Papers of Jessie Street (1889 - 1970)
Scope and Content Note
Creator: Jessie Street
Date range: 1914-68
Extent: 4.18 metres (31 boxes + 5 folios)
Reference number: MS 2683
Jessie Streets husband, Sir Kenneth Street, donated the papers to
the National Library in 1970. Her son, Sir Laurence Street, made a substantial
addition in 1972. Further small additions were made to the collection between
1973 and 2001.
Other Street Family papers are held at the Mitchell Library, State
Library of New South Wales.
Other collections held in the Manuscript Section which contain material
relating to Jessie Street are the papers of Bessie Rischbieth (MS 2004), Dame
Mary Gilmore (MS 727) and Peter Sekuless (MS 5365).
Recordings received with this donation have been transferred to
ScreenSound Australia. The catalogue for their collection can be searched on
the web at http://www.screensound.gov.au.
The Oral History Section holds a De Berg tape-recording and transcript
made by Jessie Street available (ORAL DeB 197,198).
The Pictorial Section also holds Jessie Street photographs.
The papers document Streets involvement in the major feminist
organisation at the time: the United Associations of Women (U.A.W). She was
President of this organisation for many years, from its inception in 1929. The
records relating to the struggle for Aboriginal rights are extensive and
include petitions to the Holt Government calling for a referendum.
Jessie Street actively campaigned for the peaceful settlement of
international and national issues causing conflict and the banning of nuclear
weapons. Papers relating to these activities can be found in Series 4: Peace
Movement Activities and Series 5: United Nations, which is the largest series
of the collection. Street attended United Nations Conferences as a delegate on
various occasions and many session papers from 1945 were collected. She worked
for the introduction of National Social Insurance and stood as a Labor
candidate, but was unsuccessful in gaining a seat. Street also actively
encouraged friendship with the U.S.S.R.
The collection includes correspondence, speeches, broadcasts, printed
material, maps, minutes of meetings, financial records, diaries, passports,
photographs, sound recordings and papers relating to her writings on a diverse
range of issues, including accounts of her many overseas travels.
Although Streets contemporary, Bessie Rischbieth, worked on
similar feminist issues, their efforts on an issue such as equal pay for
women, were not united. The Rischbieth collection (MS 2004) shows a gap
in the correspondence in the Street Collection, despite Jessie Streets
apparently meticulous habit of keeping correspondence received and carbon
duplicates of business letters sent. Only one of the eleven letters sent by
Bessie Rischbieth appear in Jessie Streets correspondence. This
inconsistency is unusual; one explanation is given in a letter written by
Jessie Street in April 1967. It refers to Muriel Tribe, (Jessie Streets
assistant) destroying eight waste paper baskets full of her papers,
so it possible that these missing letters could have been destroyed (Letter
located in Series 1, Folder 34).
Name index to correspondence - A name index is
available in card form.
1889 Born Jessie Mary Grey Lillingston at Chota Nagpur, India (now
1892 Family moved to Darjeeling, India
1899 Family moved to Australia and settled at Yulgilbar, on
the banks of the Clarence River, N.S.W.
1910 Graduated from Sydney University, with a Bachelor of Arts
1911 Attended the Conference of the International Council of Women, in
1912 Travelled to Womens International Conference in Rome and
studied social conditions in Europe
1915 Trained in social work in the U.S.A.
1915 Founded the N.S.W. Social Hygiene Association
1916 Married Kenneth Street, later Sir Kenneth Street. He was Lieutenant
Governor of N.S.W. and Chief Justice of N.S.W., 1950-60
1918 Established the Women Sports Union at Sydney University as a
1920 Foundation member of the Australian League of Nations
1924 Established Home Training Institute
1929 Elected first President of the United Association of Women
1930 Attended the League of Nations at Geneva and again in 1938
1930 Travelled to England, Geneva and U.S.A to study National Social
1938 Revisited U.S.A, England Europe and U.S.S.R. to observe social and
1941 Chairman of the Womens Forum for Social and Economic
1941-5 Chairman of the Russian Medical Aid and Comforts Committee in
1942 Chairman of the All-Australian Womens Conference
1943 Re-elected President of the United Association of Women
1943 Unsuccessfully contested the Australian Labor Party Federal
preselection in the Eden Monaro and Wentworth electorates
1943 Chairman of the Australian Womens Charter Committee
1944 Founded the feminist publication Australian Womens
1945 Delegate to the United Nations Conference at San Francisco
1946 Unsuccessfully stood as a Labor candidate again in the Wentworth
1946 Delegate in the Status of Women Commission held by the U.N.
1946 President of the Australian-Russian Society, later to become the
1947 Delegate to 1st Session, Status of Women Commission
1948 1948 Delegate to the 2nd Session of the Status of Women
1949 Unsuccessfully stood as Independent Labor candidate in the
1950 Left Australia to remain abroad for the next six years
1950 Delegate to the second World Peace Conference, Warsaw
1953 Guest to attend Stalins funeral at Moscow
1955 Delegate at the World Assembly for Peace, Helsinki
1956 Returned to Australia
1956 Commenced work with the Aboriginal Rights Movement
1958 Attended International Committee of Mothers Conference in
1958 Attended Executive Committee of World Peace Council, New Delhi
1958 Visited Chinese Peace Committee, Peking, China
1961 Commenced writing Truth or repose, her autobiography
196624 Truth or repose published
1970 Died in Sydney
(1) Belinda Jessie Whistler Street
Born 15 February 1918
11 Oct. 1939 to Donald Gordon Farquhar Mackay
(2) Philippa Lillingston Whistler Street
Born 7 Nov. 1919
Married 17 Jan. 1942 to John Henry (Jack) Fingleton
(3) Roger Kenneth Whistler Street
Born 18 August 1921
(4) Laurence Lillingston Whistler Street (now Sir Laurence)
Married 7 Mar. 1952 to Susan Watt
Farwell, George Squatters castle Landsdowne, 1973
Radi, Heather Jessie Street, documents and essays. Sydney
Womens Redress Press, c.1990
Sekuless, Peter Jessie Street. A rewarding but unrewarded life
University of Queensland Press, St Lucia, 1978
Street, Jessie Truth or repose, Australasian Book Society,
Street, Kenneth Annals of the Street family of Birtley (n.p),
1 Personal items, 1914-67
2 Writings, 1961-83
3 Feminist activities, 1927-68
4 Peace Movement activities, 1931-68
5 United Nations, 1945-65
6 Australia Labor Party, 1940-69
7 Australian-Soviet Friendship Society, 1938-68
8 Social Reconstruction and Immigration Advisory Committees, 1930-45
9 National Social Insurance, 1933-52
10 Aboriginal Rights Movement and Race Relations, 1947-68
11 Photographs, 1904-62
Series 1 Personal Items, 1914-67
The first series begins with personal and family correspondence ranging
from 1914 to 1967 (Folders 1-34).
