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Workers' Educational Association of Queensland (1913 - 1932)

From
1913
Brisbane, Queensland, Australia
To
1932
Brisbane, Queensland, Australia
Occupations
Educational Association and Workers' Association
Alternative Names
  • W.E.A.

Summary

The Workers' Educational Association (W.E.A.) of Queensland was formed in Brisbane in 1913 after the visit of Albert Mansbridge, the founder of the Association in Great Britain. Its aim was to bring extra-mural university education to the working class. Of the first thirty-eight people that enrolled, fourteen of them were women, with feminist and socialist Emma Miller being one of them. Women soon outnumbered men in most of the classes, particularly those that were concerned with leisure activities.

The W.E.A. was disbanded by the state government in 1939 for allegedly supporting subversive activities, although its membership list indicates that most of the members were women who wanted to learn how to enhance their leisure time. Having said that, it did operate as a forum for the discussion and promotion of new ideas. For instance, Marion Piddington delivered a series of her innovative sex education lectures to the association in 1928.

Sources used to compile this entry: Daniels, Kay, Murnane, Mary, Picot, Anne and National Research Program (Australia) (eds), Women in Australia : an annotated guide to records, Australian Government Publishing Service, Canberra, 1977.

Related entries

Archival resources

John Oxley Library, Manuscripts and Business Records Collection, State Library of Queensland

  • Workers' Educational Association of Queensland Records, 1913 - 1932, OM64-13; Workers' Educational Association of Queensland; John Oxley Library, Manuscripts and Business Records Collection, State Library of Queensland. Details

Nikki Henningham

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