- 15 February 1945
Leeton, New South Wales, Australia
- 5 July 2009
Bega, New South Wales, Australia
- Author, Community worker, Health worker, Public servant and Researcher
Iris Clayton was taken to the Cootamundra Domestic Training Home for Aboriginal Girls in the 1950s, and from there sent to work as a servant in Canberra. At the age of 18 she was allowed to return home where she married. She returned to Canberra in 1977 to work at AIATSIS, first as a library assistant and later on the switchboard, where she stayed for a number of years. She was awarded a grant to research the Wiradjuri births, deaths and marriages, and her findings have been deposited at AIATSIS.
From 1991, Clayton worked as a health worker at the Winnanga Nimmityjah Aboriginal Health Service in Canberra. She was involved in community issues and served as a council member of the ACT Cultural Council. She influenced a generation of Canberra school children by becoming a regular visitor to ACT schools, sharing her stories and explaining her culture.
Iris Clayton died on 5 July 2009 at Bega, New South Wales, after more than a decade of recurrent health problems.
Sources used to compile this entry: Scarlett, Philippa, 'Obituary: Iris Rose Clayton (1945 - 2009)', Australian Aboriginal Studies, vol. 2, Fall, 2009, pp. 152-154; Horton, David (ed.). The Encyclopaedia of Aboriginal Australia, Vol. 1, Aboriginal Studies Press for AIATSIS, Canberra, 1994, p. 197.