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Macdonald, Amelia Morrison Fraser (1865 - 1946)

Born
17 June 1865
Blackburn, Linlithgowshire, Scotland
Died
31 August 1946
Subiaco, Western Australia, Australia
Occupation
Church woman, Social reformer, Tailoress and Women's rights activist
Alternative Names
  • Fraser, Amelia Morrison

Summary

Born, educated and married in Scotland, Amelia Macdonald migrated to Australia in 1887, living first in Sydney where, for nine years, she ran a tailoring business. In 1896 she and her husband, Alexander, moved to Perth, where she lived for the rest of her life.

Her own experience of losing her mother at an early age, along with that of her neice who was orphaned as a young woman, no doubt made her acutely aware of the precariousness of women's fortunes, and how intricately connected they were to those of men. Macdonald spent all her adult life working towards untangling these connections and reforming the legal, educational and social structures that operated to oppress women and children.

Connected to the church (she taught Anglican Sunday School classes), she was also deeply influenced by the ideas of the Theosophists. Their guiding ideals of spiritual force, service, social reform, universal education and equal citizenship provided the platform for the Women's Services Guilds Of Western Australia, an organisation Macdonald helped to establish in 1909. She was also important on the establishment of the National Council of women in W.A. and she supported the Workers' Educational Association and the Women's Christian Temperance Union.

Sources used to compile this entry: Ogilvie, June, 'Macdonald, Amelia Morrison Fraser (1865-1946)', in Australian Dictionary of Biography Online, Australian National University, 2006, http://www.adb.online.anu.edu.au/biogs/A150226b.htm.

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Archival resources

Australian Historic Records Register

  • Girl Guides Association, WA (Inc.), 1915 - 1987, 2980; Girl Guides Australia (1926 - ); Australian Historic Records Register. Details

JS Battye Library of West Australian History, State Library of Western Australia

  • Johnston, Isabella Jane, 1891-1976 Papers, 1909 - 1991, ACC 3926A.; Johnston, Isabella Jane (1891 - 1976); JS Battye Library of West Australian History, State Library of Western Australia. Details
  • Woman's Christian Temperance Union of Western Australia, Minute books [manuscript], 1935 - 1937, ACC 4853A; Woman's Christian Temperance Union of Western Australia (1892 - ); JS Battye Library of West Australian History, State Library of Western Australia. Details
  • Women's Service Guilds of Western Australia Records, 1931 - 1968, ACC 2626A; Women's Service Guilds of Western Australia (1909 - 1997); JS Battye Library of West Australian History, State Library of Western Australia. Details
  • Women's Service Guilds of Western Australia Records, 1909 - 1992, ACC 2530A, 4343A-4347A; Women's Service Guilds of Western Australia (1909 - 1997); JS Battye Library of West Australian History, State Library of Western Australia. Details
  • Women's Service Guilds of Western Australia Records, 1896 - 1959, ACC 1949A; Women's Service Guilds of Western Australia (1909 - 1997); JS Battye Library of West Australian History, State Library of Western Australia. Details

Nikki Henningham

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