The early letters from 1914 are mainly written by Jessie Street to
Kenneth Street before their marriage. Later there are numerous letters from her
sons Roger and Laurence written during their naval service in World War II and
from her daughter Philippa and son-in-law, Jack Fingleton.
There are also sympathy cards sent to her husband after her death
(Folders 35-38) and other cards and invitations (Folder 39).
There are two British passports and one Australian passport held in
Folder 40. During the years 1934 to 1967 Jessie Street kept annual diaries. All
diaries are held in Folders 41-48. There are eight notebooks containing rough
notes (Folder 49), twelve address books and one autograph book (Folders 50-52)
and loose names and addresses are held in Folder 53.
Finally there are biographical notes and newspaper clippings (Folder
55), and the final subseries consists of old childrens books (Folder 54),
church publications (Folder 56) and other items such as receipts, legal
documents, concert programs and newspaper clippings and rough notebook (Folders
1 Personal and family correspondence, March, 1914-November, 1915
2 Personal and family correspondence, January-October, 1915
3 Personal and family correspondence, February, 1917-November, 1918
4 Personal and family correspondence, July, 1918-November, 1919
5 Personal and family correspondence, April, 1920-December, 1929
6 Personal and family correspondence, March-August, 1930
7 Personal and family correspondence, September, 1930-October, 1915
8 Personal and family correspondence, November, 1930-November, 1931
9 Personal and family correspondence, January-December, 1931
10 Personal and family correspondence, January, 1932-December, 1934
11 Personal and family correspondence, February, 1935-October, 1937
12 Personal and family correspondence, March-April, 1938
13 Personal and family correspondence, May-June, 1938
14 Personal and family correspondence, February-June, 1938
15 Personal and family correspondence, August-September, 1938
16 Personal and family correspondence, October-November, 1938
17 Personal and family correspondence, March, 1939-December, 1942
18 Personal and family correspondence, January, 1941-December, 1942
19 Personal and family correspondence, March-October, 1943
20 Personal and family correspondence, January-June, 1945
21 Personal and family correspondence, June-July, 1945
22 Personal and family correspondence, August-September, 1945
23 Personal and family correspondence, September-December, 1945
24 Personal and family correspondence, January-December, 1946
25 Personal and family correspondence, January-February, 1947
26 Personal and family correspondence, March-December, 1947
27 Personal and family correspondence, February-December 1948
28 Personal and family correspondence, May-December, 1949
29 Personal and family correspondence, January, 1950-May, 1952
30 Personal and family correspondence, November, 1954-July, 1961
31 Personal and family correspondence, June, 1960-December, 1961
32 Personal and family correspondence, January, 1962-December, 1963
33 Personal and family correspondence, January-December, 1964
34 Personal and family correspondence, January, 1965-August, 1970
35 Sympathy cards written after the death of Jessie Street, 2nd to 6th
36 Sympathy cards written after the death of Jessie Street, 6th to 15th
37 Sympathy cards written after the death of Jessie Street, 16th July to
21st August 1970
38 Sympathy cards written after the death of Jessie Street, undated.
39 Christmas cards and various other types of cards and invitations,
40 Streets Australian and British passports, 1948-49, 1949-51,
41 Annual diaries of Jessie Street, 1931-39
42 Annual diaries of Jessie Street, 1940-43
43 Annual diaries of Jessie Street, 1944-47
44 Annual diaries of Jessie Street, 1948-51
45 Annual diaries of Jessie Street, 1952-55
46 Annual diaries of Jessie Street, 1956-59
47 Annual diaries of Jessie Street, 1960-62
48 Annual diaries of Jessie Street, 1964-67
49 Eight notebooks containing rough notes,
50-2 Twelve address books and a autograph book,
53 Loose addresses
54 Old childrens books
55 Biographical notes and newspaper clippings, 1956-50
56 Church publications, 1930-34
57 Miscellaneous, 1914-32
58 Miscellaneous, including a rough notebook, 1956-71
59 Miscellaneous newspaper cuttings and documents, 1915-57
60 Miscellaneous, newspaper cuttings and pamphlets, 1889-31
Series 2 Writings, 1961-83
This series consists of the drafts of Streets autobiography
entitled Truth or repose (1966) and poems, mainly written by her.
The correspondence relating to her autobiography ranges from 1961 to
1967. The letters are mainly to and from her publisher David Higham (Folder 1).
Correspondence concerned with the Centenary Song Competition dates from June
1934 to August 1935 (Folder 2).
The manuscript Truth or repose is in two parts. The first draft
consists of 24 chapters with an index (Folders 3-6). The second draft consists
of 24 chapters without an index (Folders 3-6). The second draft consists of 24
chapters without an index (Folders 7-12). Newspaper reviews of the published
work are included with the second draft (Folder 13).
