Event, Politics, Source, Women's History

Discrimination – A Coat of Many Colors

[In the General Motors (GM) case] … to [outlaw] sex and race discrimination [experienced by individuals or a group], the courts would have had to recognize a new minority classification, African American females. The court opposed the creation of any new classifications proposing that, “the creation of new classes of protected minorities, governed only by the mathematical principles of permutation and combination, [would] clearly raise[*] the prospect of opening the hackneyed Pandora’s box.” If the women had been able to show that they had been victims of discrimination because they were black or because they were women they would have had a case, but because GM was not discriminatory against white women nor black men, the women had no legal case.

Event, Politics, Women's History

Life At Home During The Great War

The Great War was not the end of everything. Cultural entertainment continued, although tinged with a patriotic influence. Literary works and poetry, theatre, music and motion pictures adopted a militant vision of society. Schools, the press and popular literature drew heavily on anti-foreign and patriotic sentiments, making it easy to demonise the German enemy. Military music and anthems were played on the radio and there were musical performances held for large audiences.

Biography, Politics, Source

Descended from a Matriarch – Part 1

I wanted to be a nurse, but the family put a veto on that, because three or four members of the family had been to nursing training and they were not treated well: they suffered racism. Also at the time Mum worked in the hospital in the children’s ward as a cleaner. She didn’t think it was the best area for me to go into.

My family wanted me to work in a bank …

Biography, Politics, Source, Women's History

Taking Control Now – Part 1

Conscious of coming from a society of many nationalities in all colours and shapes, I was constantly reminded I was different. Some friends would say, in winter, when everyone was wearing stockings, gloves and beret: ‘Gee, you wouldn’t know that you were brown from behind.’ Constantly telling me that I was not quite one of them, they seemed preoccupied with colour. I reacted violently.

By the end of first term I had bashed up everyone bashable. Everybody else ran away. I came home with my school books and ripped right through them all with my biro, screaming, ranting and raving and demanding to go home. My foster father asked if I would like to try another school. No, but I didn’t want to return to the violence of Retta Dixon Homes. My foster father encouraged me. I went to Greystanes. Half the teachers were Jews, including the principal. The other half were white Australians. I got on with all the Jews, and with very few of the others.I still fought and argued with teachers but began to settle down.

Biography, Politics, Women's History

Taking Flight – From Air Hostess, via ‘Trolley Dolly’, to Flight Attendant

We took it in turns to work the galleys. In First Class this included cooking a roast, which was carved at the seat, heating up the various main meals, the fish course and setting up elaborate carts for hors d’oevres, salad, cheese and desserts. For breakfast we cooked eggs to order. In Economy the meals were loaded in large pans and had to be served up on individual plates – breakfast being more of a challenge: scrambling the raw eggs for 120 passengers in a small oven, particularly in turbulence!