Smith, Celia (1920-1993)

Also known as
Hatton, Cecilia (1911-1980)
Hatton, Cecilia (1920-1993)
Herbert Cole Stanley Fraser (1920-1993, 1914-1991, 1906-1997, 1911-2005, 1906-1988, 1928-2010, 1962-1979, 1914-2003, 1918-2015, 1889-1970, 1922-2010, 1904-1957, 1943-1999, 1908-1978, 1926-, 1924-1999, 1935-, 1950-, 1933-1993, 1936-2000, 1932-)
Herbert Cole Stanley Fraser (1920-1993)
Smith, Celia
Smith, Celia, (Sir,) (1920-1993, 1914-1991, 1906-1997, 1911-2005, 1906-1988, 1928-2010, 1962-1979, 1914-2003, 1918-2015, 1889-1970, 1922-2010, 1904-1957, 1943-1999, 1908-1978, 1926-, 1924-1999, 1935-, 1950-, 1933-1993, 1936-2000, 1932-)
Smith, Celia, (Sir,) (1920-1993)
Smith, Celia, (The Aboriginal Hostels Limited posthumously named the Yumba Houses for Women and Children 'Celia Smith Hostel' in her honour) (1911-1980)
Smith, Celia, (The Aboriginal Hostels Limited posthumously named the Yumba Houses for Women and Children 'Celia Smith Hostel' in her honour) (1920-1993)
Field of activity
Aboriginal Rights Activist; Community Worker
Libraries Australia
http://nla.gov.au/anbd.aut-an35384348
NLA Persistent Identifier
https://nla.gov.au/nla.party-510679

Biographies

Celia Smith was one of the unsung heroes of the early Aboriginal rights movement, helping hundreds obtain their social welfare rights, taking up their cases with politicians and bureaucrats. As an early member of the Queensland Council for the Advancement of Aborigines and Torres Strait Islanders (QCAATSI), Celia took over from poet Kath Walker as its honorary secretary. She was also a delegate to its federal counterpart, the Federal Council for the Advancement of Aborigines and Torres Strait Islanders (FCAATSI). From 1970 Celia wrote a regular column in the QCAATSI monthly newsletter in which she discussed issues of land rights, conditions on reserves, wages, and housing for Aborigines. She campaigned vigorously for a 'yes' vote in the successful 1967 referendum to empower the commonwealth government to legislate on Aboriginal affairs. She was often 'on duty' at the 'tent embassy' set up in 1974 at King George Square, Brisbane, to publicise the need for more Aboriginal housing in the city and to protest against the State's repressive Aborigines and Torres Strait Islander Affair Act in 1965. In the 1970s Celia belonged to the Queensland branch of the Union of Australian Women, and kept the organisation informed of matters affecting Aborigines. This entry has been made in accordance with the appropriate family protocols.

Celia Hatton was one of five children of Aboriginal parents William 'Pompey' Hatton, an initiated man, and his wife Dorothy 'Dolly' Tate, one of the Stolen Generation. Dolly was taken from her family in Tambo when only five years old to be trained as a domestic in a Brisbane Catholic girls school. Celia grew up in Dalby and at 18 gave birth to Charles, the son of Charles Banks, however they never married. In 1932 she married Ernie Smith and the couple moved to Toowoomba, a town steeped in racism at that time. Celia and Ernie separated after 8 years of marriage, leaving Celia to raise four children on her own.

Celia and the children moved into a house in Fortitude Valley, where Celia eked out a living on a deserted wife's pension, supplementing her income with sewing. Well loved and widely known, 'Aunty' Celia helped the growing urban Aboriginal community in practical ways with fundraising, food, shelter and clothing. Celia Smith spent a lifetime giving and her home was always open to those in need. She died of renal failure in Brisbane on Christmas Eve 1980.

View the full record at Australian Women's Register

Related people and organisations

Australian Institute of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Studies (AIATSIS)

Resources for Celia Smith

Selected resources (22)

Australian Institute of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Studies (AIATSIS)

  1. Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Biographical Index (ABI) Entries

    Please be aware that some ABI records contain language, words or descriptions which may be considered offensive or distressing. These words reflect the attitude of the period in which the item was written and/or that of its author. Please also be aware that ABI records may contain references to deceased people which may cause sadness or distress.

    Names of people mentioned in this source may or may not be Indigenous.

