The Papers of Jessie Street
Energetic and practical, Jessie Street was a formidable figure in Australian political life for over 50 years. Her dedication to peace and justice crossed several spheres of politics and activism: she was the only Australian woman delegate at the founding of the United Nations in 1945; an initiator of the petition for amendments to the Constitution that led to the 1967 referendum; and a controversial promoter of the Soviet Union. Street was one of the most influential and active champions of human rights reform in the twentieth century.
The National Library of Australia has now digitised a significant portion of the collection of Jesse Street’s personal papers, enabling further research into, and recognition for, this extraordinary Australian. This digitisation project was funded by the Friends of the National Library, a donation made in honour of former Director-General Anne-Marie Schwirtlich AM.
Dr Lenore Coltheart, editor of Jessie Street’s memoir, will explore Street’s actions and legacy, and the significance of her papers. A viewing of selected items from Street’s papers will be held after the lecture.
Dr Lenore Coltheart is an Australian historian and heritage consultant who taught political history in Australian universities for 25 years. Following retirement, she continued her work on the role of Australian women in international human rights.