Australian Women's Register

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Federated Association of Australian Housewives (1923 - )

From
1923
Occupations
Lobby group, Membership organisation and Women's Rights Organisation
Alternative Names
  • Australian Housewives Association
  • Federated Associations of Australian Housewives
  • Housewives Association

Summary

The Federated Associations (later Associaton) of Australian Housewives was formed in 1923 and held its first national conference in 1926. Its purpose was to provide a link between the various state-based Housewives Associations. The first of these was established in Victoria in 1915. New South Wales followed suit in early 1918, South Australian and Western Australia in the 1920s and, after a couple of false starts, Canberra, Tasmania and Queensland in the 1930s. Each of these associations was braodly dedicated to representing the interests of housewives, through political lobbying as well as various efforts to help members keep their household costs down, including domestic advice and member discounts. Although their primary function was always to reduce the cost of living and to control 'profiteering', they very quickly proclaimed themselves to be political organisations, though always 'non-party'. With the wider objective of gaining representation of women at all levels of government and public administration, and influencing public policy in the areas dealing with the home, women and children, their domain of interest rapidly came to include every sphere of public life, national and international.

With a combined membership of 115,000 by 1940-41, it was for a short time the largest women's organisation in the country.

Related entries

President

Archival resources

Mitchell and Dixson Libraries Manuscripts Collection, State Library of New South Wales

  • Progressive Housewives Association Records, 1939 - 1970, ML MSS 4155; Mitchell and Dixson Libraries Manuscripts Collection, State Library of New South Wales. Details

State Library of Victoria, Australian Manuscripts Collection

  • Housewives Association of Victoria Records, 1915 - 1985, MS 13340; Housewives Association of Victoria (1915 - ); State Library of Victoria, Australian Manuscripts Collection. Details

Jane Carey

Site-wide information and acknowledgements

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

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The Australian Women's Register is published quarterly by the Australian Women's Archives Project
ISSN 2207-3124