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    In the outdoors, c. September 1943, courtesy of Australian War Memorial.
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Palmer, Helen Gwynneth (1917 - 1979)

Born
9 May 1917
Kew, Victoria, Australia
Died
6 May 1979
North Sydney, New South Wales, Australia
Occupation
Writer, Teacher and Political activist

Summary

The second daughter of Vance and Nettie (née Higgins) Palmer, Helen Palmer spent a year in London after being educated at Presbyterian Ladies' College (Melbourne) where she was dux in 1934. Returning to Melbourne she won a scholarship to the University of Melbourne and graduated with a BA and DipEd in 1939. She later obtained a B.Ed (1952). From 1940 until 1942 she was a teacher in Victorian State schools.

Helen Palmer enlisted in the Women's Australian Auxiliary Air Force on 18 February 1942 and during her service worked in the education division. After the war she worked with the Commonwealth Office of Education (Sydney). In 1948 she returned to Melbourne teaching in private schools.

She made several trips to China and in 1953 published her observations in An Australian Teacher in China. Through the bi-monthly publication Outlook (1957-1970), Helen Palmer provided a forum for vigorous discussion of all issues which were part of a radical critique of Australian politics and society.

The author (with Jessie MacLeod) of First Hundred Years (1954) and After the First Hundred Years (1961), she also authored books on Australian literature, popular culture and history. Helen Palmer was also a prominent poet and balladist and is remembered for 'The Ballard of 1891,' that describes the shearers' strike.

Helen Palmer died on 6 May 1979.

Sources used to compile this entry: Gollan, Robin, 'Palmer, Helen Gwynneth (1917-1979)', in Australian Dictionary of Biography Online, Australian National University, 2006, http://www.adb.online.anu.edu.au/biogs/A150652b.htm; Radi, Heather (ed.), 200 Australian Women: A Redress Anthology, Women's Redress Press, Sydney, 1988, 258 pp. Also available at http://nla.gov.au/nla.arc-78644.

Related entries

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Archival resources

Australian War Memorial Research Centre

  • [Department of Information - Broadcasting Division:] Talks by Helen Palmer (Sep 1943) [transcripts], 1943, AWM80; Australian War Memorial Research Centre. Details
  • In the outdoors, Yarra Valley, Vic., VIC1314; Australian War Memorial Research Centre. Details
  • [Official History, 1914-18 War: Records of Charles E W Bean, Official Historian:], 1947 - 1962, AWM38; Australian War Memorial Research Centre. Details

National Archives of Australia, National Office

  • Applications for positions by Palmer, Helen Gwynneth Miss, 11 August 1947, A1361/1; National Archives of Australia, National Office. Details
  • Helen G. Palmer - complaint re wharf officials, 1948, A432/82; National Archives of Australia, National Office. Details
  • Helen Gwynneth Palmer - Volume 1, 1939 - 1957, A6119/2; Palmer, Helen Gwynneth (1917 - 1979); National Archives of Australia, National Office. Details
  • Helen Gwynneth Palmer - Volume 2, 1957 - 1965, A6119/90; Palmer, Helen Gwynneth (1917 - 1979); National Archives of Australia, National Office. Details
  • Helen Gwynneth Palmer - Volume 3, 1963 - 1966, A6119/90; Palmer, Helen Gwynneth (1917 - 1979); National Archives of Australia, National Office. Details
  • Helen Gwynneth Palmer - Volume 4, 1965 - 1970, A6119/90; Palmer, Helen Gwynneth (1917 - 1979); National Archives of Australia, National Office. Details
  • Helen Gwynneth Palmer and Ronald James Grant Taylor, 1960, A1336/1; National Archives of Australia, National Office. Details
  • Palmer, Helen Gwynneth, 1939 - 1948, 2002/05090863; National Archives of Australia, National Office. Details
  • WAAAF service record - 350207 Flight Officer Palmer, Helen Gwynneth, 1942 - 1946, A9300/1; National Archives of Australia, National Office. Details

National Library of Australia

  • Papers of Aileen and Helen Palmer [manuscript]. [19--], MS 3044; Palmer, Helen Gwynneth (1917 - 1979); National Library of Australia. Details
  • Papers, [manuscript] 1918-1996, 1918 - 1996, MS 6083; Palmer, Helen Gwynneth (1917 - 1979); National Library of Australia. Details
  • Papers, [manuscript] 1935-1979 Palmer, Aileen, 1915-1988, 1935 - 1979, MS 6759; National Library of Australia. Details
  • Thesis and correspondence [manuscript] 1934-1967 Clark, S. B. (Stephen Barry)., 1934 - 1967, MS 2255; National Library of Australia. Details

National Library of Australia Newspaper Microcopy Reading Room

  • [Biographical cuttings on Helen Palmer, writer and educationalist]; National Library of Australia Newspaper Microcopy Reading Room. Details

Digital resources

Title
In the outdoors
Type
Image
Date
c. September 1943
Control
VIC1314
Source
Australian War Memorial

Details

Anne Heywood

Site-wide information and acknowledgements

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

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