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Modern Womens Club


Formed by Katharine Susannah Prichard in 1938 the Modern Women’s Club began as a coalition of women from the Communist Party and the Australian Labor Party’s Council Against War and Fascism. It sought to provide a forum for women “of all parties and opinions” to discuss and act on issues of the day. As Joan Williams notes, it was considered by some as “most avant-garde for the time”. The Modern Women’s Club rejected notions of “womanly” preoccupations instead acting as a forum in which working and Aboriginal women could discuss issues of the day, in particular, peace. The club’s other key concerns included equal pay, rights for women and citizenship rights for Aborigines.

David Whish-Wilson:
... Without the permission of the Native Affairs Department, the Coolbaroo League held the first Coolbaroo Club dances in the basement of the offices of the Modern Womens Club in central Perth (started by Katharine Susannah Prichard).

References and Links

Bosworth, Michal & Charlie Fox, 'Feminism by consensus: Roma Catherine Gilchrist (1909–83), socialist, feminist and peace activist', Inside Story.

Williams, Justina 1976, The First Furrow, Lone Hand Press, Willagee.

Garry Gillard | New: 11 December, 2023| Now: 11 December, 2023