  2. Talking about Celia : community and family memories of Celia Smith,
    Bell, Jeanie.
    [p. 3, 7-8, 13, 27, 30, 33, 62, 64, 76, 81-82]
    Published: St Lucia, Qld. : University of Queensland Press, 1997,

    Summary: Celia Smith; born 1912 at Beaudesert Queensland; died 1980 Brisbane; father William Pompey Hatton; mother Dolly Hatton (Dorothy Tate); family moved to Dalby ca. 1927 (mother Dolly ran laundry); family moved to Toowoomba; Celia married Ernie Smith 1935; moved to Brisbane 1943; lived in the Valley for many years then finally Carina; active in all aspects of social and political life of her people in Brisbane; member Queensland Council for the Advancement of Aborigines and Torres Strait Islanders (1958-), Secretary and later editor of newsletter; member FCAATSI; part of 1967 referendum campaign; children: Betty, Charles, Stan and Donny

    Place: Brisbane (SE Qld SG56-15); Toowoomba (SE Qld SG56-14); Beaudesert (SE Qld SG56-14)

  3. Talking about Celia : community and family memories of Celia Smith,
    Bell, Jeanie.
    [p. 59-62]
    Published: St Lucia, Qld. : University of Queensland Press, 1997,

    Summary: Alick Jackomos; after war working as wrestler in Jimmy Sharmans troupe; friend of Celia and both involved in State and Federal politics and FCAATSI

    Place: Brisbane (SE Qld SG56-15)

  4. Talking about Celia : community and family memories of Celia Smith,
    Bell, Jeanie.
    [p. 41,]
    Published: St Lucia, Qld. : University of Queensland Press, 1997,

    Summary: Photograph: "Shirley Chetter, Celia, Hazel Mace and her son Michael, Tent Embassy, King George Square, Brisbane 1974"

    Place: Brisbane (SE Qld SG56-15)

  5. Talking about Celia : community and family memories of Celia Smith,
    Bell, Jeanie.
    [p. 82,]
    Published: St Lucia, Qld. : University of Queensland Press, 1997,

    Summary: Photograph: Rocky Ah Wong (Pialba) Celia Smith, Hazel Mace and Lambert McBride (from Queensland Council) near Embassy Tent in King George Square, Brisbane

    Place: Brisbane (SE Qld SG56-15)

  6. Talking about Celia : community and family memories of Celia Smith,
    Bell, Jeanie.
    [p. 71,]
    Published: St Lucia, Qld. : University of Queensland Press, 1997,

    Summary: Photograph: "Celia with Donna and Ina Smith, Brisbane Exhibition, early 1960s"

    Place: Brisbane (SE Qld SG56-15)

  7. Talking about Celia : community and family memories of Celia Smith,
    Bell, Jeanie.
    [p. 30,]
    Published: St Lucia, Qld. : University of Queensland Press, 1997,

    Summary: Photograph: "Celia with Granny Monsell campaigning for a "Yes" vote in the referendum, 1967"

    Place: Brisbane (SE Qld SG56-15)

  8. Talking about Celia : community and family memories of Celia Smith,
    Bell, Jeanie.
    [p. 72,]
    Published: St Lucia, Qld. : University of Queensland Press, 1997,

    Summary: Photograph: "The children of Celia's youngest son, Donny, Sydney, 1960s"

    Place: Sydney (NSW SI56-05)

  9. Talking about Celia : community and family memories of Celia Smith,
    Bell, Jeanie.
    [p. 9,]
    Published: St Lucia, Qld. : University of Queensland Press, 1997,

    Summary: Photograph: "Celia and her only daughter Betty, Toowoomba, 1930s"

    Place: Toowoomba (SE Qld SG56-14)

  10. Talking about Celia : community and family memories of Celia Smith,
    Bell, Jeanie.
    [p. 13,]
    Published: St Lucia, Qld. : University of Queensland Press, 1997,

    Summary: Photograph: "Celia with two of her sisters (on left) Miriam Somers and Rosie Pearson and their mother (on right) Dolly Hatton, Brisbane, 1940s"

    Place: Brisbane (SE Qld SG56-15)

  11. Talking about Celia : community and family memories of Celia Smith,
    Bell, Jeanie.
    [p. 14,]
    Published: St Lucia, Qld. : University of Queensland Press, 1997,

    Summary: Photograph: "Celia and her sister Ina Waddy at Connor Street, the Valley, in the 1940s"

    Place: Brisbane (SE Qld SG56-15)

  12. Talking about Celia : community and family memories of Celia Smith,
    Bell, Jeanie.
    [p. 7,]
    Published: St Lucia, Qld. : University of Queensland Press, 1997,

    Summary: Photograph: "Celia and her eldest son Charles, Dalby, 1930"

    Place: Dalby (SE Qld SG56-13)

  13. Identity
    [Vol. 1, no.5 (1972), p. 9]
  14. Identity 1(5)1972 : 9
    [1972]

    Summary: SA delegate 1972 FCAATSI conference Alice Springs. Photo.

