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Country women and the colour bar

Grassroots activism and the Country Women's Association

Jennifer Jones

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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...

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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.

Production Details
  • Paperback
  • 230mm x 1955mm x 15mm
  • 248pp
  • Released October 2015
  • ISBN 9781925302967
Contents

Illustrations
Map
Glossary
Acknowledgments
Introduction
Chapter 1: The colour bar in Queensland and New South Wales
Chapter 2: Boggabilla- Overcoming Aboriginal isolation
Chapter 3: Kempsey- Segregation and CWA baby shows
Chapter 4: Taree- Supporting self-help
Chapter 5: Nowra- Differing ideas of leadership
Chapter 6: Grafton- Shared goals across class and race
Chapter 7: Griffith- International days
Conclusion: It was time
Notes
Bibliography
Index

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.

Customer Reviews

Based on 2 reviews
100%
(2)
0%
(0)
0%
(0)
0%
(0)
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(0)
J
Joanna P.
Meticulously researched

The author has based her detailed work on CWA & AWB records to uncover the overlooked histories of country towns that are never in the spotlight. This is vital work that uncovers the tensions and struggles of race relations at the micto level, and helps us understand the legacies we carry, still, from the past

M
Mavis J.S.
What an amazing book, I could not put it down

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.

Customer Reviews

Based on 2 reviews
100%
(2)
0%
(0)
0%
(0)
0%
(0)
0%
(0)
J
Joanna P.
Meticulously researched

The author has based her detailed work on CWA & AWB records to uncover the overlooked histories of country towns that are never in the spotlight. This is vital work that uncovers the tensions and struggles of race relations at the micto level, and helps us understand the legacies we carry, still, from the past

M
Mavis J.S.
What an amazing book, I could not put it down

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.

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