Streets poetry was written between 1915 and 1941 (Folder 14). Of
her published poems, Australia, Happy Isle is perhaps the best known,
since it won the 1934 Centenary Song Competition. Allan and Co. published this
poem in 1934 and Lindley Evans wrote the music for the song. Included with her
prize-winning poem are the conditions of entry, entry form and newspaper
clippings relating to the poem (Folder 15). Other published poems are Woman
to man, a poem with greetings (n.d), Dream or memory (n.d),
To the War Memorial, - Sydney 1934. This last poem appeared in the
Sunday Sun and Guardian on 25th November 1934.
Other poems are located in Folder 16 and include some poems written by
various other writers (mostly anonymous).
1 Correspondence concerning Truth or repose, September,
2 Correspondence concerning Poetry.
3 1st drafts of Truth or repose, chapters 1-7.
4 1st drafts of Truth or repose, chapters 8-15.
5 1st drafts of Truth or repose, chapters 16-22.
6 1st drafts of Truth or repose, chapters 23-24, plus index.
7 Truth or repose, chapters 1-4.
8 Truth or repose, chapters 5-8.
9 Truth or repose, chapters 9-12.
10 Truth or repose, chapters 13-16.
11 Truth or repose, chapters 17-20.
12 Truth or repose, chapters 21-24.
13 Reviews of Truth or repose
14 Poetry written by Jessie Street, 1915-41
15 Newspaper cuttings and documents concerning the Centenary Song,
16 Undated Poems by Jessie Street and various other poems. Also sheet
music of Australia, Happy Isle, words by Jessie Street
17 Letter from Philippa Jockle to Peter Sekuless concerning Jessie
18 Anthony & Cleopatra: a scenario
Series 3 Feminist activities, 1927-68
Series 3 contains correspondence, broadcasts, printed and published
material, papers written by Jessie Street on various issues, newspaper
clippings and conference papers, ranging from 1927 to 1968. This series is
predominantly concerned with the battle to establish and secure legal and
economic equality for women in Australia.
Streets feminist work started in 1915 when she founded the N.S.W.
Social Hygiene Association, which attempted to inform married women on such
topics as birth control and sex education. There were organised efforts to
control prostitution (Folder 14). In 1918 she established the Womens
Sports Union at Sydney University as a foundation member. Previously, only a
Mens club had existed, with no facilities being available to women.
Papers include the Annual report for 1959-60 and the Union
recorder for July 1960 (Folder 29).
The Home Training Institute was a business developed by Jessie Street in
1924, when there was a shortage of trained domestic staff, suitable for hiring
to private homes. She aimed to fill the need by designing a course of training
for domestic staff and issuing certificates of competency and efficiency at the
completion of the course. Her business was successful, since she regulated
hours of duty and rates of pay for the domestic workers (Folder 30).
In 1929 Jessie Street was elected the first President of the United
Associations of Women (Folder 23). This amalgamation of four smaller feminist
groups in Sydney, was an effective organisation for promoting womens
interests. The U.A.W. was responsible for the organisation of many feminist
meetings and deputations to Parliament. The Australian Womens Digest
was a magazine published the Womens Publicity Agency, a branch of
the U.A.W. Papers of this Agency include account books (Folders 24-26),
receipts (Folder 27) and taxation forms (Folder 28).
In 1943 she was re-elected as president. Papers on the struggle for
equal pay and equal opportunity for women at work, range from 1929-1960
(Folders 7-9). Included is a copy of the Equal Pay Committees Plan of
Campaign, which consisted of the issuing of leaflets, radio talks, deputations,
contact with the press, circulars and meetings (Folder 8). This plan was
formulated in about 1951 (no date given), by the Trade Union Equal Pay
Committee at the Trades Hall in Melbourne.
The U.A.W. fought for legal civil and political rights of women (Folder
11) and for the right of women to participate in jury service (Folder 12).
Other issues the U.A.W. campaigned for include divorce and marriage reform
(Folder 15), child welfare (16), womens domicile (Folder 17) and women
and war work (Folder 10).
Feminist broadcasts made by Jessie Street are held at Folder 6. Feminist
publications are held at Folder 31 and Folder 32 (newspaper clippings). The
suffragette newspapers Votes for Woman produced by F&E Laurence,
in Britain from 1907 to 1911, consist of 3 bound volumes (Folio items).
Correspondence consists mainly of letters written by the U.A.W. Among
the many correspondents are Linda Littlejohn, Bessie Rischbieth, Irene
Greenwood, Harold Holt, Sir Robert Menzies and Edith How-Martyn (Folders
Conference papers range from 1916 to 1966 and include: the
All-Australian Womens Conference (1942); Australian Womens Charter
Movement (1943); the Report of the International Womens Conference held
in Paris (1945), the All India Womens Conference in India 1944-45;
Council of Womens International Democratic Federation held in Moscow
(1949) and International Committee of Mothers Conference held in Sofia
(1958). Jessie Street attended many of these conferences as a delegate.
The Status of Women Commission conferences held by the United Nations,
are described in Series 5. These papers range from 1946 to 1965.
Papers relating to the status of women in overseas countries such as
Britain, Japan, U.S.S.R, U.S.A and China are located at Folder 18. Papers of
the World Womens Party, ranging from 1952-53 are located at Folder
Note: Related series are series 5 (Status of Women Commission), Series 9
(National Social Insurance) for papers on Child Endowment and Unemployment
1 Feminist correspondence, July 1927-April 1938.
2 Feminist correspondence, January 1940-December 1940.
3 Feminist correspondence, March 1941-June 1946.
4 Feminist correspondence, August 1946-February 1950.
5 Feminist correspondence, April 1951-May 1968.
6 Feminist broadcasts and conference speeches by Jessie Street.
7 Equal pay and equal opportunity for women at work, 1929-49.
8 Equal pay and equal opportunity for women at work, 1950-60.
9 Equal pay and equal opportunity for women at work, undated.
10 Women, the Workforce and World War II.
11 Legal, civil and political rights of women including women on juries
on women and education.
