liberaction.
Daniels took leave in 1985, to head up the committee to review Australian studies in tertiary education in Canberra. The resulting report, Windows into Worlds, led to the establishment of many Australian Studies centres, and to the increased Australian content of much of tertiary education.
She was the principal intellectual force behind the 1993 cultural policy statement Distinctly Australian, and also had significant input into its successor Creative Nation, after commencing work for the federal Department of Communications, Information Technology and the Arts, in 1989.
Before passing away, Daniels was awarded an adjunct professorship at Macquarie University and an honorary degree from the University of Tasmania.
In 2003 The Kay Daniels Award was established to honour her work as a historian and public servant. It is a biennial award, sponsored by members and associates of the Australian Historical Association, the University of tasmania and the Port Arthur Historic Site.

Sources used to compile this entry: From Lady Denman to Katy Gallagher: A Century of Women's Contributions to Canberra, Australian Women's Archives Project, February 2013, http://www.womenaustralia.info/exhib/ldkg.

Related entries

Founding sponsor

Anne Heywood

Site-wide information and acknowledgements

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

© Copyright in The Australian Women's Register is owned by the Australian Women's Archives Project
and vested in each of the authors in respect of their contributions from 2000

http://www.womenaustralia.info/biogs/AWE0108b.htm

The Australian Women's Register is licensed under a
Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Australia License

The Australian Women's Register is published quarterly by the Australian Women's Archives Project
ISSN 2207-3124