Women's Electoral Lobby – Collection – NJSN_AC-034 1972 - 2001

By: Women's Electoral Lobby - WEL 1972Contributor(s): Women's Electoral LobbySeries: Administrative Records 1972 - 2001Description: 0.36 linear metres Paper 2 x (H)25cm x (W)18cm x (D)40cm 2 x standard boxes Standard T1Subject(s): Women's Electoral Lobby | Feminism | Australia | Politics - Women’s Issues - Political Campaigning - Lobbying - AdvocacyProduction credits: Library permission and acknowledgement required Summary: ADMINISTRATIVE HISTORY The Women’s Electoral Lobby (WEL) was established in Melbourne in 1972 by feminist Beatrice Faust. In February of that year she had invited ten women to a meeting in her Carlton house to discuss the forthcoming Federal election, having been inspired by feminists in the United States who had been rating presidential candidates during a recent presidential campaign. By the second meeting the initial membership had doubled, and 130 women attended the third meeting a short time later. Beatrice and her colleagues decided to conduct a large-scale survey of election candidates on issues of special interest to women. WEL’s intervention in the election campaign was intended to publicise the candidates’ views and, simultaneously, to mobilise women’s political power. It achieved both ends and WEL grew into a major feminist non-party, political lobby group. Early the following year there was a Victorian state election, and WEL organised a major forum in Dallas Brooks Hall, bringing together on stage the leaders of all five current political parties to answer the question: Why should women vote for you? WEL's first national conference in Canberra in 1973 was attended by 400 women. The organisation quickly spread to Sydney, Adelaide and Canberra and in 1978 WEL Australia was formed as a coalition of state, territory and regional groups. Originally the WEL campaign was based on six demands: equal pay, equal employment opportunity, equal access to education, free contraceptive services, abortion on demand and free 24-hour childcare. In 1998, Helen Leonard moved to Canberra to become National Executive Officer for WEL, responsible for the Australia-wide management, co-ordination and development of the organisation in liaison with the National Board. For 47 years WEL has brought women from all walks of life together to work for the good of all. Women of all ages, races and backgrounds have lobbied, marched, protested and carried out important research into the barriers that hold women back from a life of dignity, safety and success. Proudly reformist and always ambitious, through passion, determination and strategic thinking,WEL has won many significant policy changes and law reforms to make life better for women everywhere. WEL’s mission is to create a society where women’s participation and potential are unrestricted, acknowledged and respected and where women and men share equally in society’s responsibilities and rewards. As a non-profit, self-funded and independent organisation it is able to continue its work and campaigns thanks to the generosity of members and supporters. Ref: Australian Women’s History Forum (awhf.wordpress.com); Womens’ Electoral Lobby (www.wel.org.au) The Australian Women’s Register (www.womenaustralia.info)
List(s) this item appears in: Women's Electoral Lobby: Stage 6 History Women's Movements
Holdings
Item type Current library Collection Call number Status Date due Barcode
Archives - Collection Archives - Collection
Women's Electoral Lobby - WEL - Collection Compartment 2 / Bay 10 / Shelf 3 / Position 4-5 (Browse shelf(Opens below)) Available for reference in the library

ARRANGEMENT OF CONTENTS

SERIES DESCRIPTION

Women’s Electoral Lobby – Administrative Records 1972 - 2001

This series includes type-written and hand-written documents regarding policies and strategies on election issues; submissions; working papers; proposals and reports; minutes; membership records, and oral history notes.

WEL correspondence includes type-written A4 letters to and from WEL members and government ministers including the then Prime Minister, The Hon R. J. Hawke. Conference records consist of a number of type-written A4 and foolscap conference abstracts and papers.

Also in this series are publicity records consisting of A4 and foolscap documents and includes unpublished papers; press clippings; media releases, and song books.

The arrangement is chronological and has been imposed.

CONTENTS

Box 1

1. WEL Submissions 1973 – 1975
2. WEL Submissions 1979 – 2000
3. WEL Report Women’s Tax Convention 1989 (Eva Cox)
4. WEL Transcript of Proceedings of National Wage Cases 1974
5. WEL Internet Bulletins / GST & tampons 2000
6. WEL Unpublished Papers 1972 – 1975
7. WEL Media Releases 1980 – 2000
8. WEL Press Clippings 1972 – 1992
9. WEL Working Papers c. 1999
10. WEL Oral History Notes for Tapes (undated)
11. WEL Paper presented to Kyushu Women’s Study Tour Group 1996
12. WEL Song Books 1975 – 1991
13. WEL Miscellaneous Papers 1994 – 1998
14. WEL Memo / List of WEL Submissions / Guidelines for Submissions 1999
15. WEL Progress Report – Wellington Branch 1975
16. WEL Complaints regarding sexist advertising 1981 – 1987
17. WEL Administrative Records 1991 – 1992
18. WEL Media Action Group working papers 1983 – 1994
19. WEL Minutes of General meetings 1992 - 1996