12 Notes on women and juries.
13 Notes on Suffragette Movement including recordings of suffragettes
made in London, 1960.
14 Notes on birth control, venereal disease, prostitution and the
15 Notes on divorce and marriage reform.
16 Notes on child welfare.
17 Notes on womens domicile.
18 Notes on women in Britain, Japan, U.S.S.R, U.S.A and China.
19 Australian Womens Charter Conference, 1943-67.
20 Papers of the World Womans Party for Equal Rights 1952-53.
21 Notes on the Australian Status of Women Council.
22(i) Notes on feminist conferences, 1916-56.
22(ii) Notes on feminist conferences, 1916-56.
23 Notes on the United Association of Women and invitation to the 1979
Golden Jubilee Dinner of the Association.
24 United Association of Women: account book.
25 Australian Womens Digest Account books.
26 Accounting Books for Womens Publicity Agency Committee.
27 Receipts and invoices of the United Association of Women.
28 Taxation forms for the Australian womens Digest and
Womens Publicity Agency.
29 Notes on Sydney University.
30 Notes on the Home Training Institute.
1932-59 and correspondence concerning feminism.
31 Newspaper clippings on Feminism, 1941-59.
32 Volume I of the suffragette newspaper, Votes for Woman,
F&E Laurence, 1907-8
33 Volume II of the suffragette newspaper, Votes for Woman,
F&E Laurence, 1908-9
34 Volume IV of the suffragette newspaper, Votes for Woman,
F&E Laurence, 1910-1
Series 4 Peace Movement Activities, 1931-68
Jessie Street campaigned for the settlement of all international
disputes by conciliation and arbitration without resorting to war. She believed
that Governments should ban nuclear, biological and chemical weapons. The
Government should only have the sole responsibility of the manufacture and sale
of armaments and not private enterprise, so as to avoid profits being made from
This series ranges from 1931 to 1968 and consists of correspondence
(Folders 1-5), papers written by her including speeches and broadcasts (Folders
6-14), conference papers and printed material (Folders 16-29), reports of
overseas visits (Folder 15) and newspaper clippings (Folders 30-32).
Jessie Street attended many United Nations Peace conferences and these
are described in the Series 5. She attended the World Peace Conference in
Warsaw (1950) and the World Assembly for Peace in Helsinki (1955). Papers of
the World Congress of Peace (1949) held in Paris are included. In 1958 she
attended the Executive Committee of the World Peace Council, New Delhi and also
visited the Chinese Peace Committee in Peking.
Broadcasts were made on the Anglo-Soviet Pact (1942); visit to Berlin
(1945); visit to Budapest (1948); impressions of Japan (1954) and impressions
of Paris (1952).
Some of Streets 16 written reports of her travels overseas include
impressions of Stalins death and funeral (1953) and an interview with the
victims of Hiroshima and Bikini (1945).
Note: Newspaper clippings range from 1938 to 1967. A related series is
Series 5 (United Nations) and Series 12 (Miscellaneous). Series 12 contains an
interview with Hewlett Johnson, the Dean of Canterbury on his visit to
Australia. There is also an interview with Professor Fletcher, which appears to
have been a radio broadcast made sometime during the 1950s and/or 1960s (no
dates are given). Both interviews concentrate on dispelling the myths of the
cold war tactics practiced at the time, between Western nations and the Soviet
Union (Folder 3).
1 Correspondence concerning the peace movement, 1939-51.
2 Correspondence concerning the peace movement, 1951-53.
3 Correspondence concerning the peace movement, 1953-55.
4 Correspondence concerning the peace movement, 1955-60.
5 Correspondence concerning the peace movement, 1960-66.
6 Papers by Street concerning the cold war and peace, 1934-49.
7 Papers by Street concerning issues, such as, the United Nations and
the World Peace council, 1950-52.
8 Papers by Street concerning disarmament proposals, 1954-56.
9 Papers by Street concerning disarmament and world conflicts,
10 Papers by Street concerning conflicts in Asia, Africa and the Middle
11 Undated Papers by Street concerning a variety of issues, such as, the
tasks of the peace movement and Space and the cold war.
12 Undated Papers by Street concerning a variety of issues, such as,
contentious objectors in the U.S.S.R, the conflict in Congo, Space and the Cold
War, Communism and the Cold war.
13 Undated Papers by Street concerning a variety of issues, such as, the
regional conflicts, the Cold war and the functions of the peace movement.
14 Undated Papers by Street concerning a variety of issues, such as,
Australias relations with countries like U.S.A and Indonesia.
15 Notes on Streets overseas visits, 1938-64.
16 Printed material concerning the peace movement, 1931-49.
17 Printed material concerning the peace movement, 1950-51.
18 Printed material concerning the peace movement, 1952-54.
19 Printed material concerning the peace movement, 1955.
20 Printed material concerning the peace movement, 1956.
21 Printed material concerning the peace movement, 1957.
22 Printed material concerning the peace movement, 1958.
23 Printed material concerning the peace movement, 1959.
24 Printed material concerning the peace movement, 1960-65.
25 Printed material concerning the peace movement, 1966.
26 Printed material concerning the peace movement, 1967-68.
27 Printed material concerning the peace movement, undated.
28 Printed material concerning the peace movement, undated.
29 Printed material concerning the peace movement, undated.
30 Printed material concerning the peace movement, 1938-51.
31 Printed material concerning the peace movement, 1952-59.
32 Printed material concerning the peace movement, 1960-67.
Series 5 United Nations, 1945-65
Jessie Street was a member of the Australian Delegation to the United
Nations Organisation Conference held in San Francisco in 1945. The U.N. later
established the Status of Women Commission in June 1946. Its role was to make
recommendations and reports to the Economic and Social Council of the United
Nations, on promoting womens rights and to develop proposals designed to
give effect to the principle that men and women should have equal rights.
