MS 2818
Guide to the Records of the Australian Federation of Women Voters



Summary

Creator:  Australian Federation of Women Voters
Title:  Records of the Australian Federation of Women Voters
Date range:  1920-1967
Extent: 2.75m. (18 boxes)
Reference number: MS 2818

 


Administrative Information

Access:

Available for reference

Provenance:

The collection was donated to the Library by the President of the Federation, Irene Greenwood in 1970.


Scope and Content

The collection comprises correspondence, minutes, conference papers, reports, newsletters, brochures, newspaper cuttings, photographs and other records.  The records concern the legal and political status of women, family allowances and child endowment, women’s wages and work conditions, maternity allowances, marriage and divorce laws, the nationality of married women and other women’s issues.  Other organisations represented in the collection include the International Alliance of Women, League of Women Voters, British Commonwealth League for the Equality of Women and the United National Commission on the Status of Women.  Correspondents include Bessie Rischbieth.

Related Material

Bound reports and newsletters of the Australian Federation of Women Voters, 1937-1950 (box 3, item 24) are available on microfilm at MfmG 28178.


Administrative History

In 1921 the British Dominions Women Citizens’ Union joined with other women’s societies in Australia to form the Australian Federation of Women’s Societies for Equal Citizenship.  In around 1924 the Federation changed its name to the Australian Federation of Women Voters.  Bessie Rischbieth was instrumental in the formation of the Federation and was its President from 1921 until 1942.  The Federation was affiliated with the British Commonwealth League and the International Alliance of Women.

In its Constitution, the objects of the Federation included the promotion of ‘equality of opportunity, status, responsibility and reward between men and women’, furthering the interests of women, children and the family, equal citizenship between women and men and the election of women to Federal and State parliaments.  The Federation utilised the voting power of women by presenting to Federal Government the viewpoint of Australian women on issues that affected their lives.  The Federation also organised Federal Conferences and published its official organ, The Dawn.

Early achievements of the Federation included the representation of the first woman as an Australian delegate to the Assembly of the League of Nations in 1922 and attaining the appointment of members of its affiliated groups to the League of Nations Assembly in 1928, 1935 and 1936.  In 1937 the Federation compiled a memorandum on the Status of Women, showing sex discrimination was endemic in Australian law.  The report was included as an annex to the report prepared by the Government on the same subject and forwarded to the Secretariat of the League of Nations.  In 1947 the Federation prepared a second document on the status of women.

Although the Federation continued to exist until at least 1974, its functions were largely superseded by the establishment of the Women’s Electoral Lobby in 1972.


Box List

Box 1

Folder

1-6  Newsletters, brochures, personal letters, 1932-1966

7 Letters, newspaper cuttings, 1924-1950

8 Letters (1935-52) copy of minutes of inaugural meeting 1920 relating to newspaper The Dawn

9 Notes, letters, news cuttings and report of Australian Federal meeting, October 1966

10 Reports re: Family Allowance proposals, 1927-1934

11 Various letters, news cuttings re: women’ rights, 1947-66

12 Letters, notes and cuttings and copy of The Dawn, 1927-1966

13 Notes from 1935, and news clippings 1965 for The Dawn newsletter

Box 2

Folder

14 Status of Women file 1949-50, cuttings, letters, 1937, 1957, 1966       

15 Rights/Marriage of Minors – 1955, and Property Rights of Married Women – 1948

16 U.N. Status of Women commission reports, 1921-1955

17 Status of Women, 1949-1952

18 News sheets of United Association of Women, 1926-1954

Box 3

Folder

21        Letters and newscuttings, 1948-1952

22        Various reports, cash book

23        News cuttings and miscellaneous letters, 1949-1967

24        Australian Federation of Women Voters: bound reports and newsletters, 1937-1950

Box 4

Folder

25        Australian Womens’ Nationality papers, 1931-1936

26        Federation of Women Voters papers, 1929-1964

27        Miscellaneous correspondence, 1930-1958

28        Correspondence, 1938

29        Australian Federation of Women Voters: resolutions, 1954

30        Australian Federation of Women Voters: reports, 1944-1960

31        The Dawn newsletters, correspondence, 1929-1966

Box 5

Folder

33 International Alliance of Women’s Congress papers, 1929-1964

34 International Alliance of Women and Australian Federation of Women Voters:  correspondence

35 International Alliance of Women and Australian Federation of Women Voters: correspondence and minutes, 1961-66 

36 International Alliance of Women: reports, 1949-1952

37 International Alliance of Women: file, 1927-1965

Box 6

Folder

38 Australian Federation of Women Voters: correspondence, 1940-1944

39 Australian Federation of Women Voters: correspondence, 1945-1946

40 Australian Federation of Women Voters: correspondence, 1947-1949

41 Australian Federation of Women Voters: correspondence, 1950-1956

42 Australian Federation of Women Voters: correspondence, 1957

43 Australian Federation of Women Voters: correspondence, 1958

44 Economic Commission for Asia and the Far East Conference, 1959

Box 7

Folder

45 Australian Federation of Women Voters: minutes and correspondence, 1934-1939

46 Australian Federation of Women Voters: N.S.W. minutes, 1956-1960

47 Australian Federation of Women Voters: correspondence and conferences 1958-1960

48 Australian Federation of Women Voters: Qld. Correspondence, 1958

49 Australian Federation of Women Voters: S. A. correspondence, 1959-1960

50 Australian Federation of Women Voters Liaison Committee, 1958-1960

51 Australian Federation of Women Voters: W. A. correspondence, 1957-1960

52 Australian Federation of Women Voters: Victoria, 1958-1960

53 International Alliance of Women questionnaire, 1960

54 United Nations Conference, Sydney, 1957

Box 8

Folder

55 International Alliance of Women – correspondence, 1959-1960

56 Australian Federation of Women Voters: correspondence with Government, 1956-1960

57 Australian Federation of Women Voters: correspondence, 1955-1957

58 Australian Federation of Women Voters: Triennial Conference, 1948

59 Australian Federation of Women Voters: British Commonwealth League Conference, 1960 

60 Australian Federation of Women Voters: reports - British Commonwealth League and International Alliance of Women, 1957

