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Scobie, Grace Locke (1876 - 1957)

OBE

Born
3 July 1876
Bombay, India
Died
2 June 1957
Bondi, New South Wales, Australia
Occupation
Business inspector

Summary

A lifelong activist in social and industrial politics, Grace Scobie became disillusioned with Labor politics during the First World War, and subsequently concentrated on women's organizations and children's welfare. She stood for the Soldiers and Citizens Party in the election for the New South Wales Legislative Assembly seat of Eastern Suburbs in 1920. Twelve years later she was an Independent seeking election to the New South Wales Legislative Assembly seat of Bondi.

Details

Daughter of Robert Scobie, Labor MLA for Wentworth 1901-04, and The Murray 1904 to his death in 1917. Like her father, Grace was a member of the Labor Party until the conscription split, when she campaigned for conscription.

She was appointed an industrial inspector with the Department of Labour and Industry in 1916, and became a member of the State Children's Relief Board. Generally considered by the labour movement to be pro-employer, she was censured by Labor News in 1920 for condoning the harsh treatment of illegitimate children. During her campaign for the State electorate of Eastern Suburbs in 1920, for the Soldiers and Citizens Party, she was described by the Daily Telegraph as 'the incarnation of vivacity and feminine vigour'.

From the 1920s she concentrated on women's politics, becoming active in a number of more conservative women's organizations, such as the National Council of Women, and the Professional Women Workers' Association. Her independent campaign for the State electorate of Bondi in 1932 was supported by the United Associations of Women. She was an office bearer in both the Australian Federation of Women Voters and the Feminist Club. Grace worked as an Inspector of factories and shops and received an OBE in 1918.

Sources used to compile this entry: Taksa, Lucy, 'Scobie, Grace Locke (1876 - 1957)', in Australian Dictionary of Biography Online, Australian National University, 2006, http://www.adb.online.anu.edu.au/biogs/A110557b.htm; Parliamentary scrapbook, Candidates who offered themselves at the General Election on 11th June 1932, NSW Parliamentary Archives.

Annette Alafaci

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