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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James, Barbara (1943 - 2003)

Born
1943
Nebraska, United States
Died
March 2003
Darwin, Northern Teritory, Australia
Occupation
Journalist and Print Journalist
Alternative Names
  • Johnson, Barbara (birth name)

Summary

Barbara James was born in Nebraska, USA, in 1943, and came to Australia in 1966. She began her working life in the Northern Territory in 1967 as a journalist, an occupation which later led to her work as an author, historian and research consultant. Her particular interests and areas of research were women and history/heritage issues.

Details

In July 1967, Barbara James, based in Canberra at the time, took a two week holiday to Darwin and never went back. When her car broke down on the return trip she came back to Darwin, found a job as a journalist with the Northern Territory News, and eventually married a Darwin lawyer, Geoff James, whom she had met while living in Canberra. She lived in Darwin until she passed away in 2003 when she lost her battle with cancer.

As well as being an accomplished writer, James was also an active member of an extraordinary variety of community groups and had a strong background n political work as a result of serving as an adviser to Bob Collins when he was Leade of the Opposition in the Northern Terriotry (1982-1985) and when he was a Minister in the Federal Labor government and as a Shadow Minister.

Barbara is the author or co-author of several published social history works, including No Man's Land: Women of the Northern Territory.

She was in Darwin in 1974 when Cyclone Tracy devastated the city. She was eventually evacuated, and while away became involved in citizen's groups, taking part in many meetings of evacuees very concerned at media reports about events back home, and at the extreme nature of new town plan provisions. She actively liaised with Darwinians, the then Department of Urban and Regional Development, ACOSS and the Cities Commission, and with the Environment Centre in Darwin.

Events

1967 - 2000
Career in journalism active

Sources used to compile this entry: Interview with Barbara James, 1966 - 1989, NTRS 226 Oral history interview transcript 581; Cyclone Tracy Oral History Collection; Good, Francis; Northern Territory Archives Service, Darwin Branch.

Archival resources

Northern Territory Archives Service, Darwin Branch

  • Interview with Barbara James, 1966 - 1989, NTRS 226 Oral history interview transcript 581; Cyclone Tracy Oral History Collection; Good, Francis; Northern Territory Archives Service, Darwin Branch. Details
  • James, Barbara: Copyprints of Darwin after Cyclone Tracy including evacuation and emergency centres 1974-1975, 1974 - 1975, NTRS 1683; James, Barbara (1943 - 2003); Northern Territory Archives Service, Darwin Branch. Details

Nikki Henningham

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