Labour History: A Journal of Labour and Social History

Justice at Last?: The Temporary Teachers Club and the Teaching Service (Married Women) Act 1956

Labour History: A Journal of Labour and Social History (2006), 91, (1), 151–168.

Abstract

In 1956, the Victorian parliament passed the Teaching Service (Married Women) Act, removing the marriage bar in the Victorian Education Department. Introduced under the 1889 Public Service Amendment Act by liberal reformers with a profoundly gendered vision for the state, the marriage bar excluded married women from teaching, deeming them temporary ‘outsiders’. During World War II, married women temporary teachers returned to teaching in considerable numbers. In 1955, their lobbying in the Victorian Teachers Union led to the formation of the Temporary Teachers Club (TTC) and the waging of a ‘cooperative campaign’ forcing the Department’s hand on the matter of reinstatement, but at a cost: the denial of their superannuation entitlements. The TTC’s campaign is not only an important and overlooked episode of feminist activism in an era renowned for conservatism; it is testament to the claim that women’s achievements were hard won — a struggle, not a gift.

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Author details

Dwyer, Donna

Table of Contents

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