    Place: Mparntwe / Alice Springs (South Central NT SF53-14); South Australia (SA)

  15. Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Biographical Index (ABI) Entries

    Please be aware that some ABI records contain language, words or descriptions which may be considered offensive or distressing. These words reflect the attitude of the period in which the item was written and/or that of its author. Please also be aware that ABI records may contain references to deceased people which may cause sadness or distress.

    Names of people mentioned in this source may or may not be Indigenous.

  16. Summary: Interviews with people who knew Celia Smith, a Brisbane community worker and political activist for Indigenous people from the 1940s-1970s

    Click here to view PDF finding aid http://aiatsis.gov.au/sites/default/files/catalogue_resources/BELL_J01_finding_aid.pdf

    The recordings in this collection are not accessible on-line. To make an appointment to listen to this material please contact the Audiovisual Access Unit.

    Place: Victoria (Vic); Melbourne (Vic SJ55-05); Adelaide (SE SA SI54-09); Queensland (Qld); Brisbane (SE Qld SG56-15); New South Wales (NSW); Northern Territory (NT); Canberra (ACT SI55-16); Sydney (NSW SI56-05); Redfern (Inner Sydney NSW SI56-05); Cherbourg / Barambah (SE Qld SG56-10); Beaudesert (SE Qld SG56-14); Toowoomba (SE Qld SG56-14); Dalby (SE Qld SG56-13); Hope Vale (Qld SE Cape York SD55-13); Mer / Murray Island (Qld TSI SC55-05); Minjerriba / North Stradbroke Island (SE Qld SG56-15)

Australian Women's Register

  1. Smith, Celia
    Published: National Foundation for Australian Women
    Series: IspartOf The Australian Women's Register
  2. Smith, Cecilia (1911-1981)
    Best, Ysola
    [2006]
    Published: National Centre of Biography, Australian National University
    Series: IspartOf Australian Dictionary of Biography
  3. Sunday Mail: 28 December 1980
    [Brisbane]
  4. Talking about Celia: community and family memories of Celia Smith
    Bell, Jeanie
    [St Lucia]
    Published: University of Queensland Press
  5. Celia Smith (1912 - 1980): Aboriginal rights activist
    Grant, Heather
    [Brisbane]
    Published: Queensland Government
    Series: IspartOf Great Queensland WomenOffice for Women, Queensland Government
  6. U.A.W. news / Union of Australian Women
    Series: National Library of Australia
    Irregular prior to Dec. 1972; from 1973 ten issues per year. Items/Issues Held: (Aug. 1971-Nov. 1977; Feb. 1978-Sept. 1986)
    Nq 301.4120994 UNI

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  1. RE will of CELIA MARTHA MILLER (otherwise known
    Government Gazette of the State of New South Wales (Sydney, NSW : 1901 - 2001) Friday 17 April 1959 [Issue No.45] p 1212

    Government Gazette Private Notices

    ... RE will of CELIA MARTHA MILLER (otherwise known as Cecelia Martha Alice Miller), late of No. 328 ... Trustee Act, 1925-1942, Lyall John Henry Miller, the executor of the will of the said Celia Martha Miller ... 188 words
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  2. PROBATE JURISDICTION. In the estate and effects of Celia Farrington Antill, late of Jarvisfield, Picton, in the State of New South Wales, spinster, deceased.
    Government Gazette of the State of New South Wales (Sydney, NSW : 1901 - 2001) Friday 4 May 1928 [Issue No.58] p 2030

    Government Gazette Private Notices

    ... In the Supreme Court of New South Wales. PROBATE JURISDICTION. In the estate and effects of Celia ... Director, Norton, Smith & Co., Proctors. 5000 £1 12s. ... 308 words
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  3. RETIREMENTS—TEACHERS Department of Education
    Government Gazette of the State of New South Wales (Sydney, NSW : 1901 - 2001) Friday 16 September 1966 [Issue No.100 (SUPPLEMENT)] p 3854

