Labour History

The Union of Australian Women: The Childcare Issue

Labour History (1998), 75, (1), 144–154.

Abstract

This paper argues that one forgotten group that played a significant part in the development of child care in Victoria is the Union of Australian Women (UAW). As a working class organisation the UAW fought to represent the interests of working women during the 1950s and 1960s. This included a commitment to child care. Because of the dominance of the traditional maternalist groups in the 1950s and 1960s, the UAW was unable to have much influence. However, the conjunction of historical forces at the beginning of the 1970s gave the UAW an opportunity to form new coalitions that challenged the dominance of the traditional children’s services groups. The paper begins by outlining the position adopted by the traditional maternalist groups that dominated child care issues in Victoria in the 1950s and 1960s. The paper then explores the early work of the UAW in child care and finally discusses the role of the UAW in the development of community child care. The paper concludes that by using the experience gained over the previous decades, the members of the UAW were well placed to take a leading role in the community child care movement.

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Details

Author details

O’Toole, Kevin

Table of Contents

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