Jessie Street was Australias delegate for the first three sessions from
1946 to 1948.
This is the largest series of the collection since U.N Session papers
from 1945 to 1966 have been kept. Session papers of the General Assembly are
located at (Folders 12-57). From 1950 Security Council papers are included in
the General Assembly papers. The Status of Women Commission Session papers is
located at (Folder 4-7) and papers including speeches, broadcasts and various
U.N journals are held at (Folder 7-8). The papers include a few published items
one being, What the United Nations is doing for the Status of Women,
published in 1948 by the U.N
Series 5 also includes correspondence, ranging from 1945-65 (Folders
1-3), identification passes and travel receipts (Folder 8), delegate handbook
and instructions belonging to Jessie Street (Folder 10) and speeches,
broadcasts and press releases made by Dr Evatt, the Australian External Affairs
Minister, who led the delegation (Folder 11). There is a speech by F.M. Forde,
the Deputy Prime Ministers of Australia, located at Folder 11.
Publications included in this series by the United Nations are: the
United Nations Bulletin, vol. IV, no. 1, 1st January 1948 and no. 6,
15th March 1948 and Insignia, published in 1945. Other U.N.
publications range from 1944 to 1958.
Newspaper items include clippings and a folio item, Special United
Nations Supplement, printed by the New York Times in San
Francisco in 1945.
Note: Related series are Series 4 (Peace Movement Series) for the Warsaw
Peace Conference and Series 7 (Australian-Soviet Friendship Society).
1 Correspondence concerning the United Nations, 1945-47
2 Correspondence concerning the United Nations, 1948-November, 1949
3 Correspondence concerning the United Nations, October, 1949-March,
4 Papers concerning the United Nations Status of Women Commission,
5 Papers concerning the United Nations Status of Women Commission,
6 Papers concerning the United Nations Status of Women Commission,
7 Papers concerning the United Nations Status of Women Commission,
8 United Nations identification passes and travel receipts, 1947-49
9 Broadcasts and speeches concerning the United Nations by H.V.
10 Delegates handbook for the United Nations Conference held at San
11 Speech at the United Nations by F.M. Forde, Deputy Prime Minister of
12 United Nations conference at San Francisco, 4-9 May, 1945
13 United Nations conference at San Francisco, 10-14 May, 1945
14 United Nations conference at San Francisco, 14-19 May, 1945
15 United Nations conference at San Francisco, 21-24 May, 1945
16 United Nations conference at San Francisco, 24-28 May, 1945
17 United Nations conference at San Francisco, 28-31 May, 1945
18 United Nations conference at San Francisco, 1-3 June, 1945
19 United Nations conference at San Francisco, 4 June-8 June, 1945
20 United Nations conference at San Francisco, 8-10 June, 1945
21 United Nations conference at San Francisco, 11-13 June, 1945
22 United Nations conference at San Francisco, 13-17 June, 1945
23 United Nations conference at San Francisco, 17-19 June, 1945
24 United Nations conference at San Francisco, 2022 June, 1945
25 United Nations conference at San Francisco, 23-26 June, 1945
26 United Nations Economic and Social Council 10 April10 May,
27 United Nations Status of Women Commission, 13 May13 July,
28 United Nations Status of Women Commission, 218 December,
29 United Nations Status of Women Commission, 30 January19
30 United Nations Status of Women Commission, 19 February24
31 United Nations Status of Women Commission, 5 November19
32 United Nations Status of Women Commission, 519 January,
33 United Nations Status of Women Commission, 2631 January,
34 United Nations Status of Women Commission, 6 February26 March,
35 United Nations Status of Women Commission, 6 February26 March,
36 United Nations Status of Women Commission, 28
37 United Nations Status of Women Commission, 1828 January,
38 United Nations Status of Women Commission, 4th and 7th sessions, 1950
39 United Nations Status of Women Commission and press releases, 11th to
19th sessions, 1957-63
40i. Notes and pamphlets on the U.N. General Assembly, 1950
40ii. Notes and pamphlets on the U.N. General Assembly, 1952-58
41 Notes and pamphlets on the U.N. General Assembly, September,
42 Notes and pamphlets on the U.N. General Assembly, March-October,
43 Notes and pamphlets on the U.N. General Assembly, 1725 October,
44 Notes and pamphlets on the U.N. General Assembly, 25
45 Notes and pamphlets on the United Nations Security Council,
46 Notes and pamphlets on the United Nations General Assembly, 20
March15 April, 1961
47 Notes and pamphlets on the United Nations General Assembly, 15-19
48 Notes and pamphlets on the United Nations General Assembly,
1920 April, 1961
49 Notes and pamphlets on the United Nations General Assembly, 20
March15 April, 1961
50 Notes and pamphlets on the United Nations General Assembly, 1964
51 Notes and pamphlets on the United Nations General Assembly, 18
January18 February, 1965
52 Notes and pamphlets on the United Nations General Assembly, 1
February4 October, 1965
53 Notes and pamphlets on the United Nations General Assembly,
1827 October, 1965
54 Notes and pamphlets on the United Nations General Assembly, 29
55 Notes and pamphlets on the United Nations General Assembly,
1011 November, 1965
56 Notes and pamphlets on the United Nations General Assembly,
1213 November, 1965
57 Notes and pamphlets on the United Nations General Assembly, 13
November 1965April, 1966
57a Envelope containing The Charter of the United Nations
(including several newspaper clippings) and the Universal Declaration of
Human Rights, March 1949
58 Copies of the United Nations Bulletin, 1 January15
59 United Nations Insignia, 1945
60 United Nations associated papers, documents and publications, July
60a Typescript entitled Precedent established for United Nations
recognition of Chinas delegates
61 U.N. non-session associated papers and publications, October
62 Newspaper clippings concerning the U.N., 1945-52
63-7 Newspaper clippings concerning the U.N., 1945
Series 6 Australia Labor Party, 1940-69
Jessie Street first joined the A.L.P. in 1939. In 1943 she
unsuccessfully contested the A.L.P. preselection for the federal election in
the Eden Monaro electorate, N.S.W., and the preselection in the Wentworth
electorate in Sydney. The 1943 election is described and analysed by Peter
Sekuless in his Masters thesis Jessie Street and the 1943
She tried again as a Labor candidate in 1946, in the Wentworth
electorate, N.S.W. It was at this time that the anti-communist crusade within
the Labor Party was in full swing. Since Jessie Street was the newly appointed
President of the Australian-Soviet Friendship Society it is not surprising that
she was again unsuccessful in winning a seat.
