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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    Gracia Baylor, 2002, courtesy of Gracia Baylor family.
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  • Carrying on the Fight: Women Candidates in Victorian Parliamentary Elections
  • Stirrers with Style! Presidents of the National Council of Women of Australia and its predecessors

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Baylor, Hilda Gracia (1929 - )

AM

Born
8 October 1929
Brisbane, Queensland, Australia
Occupation
Feminist, Women's rights activist, Women's rights organiser, Parliamentarian and Teacher
Alternative Names
  • Freeman, Gracia (former married name)
  • Parry-Okeden, Gracia (maiden name)
Website
http://www.parliament.vic.gov.au/re-member/bioregfull.cfm?mid=891

Summary

Gracia Baylor was the first woman member of the Liberal Party to be elected to the Victorian Legislative Council in 1979 as member for Boronia and one of the first two women to be elected to the Upper House. She held her seat until 1985 when she resigned to contest the Legislative Assembly seat of Warrandyte. She was unsuccessful in her bid to enter the Lower House.

Details

Gracia Baylor, daughter of Herbert David Parry-Okeden, a grazier and businessman and Hilary May Webster, although born in Brisbane, was educated in Victoria and Tasmania as well as Brisbane as a result of her father serving in the Royal Australian Air Force during World War Two. At the National Gallery Art School in Melbourne she completed a Diploma of Fine Arts and subsequently trained as a secondary school teacher. In 1950 she married John du Frocq Freeman. She worked at Mercer House a training college for teachers in independent schools from 1951-57 and at Hamilton College from 1957-59. On remarriage in 1959 to Richard Patrick Baylor, a Solicitor, she had four children, three boys and a girl and became a law clerk in her husband's firm in Healesville

Her interest in politics was sparked when she recognised the need for a kindergarten in the town of Healesville. She served as a Healesville Shire Councillor from 1966-78 and ultimately became the first woman president of the Shire of Healesville from 1977-78. During her time in parliament she assisted in the establishment of the Queen Victoria Women's Centre.

She has been an active member of the National Council of Women at the national and state level, serving as president of the National Council of Women of Victoria from 1990-93 and of the National Council of Women Australia from 1997-2000.

Events

1990 - 2008
Chaired - Dr Vera Scantlebury Brown Memorial trust
1991 - 1999
Membership - Victoria Women's Council
1999 - 2002
Membership - Ministerial Advisory Committee to Minister for Women's Affairs (Victoria)
1999 - 2002
Membership - Commnwealth Advisory Board for Equal Employment Opportunity for Women
2000 - 2001
Membership - 'Women Shaping the Nation' Centenary of Federation Committee

Sources used to compile this entry: Browne, Geoff, Biographical register of the Victorian Parliament, Government Printing Office on behalf of the Library Committee, Parliament of Victoria, Melbourne, 1985, 229 pp; NCWA Quareterly Bulletin, especially 1997 - 2000.

Related entries

Archival resources

National Library of Australia Manuscript Collection

  • NCWA Papers 1984 - 2006, 1984 - 2006, MS07/096; NCWA Board Minute Books 1997 - 2000; National Library of Australia Manuscript Collection. Details
  • Records of the National Council of Women of Australia, 1924-1990 [manuscript], 1924 - 1990, MS7583; National Library of Australia Manuscript Collection. Details

Private Hands (contact Australian Women's Archive Project)

  • Interview with Gracia Baylor AM, 30 April 2008; Private Hands (contact Australian Women's Archive Project). Details

State Library of Victoria, Australian Manuscripts Collection

  • National Council of Women of Victoria, 1902 - ; National Council of Women of Victoria (1902 - ); State Library of Victoria, Australian Manuscripts Collection. Details

Digital resources

Title
Delegates at Triennial NCWA Conference Melbourne 2000
Type
Image
Date
1999
Source
Courtesy Leonie Christopherson

Details

Title
Gracia Baylor
Type
Image
Date
2002
Source
Gracia Baylor family

Details

Rosemary Francis

Site-wide information and acknowledgements

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

© Copyright in The Australian Women's Register is owned by the Australian Women's Archives Project
and vested in each of the authors in respect of their contributions from 2000

http://www.womenaustralia.info/biogs/AWE1187b.htm

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