61-62 Triennial Conference, 1957

63 Triennial Conferences, 1954 and 1957

Box 9

Folder

64 Australian Federation of Women Voters: Constitution and First Conference, 1924

65 Australian Federation of Women Voters Triennial Conference, 1954

66 Miscellaneous issues, 1948

67 Newsletters, publications, 1948-1957

68 Reports, cuttings on Prostitution, 1936-1955

69 Social and moral hygiene, 1954-1956

70 Triennial reports, 1930-1969

Box 10

Folder

71 Correspondence, 1948-1953

72 League of Women Voters: correspondence, 1948-1953

73 Australian Federation of Women Voters Conference, 1951

74 Australian Federation of Women Voters Conference: correspondence, cuttings, photographs, 1951

75 Australian Federation of Women Voters Board meetings, 1949-1951

76 Australian Federation of Women Voters Board meetings, 1948-1953

77 Health Act: regulations and correspondence, 1927-1938

78 League of Women Voters S.A., 1943-1952

79 Basic wage statements, 1953

Box 11

Folder

80 League of Women Voters S.A., 1950-1954

81 General correspondence, 1946-1952

82 Civil and political rights, 1950-1954

83 Conference resolutions, 1948-1951

84 UNESCO, 1951-52    

85 United Nations, 1950-1952

86 Native welfare, 1949-1953

87 Australian Federation of Women Voters newsletters and correspondence, 1949-1953

88 Australian Federation of Women Voters: miscellaneous correspondence, 1952

89 Australian Federation of Women Voters: miscellaneous booklets, meetings re Josephine Butler Society and Special hygiene, 1929-1963

Box 12

Folder

90 Women’s Service Guilds, 1950-1952

91 Australian Federation of Women Voters: telegrams, 1946-1948

92 Correspondence, 1947-1948

93 Miscellaneous, 1947-1948

94 Conditions of Japanese women, 1945-1946

95 Female Interviewers’ Association, 1945-1946

96 League of Women Voters of W.A. correspondence, 1946-1951

97 Means test, 1945-1946

98 Women’s Union of Service, 1941-1943

99 United Association of Women - correspondence, 1945-1952

100 Miscellaneous correspondence, 1948-1951

Box 13

Folder

101 Australian Federation of Women Voters Silver Jubilee Conference, 1948

102 Blanket Bills on equality, 1947-1951

103 Australian Federation of Women Voters delegates to International Conference, 1946

104 Letters re United Nations Conference, 1946

105 International Alliance of Women re Rome Conference, 1947-1948

106 World Fellowship – Paris, 1947

107 Australian Federation of Women Voters: correspondence, 1945-1950

108 Australian Federation of Women Voters: correspondence, 1948-1951

109  Australian Federation of Women Voters: correspondence interstate, 1945-1948

110  Australian Federation of Women Voters: correspondence, Tasmania, 1946-1950

111 Australian Federation of Women Voters: correspondence, Tasmania, 1948

Box 14

Folder

112 League of Women Voters, Qld., 1945-1952

113 Australian Federation of Women Voters: correspondence, 1945-1947

 114 Miscellaneous correrspondence and assorted books, 1946-1947

Box 15

Folder

115 Correspondence South Australia, 1949-1954

116 Minutes and reports, 1927-1963

117 Australian Federation of Women Voters: United Nations questionnaire, 1947

118 Australian Federation of Women Voters: minutes and reports, 1927-1959, and assorted books

Box 16

Folder

119 Correspondence with Bessie Rischbieth, 1945-1951

120 Newspaper cuttings, 1939-1954

121 Basic Wage case, 1951-1953

122 Australian Federation of Women Voters: Minutes of Executive, 1949-1954

123 The Dawn subscribers, 1954-67

124 League of Women Voters of the U.S.A., 1946-1951

125 President’s newsletters, 1951-1954

126 Women’s Liaison Committee, 1950-1954

Box 17

Folder

127 British Commonwealth League correspondence, 1946-1953

128 International Alliance of Women, 1946-1952

129 International Alliance of Women, 1945-1954

130 International Alliance of Women and League of Women Voters, 1939-1952

131 Basic Wage Enquiry, 1946-1950

132 Status of Women, 1946

133 Australian Federation of Women Voters and International Alliance: correspondence                  

Box 18

Folder      

134 Poster – Conference, 1964

135 Status of Women, 1947-1954

136 Equal Pay, 1949-1951

137 Women in the Church, and Standing Committee on Peace, 1943-1951

138 Australian Federation of Women Voters N.S.W. Branch, 1949-1953

139 Economic Rights, 1950-1953

140 Equal educational rights and moral standards, 1949-1952

141 International Alliance of Women.  Standing Committee, 1945-1952

142 Australian Federation of Women Voters: Position of women in Australia, 1951

143 Miscellaneous, 1938-1965

144 Women's Jubilee Convention, 1950-1951


1991. Revised July 2002.