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Adelaide Women's Liberation Movement (1969 - 1989)

From
October 1969
Adelaide, South Australia, Australia
To
May 1989
Hindmarsh, South Australia, Australia
Occupations
Feminist organisation and Social action organisation

Summary

The Adelaide Women's Liberation Movement began at the University of Adelaide in 1968, inspired by the women who were active in Young Labor, and the anti-Vietnam war campaign. These women questioned their role in these organisations and vented their frustration about these male dominated groups.

Anna Yeatman, Anne Summers and Julie Ellis are credited with starting the feminist newsletters Sisterhood and Body Political. By late 1969 they produced Liberation, the Adelaide Women's Liberation Newsletter which replaced Sisterhood.

Their first protest was against the Miss Fresher competition, which brought media focus to the expression of their feminist ideals for women's liberation. Public meetings where called and the broader community involvement brought about the establishment of the Women's Liberation Movement housed at Bloor House situtated in Bloor Court off Currie Street, in Adelaide. They provided an environment where ideas for supporting women's rights were fostered.

The Group wrote a Women's manifesto which was published in Liberation newsletter in June 1971. The Adelaide Women's Liberation Group took part in the first Women's Liberation Conference in Melbourne in 1970.

The Women's Liberation Movement in Adelaide was the catalyst for the establishment of the Women's Health Centre at Hindmarsh, The Rape Crisis Centre, Women's Studies Resource Centre, Abortion Action Campaign, St Peters Women's Community Centre, Women's Health Centres at Christies Beach and Elizabeth. They lobbied for Women's Studies to be part of tertiary education, women's representation in parliament, a Working Women's Centre to protect women's working rights, the Women's Peace Movement. Bloor House provided a space for women to express their personal political ideas and to get feedback and support. The Women's Liberation Movement moved from Bloor House to Eden St in Adelaide and then to Mary St, Hindmarsh were it was closed in 1989.

Details

The Adelaide Women's Liberation Movement began at the University of Adelaide in 1968. The early group of women's liberationist had their roots in left politics on campus , although they later joined with socialist women to fight for women's rights.

Inspired by protests overseas against The Miss America Pagent which made the news in Australia, Adelaide feminists protested against the 'Miss fresher' pageant held on campus, as a way of openly questioning their roles and the treatment of women in society.

They called public meetings and solicited broader community invovlvement and in so doing established a movement big enough to need premises. They were first housed at Bloor House in Bloor Court off Currie Street in Adelaide. A priority was to create a safe space where women could share information and create resource that would be useful to other women.

Once this safe space of support and solidarity was created, the Women's Liberation Movement in Adelaide was the catalyst for the establishment of the Women's Health Centre at Hindmarsh, The Rape Crisis Centre, the Women's Studies Resource Centre, Women's Abortion Campaign, St Peters Women's Community Centre, Women's Health Centers at Chrisities Beach and Elizabeth. They lobbied for Women's Studies to be part of tertiary education, for women's representation in parliaments, the Women's Peace Movement and a Working Women's Centre to protect women's right in the workplace. A group of Women's Liberationist established themselves in major country towns as well in the metropolitan centres.

Related entries

Related Women

Archival resources

State Library of South Australia

  • Hindmarsh Women's Community Health Centre , 1975 - 1989; Hindmarsh Women's Community Health Centre (1974 - 1989); State Library of South Australia. Details
  • Women Against Rape Records, 1981 - 1982, being processed; Women Against Rape Adelaide, Adelaide Women's Liberation Movement (1981 - 1982), Adelaide Women's Liberation Movement Archives; State Library of South Australia. Details

Kathleen Bambridge

Site-wide information and acknowledgements

National Foundation for Australian Women The University of Melbourne, eScholarship Research Centre

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