Jessie Street was to later abandon her membership of the Australia Labor
Party, because of her refusal to abandon her pro-Soviet activities. In 1949 she
stood as an Independent Labor candidate, again in the federal electorate of
Wentworth, and again without success.
Correspondence ranging from 1940 to 1960 is located at folders 13.
There are Election broadcasts and speeches from 1943 to 1949. Papers relating
to the A.L.P include election tracts, a receipt book and election results.
Labor and Socialist publications include the Manifesto, objectives and
rules of the Progressive Labor Party of Australia, Melbourne, 1950.
A volume of roneoed material of the 1949 Federal Election is held in the
Folio section. Newspaper clippings are located in Folder 6.
1 Correspondence concerning the Australian Labor Party, 1940-60
2 Correspondence concerning the Australian Labor Party, 1940-46
3 Correspondence concerning the Australian Labor Party, election
broadcasts and speeches, 1940-49
4 Papers of Labor and socialist publications, 1927-58
5 Australian Labor Party papers, 1943-59
6 Newspaper clippings on the Australian Labor Party, 1943-69
7 A volume of roneoed material on the Federal Election, 1949
Series 7 Australian-Soviet Friendship Society,
Series 7 contains the papers of the Australian-Soviet Friendship Society
(formerly the Australian-Russian Society) and the Russian Medical Aid and
Comforts Committee. This series contains correspondence, speeches, lectures,
broadcasts, maps, publications, newspaper clippings.
Jessie Street visited the U.S.S.R during her extensive travels on
several occasions. She appears to have been impressed by the absence of sex
discrimination in the Soviet Administration. However, she was to suffer
considerable harassment at both the official Government level and at the
unofficial level. Permission was refused by the Government, for Jessie Street
to attend the Warsaw Peace Conference in 1950. She eventually obtained a visa
after great difficulty and this episode is recorded in the correspondence
(Folder 1) and newspaper clippings (Folder 2). Among the correspondents are
Vladimir Kemenov, Archbishop Norman Gilroy, Lydia Kislova, James Morey, Ian
Maisky, Judith Todd, Professor Pavel Chuikov and J. Terry.
From 1941 to 1945, Jessie Street was Chairman of the Russian Medical Aid
and Comforts Committee, which made available medical supplies and warm clothing
including sheepskins, to the Russian Soldiers during the Nazi advance. Papers
include a broadcast entitled Russian exhibition and special sheepskins
appeal, minutes of meetings and published material relating to the
Committee (Folder 3). The Committee received considerable public support and
this is reflected in the Accounts of finance, kept by the Committee (Folder
In 1946, she became the first President of the Australian-Russian
Society (Folder 2). Its aim was to promote friendly relations with the U.S.S.R.
The papers include a copy of the constitution, records of meetings and copies
of the journal published by Society entitled Russia and us. She left
$10, 000 to the Society in her will (1970).
Jessie Street attempted to inform the public on her views of the Soviet
Union, which were often contrary to the views of the media. Among the many
speeches, lectures and broadcasts given by her on this topic (Folder 4) are:
Soviet Russias trade unions, wages system, social welfare and economic
planning in 1938, World Broadcast from Moscow (1950), Statement of
the Communist Party Dissolution Bill (1950) and The position of women
and children in the U.S.S.R. (n.d).
Publications are located at Folders 8 and 9 and are entitled:
Education in Czechoslovakia (1935), International Conciliation
(1937) and the U.S.S.R Information Bulletin (1948). There is also
a Russian publication of 1950; The Romania Folk Song and Dance Ensemble of
the Bucharest House of Culture (1956), Mother and child welfare in the
Romanian Peoples Republic (1957 & 1958). Other titles
in Folder 8 and 9 are LInstitut clinique de pediatrie Emilia Irsa
(1959) and Fundamentals of the Soviet criminal legislation, the
judicial system and criminal court procedure (1960).
