National Council of Women of New South Wales.

Also known as
National Council of Women of New South Wales. (1896-)
Libraries Australia
http://nla.gov.au/anbd.aut-an35037543
NLA Persistent Identifier
http://nla.gov.au/nla.party-459909

Biographies

Founded in 1896 (the first such council in Australia) the National Council of Women of New South Wales is a non-party, non-sectarian, umbrella organisation for a large and diverse number of affiliated women's organisations. It functions as a political lobby group, particularly for the interests of women and children, attempting to influence local, state and federal government, and as a coordinating body to enable concerted effort on specific issues. The Council emerged as a largely middle-class women's organisation and, until the 1940s at least, was a major focal point for such women's activism. Although not overtly feminist, the Council has campaigned for a wide range of social and political reforms.

The National Council of Women of New South Wales was founded on 26 June 1896 at a public meeting in the Sydney Town Hall. Its formation was largely instigated by Margaret Windeyer, its first honorary secretary, supported by Rose Scott, who was a member of the executive committee from 1896-1921 and also served as International Secretary. The eleven original affiliated groups outlined a very broad agenda:

• 'To promote the social, civil, moral and religious welfare of the community; • To work for the removal of all disabilities of women, whether legal, economic or social; • To promote such conditions of life as would assure to every child an opportunity for full and free development.'

By 1936 it included 68 organisations; rising to 108 by 1978.

Although encompassing a diverse range of organisations, the Council has always been dominated by women of the middle and upper classes. Its first five presidents (1899-1918) were wives or daughters of the incumbent governor of New South Wales.

Like all National Councils of Women, it operates though a standing committee system whereby specific issues are brought before the Council and, if there is general agreement that a question should be taken up, a subcommittee is established to investigate the matter. Women's suffrage was the first issue taken up by the Council and its early concerns included the provision of Domestic Economy class in public schools; temperance; the need for Women Factory Inspectors; improved working conditions for women; the establishment of Kindergartens and Nursery Schools. In 1908 they established the Alice Rawson School for Mothers out of which emerged the Baby Health Clinics administered by the Department of Health from 1914. Later they concentrated on legal reforms such as the Nationality of Married Women and Guardianship of Children. In 1929 the Council established the Board of Social Study and Training which pioneered the training of social workers until it was taken over by the University of Sydney.

Other fields of activity/interest for the Council have included: the extension of health and education services; widows pensions; integration of migrants; children welfare and social welfare; nursing standards; family maintenance; legal marriage age; youth problems; consumer protection and standards of quality; unemployment insurance; road safety; welfare of the aged; hire purchase; drug addiction housing and town planning; welfare of Aborigines; a Women's Bureau; community centres; parks and playgrounds; shopping hours; women police; children's flammable clothing; driver's licences (women's); apprenticeship for girls; marriage guidance; prison reform; film censorship; care of the 'feeble minded'.

View the full record at Australian Women's Register

Related people and organisations

Resources for National Council of Women of New South Wales.

Selected resources (8)

