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West, Ida (1919 - 2003)

Cape Barren Island, Tasmania, Australia
Aboriginal community worker and author


Ida West was born on Cape Barren Island, Tasmania, in 1919. She attended school at Lughrata, 7 kilometres north of Wybalenna. She married in 1939, and the family moved around the island, living in tents, as her husband had various outdoor jobs with the municipal council. Later, Ida lived in Burnie and Hobart, working as a cleaner while raising the children alone. She became actively involved in community life and acquired an extensive knowledge of Tasmanian Aboriginal culture. She was a board member of the Tasmanian Aboriginal Centre, and served as its acting president. Her autobiography, Pride against Prejudice: Reminiscences of a Tasmanian Aborigine, was first published in 1984.

Sources used to compile this entry: Horton, David (ed.), The Encyclopaedia of Aboriginal Australia : Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander history, society and culture, Aboriginal Studies Press for AIATSIS, Canberra, 1994, 2 v. (xxxiii, 1340 p.) pp. p. 1172..

Leonarda Kovacic

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