Melbourne, Victoria, Australia
- 7 November 1990
Adelaide, South Australia, Australia
- Poet, Educator and Women's rights activist
Daughter of Arthur Walker and his wife Frances (née Sinclair), Ellinor Walker was born in Melbourne, Victoria and moved to Adelaide, South Australia when she was nine years old. She attended the Wilderness School, and was awarded the Tennyson Medal for English at the age of fifteen. Walker graduated as a kindergarten teacher, and spent two years as Director of the Halifax St Free Kindergarten. She then opened the Greenways School at her family home in Fullarton, and directed this for 24 years. At the age of eighteen she and a friend formed a Girls' Club to study political matters, and this led to her joining, at the age of 21, the Non-Party Association. She was an active member of this for 65 years, and when (as the League of Women Voters, which it had become) it voluntarily ended in 1979, she gave the valedictory speech. She was a passionate supporter of the League of Nations and the movement to maintain world peace. In 1940, with the help of Roma Mitchell (later Governor of South Australia) she drew up the Bill which became the Guardianship of Infants Act, No. 55 (1940), giving mothers equal rights with fathers over their children. In 1962 and 1963 she organised an Australia-wide campaign which resulted in recognition of the needs of civilian widows with dependent children. She was a member of the Women's Christian Temperance Union (WCTU). In 1964 she helped form the Local Government Women's Association, and in 1971 was president of the Women's Christian Temperance League, of which she had been a member since 1935. Walker wrote several historical pageants and she also wrote a monologue, 'The Story of the Franchise: How Women Won the Vote in SA' (1944) for the Golden Jubilee of Women's Suffrage. Her poem 'Lullaby' was set to music by Ruby R McCulloch, and is held in the Mortlock Library. Ellinor Walker was appointed an Officer of the Order of the British Empire on 12 June 1971 for her service to the community.
Sources used to compile this entry: http://buffy.lib.unimelb.edu.au:2470/run?ex=GuidedSearch&scope=*&name=Walker%2C+Ellinor&title=&subject=&workYear=&workTypes=*&workForms=*&workGenres=*&sortOrder=date&displayFormat=summary accessed 2004-02-02.