    Government Gazette Appointments And Employment

    ... were effected and the last day of service being indicated within brackets: Mrs Celia De Blaine Clarke ... Marguerite Mary Smith [section 66 (1)—25th July, 1966]. R. W. ASKIN, Premier. ... 72 words
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  1. Celia's Ladies'
    Table Talk (Melbourne, Vic. : 1885 - 1939) Thursday 2 January 1930 p 55 Article Illustrated
    ... . Smith, who is always ready to Mrs H. H. Smith lend a helping hand to the genial H.H., who has a kindly ... 1057 words
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  2. Obituary MRS CELIA PRYOR
    The Gosford Times and Wyong District Advocate (NSW : 1906 - 1954) Tuesday 3 April 1951 p 5 Article
    ... Obituary MRS CELIA PRYOR Mrs Celia Rosa Pryor, of Etna Street, Gosford, died at her home on ... Pryor is survived by nine children. They are: Tom, Frank, Dave, Ralph, George, Mary (Mrs F. Smith), Bob ... 279 words
    • Text last corrected on 6 October 2015 by Karilyn
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  3. CHAPTER 5.—CELIA'S CABLE
    Examiner (Launceston, Tas. : 1900 - 1954) Monday 26 January 1931 p 5 Article
    ... ?" "Yes. Smith is a good man to have about," Eden remarked deliberately. "You can trust him implicitly ... entry of Smith with a telegram oeffectually put a stop to the conversation." Colonel Dainton tore open ... 1614 words
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  1. Celia Smith oral history tapes (BELL_J01)
    Bell, Jeanie
    [ Sound : 1988-1996 ]
    At AIATSIS Collections
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  2. Talking about Celia / Jeanie Bell
    Bell, Jeanie
    [ Sound : 2014 ]
    At QLD Narrating Ser
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  3. Talking about Celia-- : community and family memories of Celia Smith / Jeanie Bell, in collaboration with Celia Smith's eldest son, Charles
    Bell, Jeanie
    [ Audio book, Book : 1997-2002 ]
    Possibly online
    At 65 libraries
    Talking about Celia-- : community and family memories of Celia Smith / Jeanie Bell, in collaboration with Celia Smith's eldest son, Charles
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  4. La incomparable / Celia Cruz con la Sonora Matancera
    Cruz, Celia
    [ Sound : 1958-1991 ]
    Languages: Spanish
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  1. Talking About Celia ... Community and Family Memories of Celia Smith
    Schilling, Kathleen
    Australian Aboriginal Studies
    [ Article : 1997 ]
    View online (conditions apply)
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  2. Talking about Celia ... community and family memories of Celia Smith [Book Review]
    Australian Aboriginal Studies
    [ Article : 1997 ]
    View online (conditions apply)
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  3. Talking About Celia ... Community and Family Memories of Celia Smith [Book Review]
    Stratigos, Christine
    Australian Journal of Indigenous Education, The
    [ Article : 1997 ]
    View online (conditions apply)
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  4. Talking about Celia ; Sister girl [Book Review]
    Read, Peter
    Aboriginal History
    [ Article : 2001 ]
    View online (conditions apply)
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    Bell, Jeanie
    [ Audio book, Book : 1997-2002 ]
    Possibly online
    At 65 libraries
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  2. Talking about Celia... : community and family memories of Celia Smith / Jeanie Bell
    Bell, Jeanie
    [ Audio book : 2014 ]
    At Brisbane City Cou
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  3. Talking about Celia... / Jeanie Bell
    Bell, Jeanie
    [ Audio book : 2013-2014 ]
    At City Tea Tree Gully
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  4. Salute to Celia Fiennes / Jordana de Bijl ; illustrated by John R. Smith
    De Bijl, Jordana
    [ Book : 1983 ]
    At 2 libraries
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    [ Unpublished : 1995 ]
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  2. Victorian Education Department Certificates
    [ Published ]
    At FedUni
    Victorian Education Department Certificates
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  3. Jean Garling - personal papers, 1897-1998, together with associated papers, 1823-1998
    [ Unpublished : 1897-1998 ]
    At State Library of NSW
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    NAIRN, Walter Maxwell (1879-1958) MHR
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    Melbourne and Metropolitan Board of Works
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