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Kersey, Joan Sophia (1926 - 2013)

6 October 1926
Social worker and Writer


Joan Kersey is a multi talented woman, passionately interested in politics and social justice. She was an Australia Party candidate in the 1973 New South Wales Legislative Assembly Armidale by-election. Then she represented the Australian Democrats in the House of Representatives elections for Wentworth in 1977, 1980 and 1981 (by-election).


Joan Kersey graduated from Sydney University (B.A. Dip. Soc.Studies) and then married an officer in the Royal Navy with whom she had three children. She later completed a M.Litt. at the University of New England. She spent her early married life in Scotland, Malta and New Zealand. When her husband retired from the Navy, they settled on a grazing property near Armidale and she returned to social work. Joan was also active in community organizations such as Save the Children Fund, Family Planning and Zero Population Growth.

She joined the Australia Party because its policies of social research, its willingness to accept change and evolve long term plans, and its concern for the individual appealed to her. Her campaign was strongly supported by the party's founder, Gordon Barton and several prominent members of the party spoke on her behalf in Armidale. Joan Kersey later contested the seat of Wentworth on three occasions for the Australian Democrats.

Joan Kersey is the author of High Society; the legislation of illicit drugs (1994), The New Aged; an untapped resource (1997) for which she received her Master of Letters degree, and 2050; a drug odyssey (2002). In 2005 she is writing her memoirs.

She is an active member of the NSW Council for Civil Liberties, convenor of its fundraising committee, and has also been a member of the Foundation for Drug Law Reform. Her interest in politics is undiminished and she is frequently present at the Sydney institution, Politics in the Pub on Friday nights.

Sources used to compile this entry: Winkler, Peter, 'Age no bar to activist's zest for life', Sydney Morning Herald, 9 May 2013, p. 38; Sydney Morning Herald, 15 January 1973; Armidale Express, 24 January 1973; 2 & 7 February 1973; Joan Kersey, 18 September 2005.

Annette Alafaci

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