- Social action organisation
The Women's International League for Peace and Freedom (WILPF) began in Australia in 1915 as The Sisterhood of International Peace, with the motto 'Justice, Friendship and Arbitration'. In 1919 the sisterhood heard of the WILPF and became the Australian Section of the League after sending a delegate to the 1919 conference in Zurich. The League 'aims at bringing together women of different political and philosophical tendencies united in their determination to study, make known and help abolish the political, social, economic and psychological causes of war, and to work for a constructive peace'. (from 'Aims, Principles and Policies' a pamphlet printed to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the Australian Section in 1965.) The League also maintained ties with other organizations such as the Women's Christian Temperance Union, the Society of Friends and Save the Children Fund. Ellinor Walker was one of the early secretaries of the League but unfortunately most of the papers pertaining to that time are missing. The WILPF operated as a study group in the 1950s and went into recess in 1965, before being revitalised in response to the Vietnam War. The League vigorously protested against the war and conscription, and used means such as preparing submissions to parliamentary inquiries, sending out pamphlets and organising rallies. Margaret Forte was one of the more active members during the latter period being at various times Secretary, Section Liaison, Junior Media Peace Project convenor and representing the WILPF on other committees such as United Nations Association of Australia (UNAA) (South Australia), Status of Women Committee, People for Nuclear Disarmament, and Time for Peace.