Australian Women's Register

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Girls Social and Political Union (1914 - 1917)

From
1914
Adelaide, South Australia
To
1917

Summary

The social activism of quite young women is graphically captured in the activities of the Girls Social and Political Union, which flourished between 1914 and 1917. It was a discussion group formed by Ellinor Walker in 1914, when she was just 18, with a friend, and around 20 other young women. The aims of the group were to promote mutual awareness of matters South Australian, Australian, Imperial and international to make the most effective use of their voting rights.

They discussed a wide range of social, political and economic topics, some of which bear currency today—'large pensions being granted to Government servants at the present time of so-called economy'; sweated labour; the wheat scheme, land values taxation.

Details

The Union's endeavours shows the interests and concerns of a group of high-minded, young middle-class women who were concerned with self-education and self-improvement. Several members of this informal group went on to become involved in the Women's Non-Party Political Association.

According to the State Library'- of South Australian's Reference Archivist Prue McDonald, 'The minute book of the girls union shows issues of concern to the socially and politically aware young women of the day, and are remarkable for the time.'

Related entries

Archival resources

State Library of South Australia, Mortlock Library of South Australiana

  • Records of the Girls Social and Political Union, 1914 - 1917, SRG 513; State Library of South Australia, Mortlock Library of South Australiana. Details

Jane Carey

Site-wide information and acknowledgements

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

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