Maps are located at Folder 10 and are entitled: Ancient States and
peoples on the Territory of the U.S.S.R. and neighbouring peoples on the
Territory of the U.S.S.R. and neighbouring countries (1000 BC to the 1st
Century, AD); Peoples and States on the territory of the U.S.S.R. (9th-10th
centuries, AD); Mongol-Tartan conquests in the 13th century; North-Eastern
Russia, Late 14th century; Industries of European Russia 1909-13; Formation of
the centralised Russian State (second half of the 15th century and first half
of 16th century); Russian Empire in the second half of the 18th century; Strike
movement in European Russia 1905; Revolution of 1905-07 in Russia; Armed
uprising in Petrograd 1917; The Soviet Republic encircled by interventionists
and white guards in 1918-20; Administrative map of the U.S.S.R (20th
Note: Related series are Series 6 (A.L.P) and Series 12
1 Correspondence concerning the Australian-Soviet Friendship Society,
2 Newspaper clippings documenting the political activities of Street in
the Australian-Soviet Friendship Society, 1942-67
3 Australian-Soviet Friendship Society, Russian Medical Aid and Comforts
4 Speeches, lectures and broadcasts on the Australian-Soviet Friendship
5 Speeches, lectures and broadcasts on the Australian-Soviet Friendship
6 Speeches, lectures and broadcasts on the Australian-Soviet Friendship
7 Australian-Soviet Friendship Society: papers and journals concerning
Russia and us, 1949-68
8 Publications on the USSR and other Communist States, 1935-48
9 Soviet publications, 1950-60
10 Australian-Soviet Friendship Society: strategic and political maps of
Russia, 500 BC-1920.
Series 8 Social Reconstruction and Immigration Advisory
Jessie Street was a member of the Wartime Alliance Classification and
Advisory Committee, as well as the Post War Immigration Advisory Committee. In
addition she chaired meetings of the Womens Forum for Social and Economic
Reconstruction. Information in this series is dated from 1941 onwards.
The correspondence consists of twelve letters and ranges from 1941-45
Reports of the two Committees are located in Folder 2 and consist of
three reports written by the Aliens Classification and Advisory Committee and
the report Australia and the Refugee.
From 1941, Jessie Street chaired meetings of the Womens Forum for
Social and Economic Reconstruction. Reports on four of the meetings are located
in Folder 1.
Papers written by Jessie Street are entitled: Bathurst Migrant
Reception Centre, Proposal for protection and care of child immigrants and
Co-operative immigration from Great Britain (Folder 3).
Other papers held in this series are: Notes for a Statement by Dr H.V.
Evatt to the Universities Conference on Reconstruction Research, held in
Canberra on 6th June 1941 (Folder 3). Folder 3 also contains notes for
discussion concerning suggested Amendment of Constitution, How we can make the
Principles and Institutions of Democracy Effective, The Form and Scope of a
Ministry of Reconstruction; European refugee, Acceptance in Australia and
Removal of Passport restrictions (Folder 1-4).
Finally, there is Picture Post, containing an article on
housing reconstruction and a newspaper clipping concerning the Rural
Reconstruction Commission (Folder 4).
Note. See also Series 9. The Womens Forum for Social and Economic
Reconstruction campaigned for old age pensions, unemployment benefits and child
endowment. Consequently, Series 9 becomes relevant because to contains
information about Streets campaign for National Social Insurance.
1 Notes on the Womens Forum for Social and Economic
2 Reports on the Social reconstruction and advisory committees, 1943
3 Papers by Jessie Street and others concerning social welfare,
4 Correspondence concerning Social Reconstruction and Immigration,
Series 9 National Social Insurance, 1933-52
In 1930, during the Great Depression, Jessie Street travelled to
England, Geneva and the U.S.A. to study National Social Insurance. She prepared
a scheme for Australia, covering old age, invalid, accident, sickness,
unemployment benefits and child endowment. The Lyons Government rejected her
proposal, because it could not afford the £6,000,000 to finance it.
This series consists of correspondence, papers written by Jessie Street,
reports, publications and newspaper clippings.
The correspondence consists of trade union matters. Among the
correspondents was Jim Healy, General Secretary of the Waterside Workers
Federation of Australia. The correspondence ranges from 1943 to 1952 (Folder
Travel documents signed by the Premier of N.S.W, T.R. Bavin, were used
as introductory letters when travelling overseas in 1930-31 (Folder 1).
Publications collected during the Great Depression include: Anthony
Horden & Sons 5th report 1930-3; The deadlock in finance, by
Major Arthur Pavell, 1931; a newspaper clipping from the Newcastle Morning
Herald and Miners Advocate, Friday October 9, 1931,
and Principles of Taxation, by Clive Teece, 1931 (Folder 3).
There is also several Bank of New South Waless circulars, The
development of Australia, by Sir John Butters, various publications on
tariff and trade and Real wealth and financial poverty, by
W.H. Rhys, 1931 (Folder 2)
Papers written by Jessie Street include: Conciliation and
Industrial Arbitration, Suggestions for initiating a general social
insurance scheme, General Social Insurance Scheme, Some
problems of Employment, The standard of living and security for
workers, Contributory Old Age and Invalid pensions
Suggested system of tariffs and bounties, The stimulation of
employment and family endowment, Child Endowment, and the
Case for Unemployment Insurance (Folder 5).
Other papers and publications include: Outline of Scheme for Trade
Union Advisory Panels as Adopted by Conference of Unions engaged on War Work,
by the Australasian Council of Trade Unions, 1940; a copy of Federal
Union World, 1942 and papers relating to repatriation, 1943 and the old
age pension (Folder 5).
Reports prepared by the Royal Commission on National Insurance of the
Commonwealth of Australia deal with Casual sickness, permanent invalidity,
maternity and old age, 1924-5; Dispute allowances, 1926;
Unemployment, 1926; and Child endowment of family allowances,
1929 (Folder 4).
A House of Representatives Bill entitled A Bill for an Act to
provide for the Insurance of Employees and the Wives, Children, Widows and
Orphans of Employees, against certain contingencies and for other purposes
(1926-28) is filed in Folder 6, together with Unemployment Insurance in
Australia, by Godrey H. Ince, (1937). Progress Report from the Select
Committee of the Legislative Assembly upon the Employment of Youth in
Industry, (1940) and a report of the Royal Commission inquiring into the
question of the compulsory retirement of employees in coal and shale mines of
N.S.W. during (1941).