Australian Women's Register

  1. Seventy five years, 1896-1971
    [1971]
    Published: The Council
  2. White Slave Traffic (Petition from certain officers of the National Council of Women of New South Wales Against)
    [1913]
    Published: Government Printer
  3. Endeavour: Women's organisations in New South Wales, 1896-1978 / National Council of Women of New South Wales
    [[1980]]
    Published: National Council of Women of New South Wales
  4. Report ot the National Council of Women of New South Wales of an Informal Conference with Mrs May Wright Sewell, President of the International Council of Women
    Vida Goldstein
    [1902]
    Published: Norman Bros
  5. Mitchell and Dixson Libraries Manuscripts Collection, State Library of New South Wales: National Council of Women of New South Wales - further records, ca. 1895-2004 (1895 - 2004)
    material concerning the Centenary year, 1996; Captain Cook Bi-centennial celebrations, 1970; minute books; newsletters; annual reports; photographs including Rose Scott, Lady Windeyer, Miles Franklin, Dame Mary Gilmore, Margaret Windeyer; balance sheets; booklets; seminars and papers; reports and letters; audio tapes; video tapes; newscuttings.
    Original : MLMSS
  6. Mitchell and Dixson Libraries Manuscripts Collection, State Library of New South Wales: National Council of Women Papers (1895 - 1990)
    Minutes of executive meetings, including half yearly and quarterly general meetings, 1895-1928; minutes of executive meetings 1928-85; minutes of general meetings, 1921-1955; tape recordings of various events in 1976; general council meetings minutes, 1955-1988; financial records, 1926-1990.
    ML MSS 3739 and ML MSS 3739 ADD-ON 2061
  7. Mitchell and Dixson Libraries Manuscripts Collection, State Library of New South Wales: Fry family - papers of Edith Fry, 1881 - 1940 (1881 - 1940)
    1881 - 1940; Correspondence, including letters from : R.Wilson (1881); brother Arthur Fry (1886); Marie L.Farquharson, state secretary of the National Council of Women of NSW (1928); brother Walter Fry (1936); with letters (2) from Edith to Walter Fry (1936); copy of letter to the editor, Sydney Morning Herald, from Walter Fry with an obituary for Edith (1940). (Locn No.: ML MSS 1159, ADD-ON 2076/BOX 9) 1912 - 1940; Miscellaneous papers, including : address from the Women's Club (1909); newscuttings re Edith Fry and the NCW of NSW (1912-1927); 'An Appreciation' by Mrs Mildred Musico, published in the NCW of NSW Biennial Reports for 1938 -1940. (Locn No.: ML MSS 1159, ADD-ON 2076/BOX 9)
    ML MSS 1159, ADD-ON 2076
  8. State Library of New South Wales: Papers of the Scott Family, 1777-1925 (1777 - 1925)
    Helenus Scott, the elder, 1760-1821, formerly physician in the medical service of the East India Company, died on the voyage to Australia. His sons, Robert, 1799?-1844, and Helenus, the younger, 1802-1879, received land grants at Glendon, near Singleton, N.S.W. Helenus the younger's wife was Sarah Anne Rusden. Their daughter, Rose Scott, 1847-1925, prominent in the early feminist movement in N.S.W., sought the improvement through legislation of the position of women and children. The papers of Helenus Scott, the elder, 1777-1821, include personal, business, medical and scientific papers relating to his career in both England and India. Robert Scott's papers, 1820-1843, concern his properties Glendon and Dalkeith. The papers of Helenus Scott, the younger, 1818-1879, contain personal and business papers re Glendon and Roughit properties. Sarah Anne Scott's papers, c.1845-1892, are mainly letters received. The papers of Rose Scott, which form the bulk of the collection, consist of personal papers, 1869-1925, and the records of organizations of which she was an office-bearer - Womanhood Suffrage League, 1891-1902, Women's Political Educational League, 1902-1909, National Council of Women of N.S.W., 1896-1925, Peace Society of N.S.W., 1907-1924 and others, together with many leaflets and newspaper cuttings. Also included are papers of the Rusden Family, 1811-1923 and those of Rose's nephew, Helenus Hope Scott Wallace, 1888-1925
    MLMSS 38

Resources by National Council of Women of New South Wales. (29)

  1. N.C.W. news (Sydney, N.S.W.)
    National Council of Women of New South Wales
    [ Periodical : 1960-2004 ]
    At 5 libraries
    This resource is very relevant to your query (score: 87.794)

    This resource is very relevant to your query (score: 87.794)

  2. Biennial report / National Council of Women of New South Wales
    National Council of Women of New South Wales
    [ Periodical : 1900-1979 ]
    At 4 libraries
    This resource is very relevant to your query (score: 79.163)

    This resource is very relevant to your query (score: 79.163)

  3. Newsletter (National Council of Women of New South Wales)
    National Council of Women of New South Wales
    [ Periodical : 1980-2013 ]
    At National Library
    This resource is very relevant to your query (score: 67.708)

    This resource is very relevant to your query (score: 67.708)

  4. N.C.W. N.S.W. news / National Council of Women of New South Wales
    National Council of Women of New South Wales
    [ Periodical : 2004-2013 ]
    At National Library
    This resource is very relevant to your query (score: 59.36)

    This resource is very relevant to your query (score: 59.36)

  5. N.C.W. news : circular / National Council of Women of New South Wales
    National Council of Women of New South Wales
    [ Periodical : 1955 ]
    At State Library of NSW
    This resource is very relevant to your query (score: 56.737)

    This resource is very relevant to your query (score: 56.737)

  6. Annual report / National Council of Women of New South Wales
    National Council of Women of New South Wales
    [ Article : 1979-2013 ]
    At 4 libraries
    This resource is very relevant to your query (score: 39.517)

    This resource is very relevant to your query (score: 39.517)

  7. Seventy five years, 1896-1971
    National Council of Women of New South Wales
    [ Book : 1971 ]
    At 4 libraries
    Seventy five years, 1896-1971
    This resource is very relevant to your query (score: 28.377)