CONTENTS

Box 2

1. WEL Correspondence 1988 – 1992
2. WEL National Policies 1994 – 1996
3. WEL Lists of Women’s Organisations 1997
4. WEL Membership Lists 1974 – 1999 / Women in the Home Group 1974
5. WEL Ad Promotion Conference 1993
6. WEL Guides / Electoral Action NSW 1995 – 1998
7. WEL Australia 1998 Election Form Guide
8. WEL Proposal and Report – Catherine Helen Spence House 1994
9. WEL Vida Goldstein Awards / Working Papers 2001
10. WEL National Conference Abstracts and related papers 1996
11. WEL National Women’s Conference / Papers / Policies 1992
12. WEL Conference Papers 1974
13. WEL NSW State Conference / working papers 1991
14. WEL National Conference Papers 1973
15. WEL Lobbying Working Papers (undated)
16. WEL Electoral Strategy 1990 Federal Election
17. WEL Interview Schedule / Federal Elections 1972

RESTRICTIONS ON PUBLICATION:

Reproduction rights are owned by Jessie Street National Women's Library. Material may be saved or printed for private research, however, if it is to be used for any other purpose, a ‘Request Permission to Publish’ form should be completed.

RESTRICTIONS ON PHYSICAL ACCESS:

Available for research. Not for loan.

Library permission and acknowledgement required

ADMINISTRATIVE HISTORY

The Women’s Electoral Lobby (WEL) was established in Melbourne in 1972 by feminist Beatrice Faust. In February of that year she had invited ten women to a meeting in her Carlton house to discuss the forthcoming Federal election, having been inspired by feminists in the United States who had been rating presidential candidates during a recent presidential campaign. By the second meeting the initial membership had doubled, and 130 women attended the third meeting a short time later.

Beatrice and her colleagues decided to conduct a large-scale survey of election candidates on issues of special interest to women. WEL’s intervention in the election campaign was intended to publicise the candidates’ views and, simultaneously, to mobilise women’s political power. It achieved both ends and WEL grew into a major feminist non-party, political lobby group.

Early the following year there was a Victorian state election, and WEL organised a major forum in Dallas Brooks Hall, bringing together on stage the leaders of all five current political parties to answer the question: Why should women vote for you?
WEL's first national conference in Canberra in 1973 was attended by 400 women.

The organisation quickly spread to Sydney, Adelaide and Canberra and in 1978 WEL Australia was formed as a coalition of state, territory and regional groups. Originally the WEL campaign was based on six demands: equal pay, equal employment opportunity, equal access to education, free contraceptive services, abortion on demand and free 24-hour childcare.

In 1998, Helen Leonard moved to Canberra to become National Executive Officer for WEL, responsible for the Australia-wide management, co-ordination and development of the organisation in liaison with the National Board.

For 47 years WEL has brought women from all walks of life together to work for the good of all. Women of all ages, races and backgrounds have lobbied, marched, protested and carried out important research into the barriers that hold women back from a life of dignity, safety and success. Proudly reformist and always ambitious, through passion, determination and strategic thinking,WEL has won many significant policy changes and law reforms to make life better for women everywhere.

WEL’s mission is to create a society where women’s participation and potential are unrestricted, acknowledged and respected and where women and men share equally in society’s responsibilities and rewards. As a non-profit, self-funded and independent organisation it is able to continue its work and campaigns thanks to the generosity of members and supporters.

Ref: Australian Women’s History Forum (awhf.wordpress.com); Womens’ Electoral Lobby (www.wel.org.au)
The Australian Women’s Register (www.womenaustralia.info)

RESTRICTIONS ON REPRODUCTION

Library permission and acknowledgement is required to copy material for research purposes.

SOURCE OF ACQUISITION

Helen Leonard
NOT FOR PUBLICATION

Now deceased
METHOD OF ACQUISITION

Deed of Gift

DATE OF ACQUISITION

2002

ACCESSION NUMBER

A2002/25 EXTENT

Approximately 2 standard archive boxes

INFORMATION RELATING TO COPYRIGHT STATUS

Copyright holder is JSNWL.

LANGUAGE

English

OWNERSHIP & CUSTODIAL HISTORY

JSNWL

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