1 Correspondence and travel documents concerning trade unions and
National insurance, 1943-52
2-3 Notes, newspaper clippings and reports on the Great Depression,
4 Reports by the Royal Commission on National Insurance, 1924-29
5 Papers written by Jessie Street and some published material concerning
social insurance and pensions, 1933-47
6 Parliamentary Reports concerning unemployment insurance, youth
unemployment and compulsory retirement, 1937-41
Series 10 Aboriginal Rights and Race Relations,
Jessie Street first became involved in the Aboriginal Rights Movement
during the 1950s, through the British Anti-Slavery Society, when visiting
England. After returning to Australia in 1956, she commenced work on the
question of Aboriginal Rights. She masterminded the formation of the Aboriginal
Rights Organisation, which led to the successful Referendum held in 1967.
The series is extensive and includes information on the political,
economic, legal and social status of the Natives of New Guinea, the Indians of
Canada and America and the Negroids of South Africa and Africa (Folder 18).
The correspondence extends from 1953 to 1967 (Folders 1-9) and includes
letters between Civil Rights Official, Dr Brian Fitzpatrick and the Western
Australian campaigner Don Macleod, describing the strike of Aboriginal workers
in the Port Hedland district, in 1946.
Papers published by Jessie Street are a Report on Aborigines in
Australia, May 1957 and Report of visit to Pindar Camps (Folder
16). These reports were based on observations made on her extensive travels to
Aboriginal Settlements in Australia. Other accounts of her travels are:
Report of visit to West Australia in connection with Aborigines;
Suggestions for Northern Territory (Between Camooweal and Darwin);
Comments on the Report from the Select Committee of Voting Rights of
Aborigines; and The question of discriminations against Aborigines
and the United Nations.
Draft petitions calling for an Aboriginal Rights Referendum are also
Amongst the large volume of printed and published material are papers of
the Federal Council for Aboriginal Advancement and affiliated organisations in
Australia and the AustralianNew Zealand Civil Liberties Society.
Affiliated organisations in Australia consist of the Aboriginal-Australia
Fellowship (Sydney); Union of Australian Women (Sydney); Aboriginal Rights
Council (Moonee Ponds, Vic); Aborigines Advancement League (Melbourne,
Vic); Methodist Overseas Mission Committee (Melbourne, Vic) Womens
Christian Temperance Union (Melbourne). Other affiliated organisations were the
Aborigines Advancement League (A.A); Original Australian Progress Association
(Palmyra, W.A); Narrogin and District Native Council (Narrogin, W.A); Narrogin
Native Welfare Council (Narrogin, W.A.) and U.A.W. Victorian Section (Melbourne
Vic). (Folders, 10-17) They include reports, addresses, speeches, broadcasts
and meetings and range from Folder 17 to Folder 24. Newspaper clippings to are
found in Folder 25.
1 Correspondence concerning Aboriginal rights, 1947-56
2 Correspondence concerning Aboriginal rights, 1956
3-4 Correspondence concerning Aboriginal rights, 1957
5 Correspondence concerning Aboriginal rights, 1958
6 Correspondence concerning Aboriginal rights, 1959
7 Correspondence concerning Aboriginal rights, 1960
8 Correspondence concerning Aboriginal rights, 1961
9 Correspondence concerning Aboriginal rights, 1962-67
10 Papers and publications concerning Aboriginal rights, 1957-63
11 Papers and publications concerning Aboriginal rights, 1951-65
12 Papers and publications concerning Aboriginal rights, 1958-66
13 Papers and publications concerning Aboriginal rights, 1953-60
14 Papers and publications concerning Aboriginal rights, 1957-66
15 Papers and publications concerning Aboriginal rights, 1932-37
16 Papers written by Street concerning Aboriginal rights, 1957
17 Reports on Aboriginal rights, 1952-62
18 Notes on the civil rights of African-Americans and Native Indians of
North America, 1958-68
19 Notes on Aboriginal rights, 1964
20 Pamphlets and speeches by various authors concerning the rights and
position of Aborigines in Australian Society, 1947-57
21 Papers and publications concerning Aboriginal rights and education,
22 Papers and publications concerning Aboriginal culture and education,
23 Papers, correspondence and publications concerning Aboriginal rights,
24 Papers and publications concerning Aboriginal rights, 1955-68
25 Newspaper clippings concerning Aboriginal rights, 1957-61
Series 11 Photographs, 1904-62
Photographs in this series are largely undated and consist of personal
photographs of Jessie Street and her husband Sir Kenneth Street, relatives,
friends and the Wycombe Abbey School at Buckinghamshire, which she attended as
a student. There are also photographs of various feminist functions, overseas
visits and United Nations conferences and photographs taken during
Streets visit to the Russian Medical Aid and Comforts Committee.
The Pictorial Section of the Library holds Jessie Street
1 Jessie Streets British passport as well as pamphlets and
photographs concerning the United Nations,
2 Photographs of Wycombe Abbey School, Bucks, 1904
3 Photographs taken during Streets overseas visits, 1945
4 Photographs taken during Streets overseas visits, 1952-65
5 Postcards and photographs of friends, 1915-30
6 Personal photographs of Jessie Street and her family, 1915-43
7 Personal photographs, 1930-59
8 Photographs taken in the USSR, 1930-45
9 Photographs of Jessie Streets relatives, 1915-62
10 Photographs taken at Womens Conference, functions and meetings,
11 Miscellaneous photographs, mostly annotated, added in May 2001
Series 12 Miscellaneous
|| List of books in the Yulgilbar Castle
|| Certificate of registration of the
firm Daily Service Co. registered by Street, Beatrice Bowler and Elsie
Philip Asher Smith, 1937
|| Sound recordings of Jessie Streets
interviews of the Dean of Canterbury on his visit to Australia and Professor
Fletcher, possibly made during the 1950s and/or 1960s. Questions
concentrate on dispelling myths of the Cold War policies practiced.
Updated 2000 and 2001