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Daley, Jane (Jean) (1881 - 1948)

Born
24 September 1881
Mount Gambier, South Australia
Died
5 November 1948
Melbourne, Victoria, Australia
Occupation
Activist and Political candidate

Summary

Jean Daley was the first woman in Victoria to stand for Federal parliament as an endorsed Labor candidate when she stood for the seat of Kooyong in 1922. As woman organiser for the Australian Labor Party, she established the Labor Women's Interstate Executive in 1929.

Details

The daughter of Robert Dennis Daley, an early member of the Amalgamated Shearers' Union, and Julia Ann (née Scott), Jean Daley was raised as a Catholic and educated at Mount Gambier, Adelaide and Portland. From 1909, she was living in Melbourne, where she became actively involved in Labor politics.

A member of the Women's Organizing Committee of the Political Labor Council of Victoria until it was disbanded in 1914, Daley became first president of the group when it re-formed in 1918. She held the position for two years, during which time she wrote 'We Women' in the publication Labor Call. Daley was also a delegate to the Trades Hall Council for the Hotel and Caterers' Union, an early member of the Militant Propaganda League, and an executive member of the Victorian Socialist Party and the Women's Socialist League. In 1917 Daley was vice-president of the Labor Women's Campaign Committee which opposed Vida Goldstein as the candidate for the Federal seat of Kooyong.

In her political campaigns, Daley was concerned principally with the cost of living, conscription, and the consumption of alcohol. In 1921, the Union Record published a series of articles by her on the fight against conscription. That same year, Daley was elected Victorian delegate to the federal conference of the Australian Labor Party, and, with Mary Rogers and Muriel Heagney, she called a conference of female delegates from all unions with women members. She was subsequently elected to the central executive of the ALP. In 1922, Daley became the first woman in Victoria to stand for Federal parliament as an endorsed Labor candidate when she stood for the seat of Kooyong, though she was defeated. As woman organiser for the ALP in Victoria, Daley established the Labor Women's Interstate Executive in 1929 and served as secretary until 1947. Ill-health forced her retirement and she died of liver disease at the Alfred Hospital.

Sources used to compile this entry: Smart, Judith, 'Daley, Jane (Jean) (1881-1948)', in Australian Dictionary of Biography Online, Australian National University, 2006, http://www.adb.online.anu.edu.au/biogs/A080214b.htm.

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