Country women and the colour bar is a timely corrective to established ideas about race relations in rural New South Wales. It reveals the untold story of grassroots efforts by Aboriginal and white women working together to make significant gains for Aboriginal communities prior to Aboriginal people's widespread access to citizen's rights.
In the 1950s and 1960s, in towns across New South Wales, specially created Aboriginal branches of the Country Women's Association were established. Country women and the colour bar offers insights into the experience of ordinary Aboriginal and white rural women as they participated in beauty contests, cookery, handicraft lessons and baby contests. It reveals how Aboriginal assimilation policy met everyday reality as these rural women broke the rural colour bar in an unprecedented fashion and fostered cooperative campaigns for meaningful change in race-relations.
Some prominent Australians feature in these extraordinary stories: Jessie Street, Charles Perkins, Rachel Mundine and Purth Moorhouse.
- 230mm x 1955mm x 15mm
- Released October 2015
- ISBN 9781925302967
About The Author
Jennifer Jones is a lecturer in Australian Indigenous Studies at La Trobe University, Australia. Her research interests include Indigenous Australian history and biography, Indigenous Australian Literature, cross cultural collaboration, rural and religious history and histories of education.
About The Cover
Front Cover: Mrs Tilly Bloomfield with other Country Women's Association representatives at the Murrumbidgee- Lachlan handcraft exhibition, 1962. Courtesy Country Women's Association Griffith Branch.
Having lived and worked for 20 years in Kempsey NSW, I was delighted to read the "grass root" involvement of so many Aboriginal people from the Macleay Valley.
The stories of how Aboriginal women were invited to join Country Women's Associations across NSW made my heart sing and to read how so many of these
women worked side by side with Non Aboriginal women was inspiring and to recognise the family names of some of these Aboriginal women and to know some of
their descendants through my work in community brought tears to my eyes. The women of our local Country Women's Association, both Aboriginal and Non Aboriginal were true "trail blazers" they worked together to make their local CWA's inclusive, significantly reducing the "colour bar" that had been evident since colonisation.