    This resource is very relevant to your query (score: 28.377)

  8. Endeavour : women's organisations in New South Wales, 1896-1978 / National Council of Women of New South Wales
    National Council of Women of New South Wales
    [ Book : 1980 ]
    At 8 libraries
    Endeavour : women's organisations in New South Wales, 1896-1978 / National Council of Women of New South Wales
    This resource is very relevant to your query (score: 25.583)

    This resource is very relevant to your query (score: 25.583)

  9. The National Council of Women of New South Wales
    National Council of Women of New South Wales
    [ Book : 1896 ]
    At 2 libraries
    This resource is very relevant to your query (score: 24.72)

    This resource is very relevant to your query (score: 24.72)

  10. Jubilee report, 1896-1946 / National Council of Women of New South Wales
    National Council of Women of New South Wales
    [ Book : 1946 ]
    At State Library of NSW
    This resource is very relevant to your query (score: 22.704)

    This resource is very relevant to your query (score: 22.704)

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Resources about National Council of Women of New South Wales. (12)

  1. N.C.W. news (Sydney, N.S.W.)
    National Council of Women of New South Wales
    [ Periodical : 1960-2004 ]
    At 5 libraries
    This resource is very relevant to your query (score: 85.241)

    This resource is very relevant to your query (score: 85.241)

  2. Biennial report / National Council of Women of New South Wales
    National Council of Women of New South Wales
    [ Periodical : 1900-1979 ]
    At 4 libraries
    This resource is very relevant to your query (score: 76.294)

    This resource is very relevant to your query (score: 76.294)

  3. Newsletter (National Council of Women of New South Wales)
    National Council of Women of New South Wales
    [ Periodical : 1980-2013 ]
    At National Library
    This resource is very relevant to your query (score: 65.414)

    This resource is very relevant to your query (score: 65.414)

  4. N.C.W. N.S.W. news / National Council of Women of New South Wales
    National Council of Women of New South Wales
    [ Periodical : 2004-2013 ]
    At National Library
    This resource is very relevant to your query (score: 57.056)

    This resource is very relevant to your query (score: 57.056)

  5. N.C.W. news : circular / National Council of Women of New South Wales
    National Council of Women of New South Wales
    [ Periodical : 1955 ]
    At State Library of NSW
    This resource is very relevant to your query (score: 54.43)

    This resource is very relevant to your query (score: 54.43)

  6. Annual report / National Council of Women of New South Wales
    National Council of Women of New South Wales
    [ Article : 1979-2013 ]
    At 4 libraries
    This resource is very relevant to your query (score: 36.884)

    This resource is very relevant to your query (score: 36.884)

  7. Seventy five years, 1896-1971
    National Council of Women of New South Wales
    [ Book : 1971 ]
    At 4 libraries
    Seventy five years, 1896-1971
    This resource is very relevant to your query (score: 27.776)

    This resource is very relevant to your query (score: 27.776)

  8. The National Council of Women of New South Wales
    National Council of Women of New South Wales
    [ Book : 1896 ]
    At 2 libraries
    This resource is very relevant to your query (score: 24.456)

    This resource is very relevant to your query (score: 24.456)

  9. Jubilee report, 1896-1946 / National Council of Women of New South Wales
    National Council of Women of New South Wales
    [ Book : 1946 ]
    At State Library of NSW
    This resource is very relevant to your query (score: 22.192)

    This resource is very relevant to your query (score: 22.192)

  10. Rules and bi-laws / National Council of Women of New South Wales
    National Council of Women of New South Wales
    [ Book : 1988 ]
    At National Library
    This resource is very relevant to your query (score: 18.002)

    This resource is very relevant to your query (score: 18.002)

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  3. The unwanted child : an address delivered before the national council of women, New South Wales branch on Thursday, 22 May, 1913 / by Charles K. Mackellar
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  4. Notes for speech by the Minister for Environment Control, J.G. Beale, officially opening the National Council of Women of New South Wales "Study Day" at Menzies Hotel, Carrington Street, Sydney, on Saturday, 7th October, 1972, at 9.30 a.m
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  2. Records of the National Council of Women of Australia
    National Council of Women of Australia
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  3. Pamphlets
    Grey, George Sir, 1812-1898
    [ Published : 1724-1900 ]
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  1. Lives obscurely great : historical essays on women of New South Wales / editors: Patricia Thompson, Susan Yorke
    Thompson, Patricia
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    Alcott, Louisa May, 1832-1888
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