Australian Women's Register

An initiative of The National Foundation for Australian Women (NFAW) in conjunction with The University of Melbourne

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Housewives Association of New South Wales (1918 - )

From
1918
Occupations
Membership organisation, Women's Rights Organisation and Lobby group
Alternative Names
  • Housewives Progressive Association

Summary

The Housewives Association of New South Wales was founded in 1918 largely due to the efforts of the artist Portia Geach. Influenced by a meeting of a housewives' association she had attended in New York in 1917, on her return to Sydney she formed and was first president of a similar organisation in her own state. The Association initially aimed to educate women in the principles of proper nutrition and to combat profiteering and rising food prices. It soon broadened its interests, becoming a considerable lobbying force on issues affecting women and children generally.

Details

The Association had wide affiliations from its earliest years - including the Parks and Playgrounds Association, Health Week, National Trust of Australia, National Council of Women, Town Planners' Association, United Nations Associations of Sydney and the General Federation of Women's Clubs. In 1928 Geach reorganised the association as the Housewives' Progressive Association. In 1938 the Housewives' Progressive Association was incorporated under the chairmanship of Eleanor Glencross with Geach a director. Their rivalry led to the expulsion in 1941 of Portia and four others, who alleged that the association had been working in cooperation with the Meadow-Lea Margarine Co. Pty Ltd. In 1947 she formed the breakaway Progressive Housewives' Association. The original organisation continued in a somewhat reduced form.

Related entries

Chairwoman of Directors

Archival resources

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

  • Housewives Association of New South Wales - Further Papers, 1972 - 1984, MLMSS 4629 ADD-ON 2127; Mitchell and Dixson Libraries Manuscripts Collection, State Library of New South Wales. Details
  • Housewives Association of New South Wales Papers, 1964 - 1985, MLMSS 4629; Mitchell and Dixson Libraries Manuscripts Collection, State Library of New South Wales. Details

National Library of Australia Oral History Collection

  • Interview with Mary Wright [sound recording] / Interviewer: Richard Raxworthy, ORAL TRC 1948/43; National Library of Australia Oral History 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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