Guide to the Papers of Howard Francis Dawson


MS 7850

National Library of Australia View Catalogue Record

Collection Summary

Howard Francis Dawson
Papers of Howard Francis Dawson
Date Range
Collection Number
MS 7850
1.68 metres (12 boxes)
Language of Materials
National Library of Australia


Scope and Contents

The collection contains correspondence and other papers relating to Dawson's work as Federal Secretary and Federal President of the United Nations Association of Australia, and as an office holder of the Australian National Committee for the United Nations Children's Fund, UNICEF. Formed from the restructuring of the League of Nations Union, the Australian Association for the United Nations (now UNAA) and the Australian National Committee for the UN (ANCUN) were amalgamated in 1950. The Australian National Committee for UNICEF (ANCU) under the sponsorship of UNAA was formed in 1963. The papers record the activities of these two organizations.

Correspondence of both UNAA and ANCU, their constitutions, minutes of meetings of directors and of the executive committee, circulars, memoranda and annual reports form the major part of the collection.

There are also guidelines for UNICEF national committees, an agreement covering sales of UNICEF cards, material on Friends of UNICEF and emergency appeals and relief aid.

Conditions Governing Access

Please refer to the collection's catalogue record for the access conditions (

Conditions Governing Use

Copying and publishing of unpublished manuscript material is subject to copyright restrictions. For such material, written permission to publish must be obtained from the copyright holder(s). Copying of unpublished material for research purposes is permissible 50 years after the death of the creator of the material.

Preferred Citation

Items from this collection should be cited as '[Title or description of manuscript item], Papers of Howard Francis Dawson, National Library of Australia, MS 7850, [box number and series and/or file number]'.


The papers were donated by Howard Dawson in 1989

Biographical Note

Howard Francis William Dawson OBE was born in 1895. An accountant and company auditor, he was head of the State Government Insurance Office of Victoria when he retired in 1961. Dawson was an Insurance Commissioner (Victoria), 1949-61, president of the Economics Society of Australia and New Zealand, 1952-53, a councillor of the City of Camberwell, 1946-1970, serving two terms as mayor, a Commissioner of the Melbourne and Metropolitan Board of Works, 1954-70, and a member of the Executive Committee of the Municipal Association of Victoria for 20 years.

Dawson was Honorary Treasurer of the Victorian Division of the United Nations Association from 1944 to 1950, and again from 1952 to 1969 when he was elected President. Federally, Dawson was Treasurer, 1958-1961, and again in 1969, Secretary, 1961-69, and President, 1970-71. He was awarded Honorary Life Membership of the Association in 1971.

Dawson was personally very involved with the United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF) and was a prime mover in the establishment of a national UNICEF Committee under the sponsorship of UNAA, becoming Secretary/Treasurer of the provisional UNAA/ANCU committee in 1963. When the first constitution of the Australian National Committee for UNICEF was adopted in 1966, he was elected Treasurer and a member of the Board of Directors. He was president from 1971-73.

Dawson made a special contribution to the promotion of various international years conducted by the United Nations, including the International Co-operation Year (1965), the Human Rights Year (1968), and the International Year Against Racism and Racial Discrimination (1971).

He was awarded a United Nations Peace Medal in 1976.

Item Descriptions

Series 1. United Nations Association of Australia (UNAA) - Box 1

Subseries 1. Correspondence, 1961-72

The correspondence is between office bearers of the Association, including Executive Committee members, and deals mainly with routine business matters. There is discussion on nominations and election of office bearers, federal executive meetings, funding, taxation concessions on funds, refugee appeals, sending a delegate to the World Federation of the United Nations Association (WFUNA) Assembly and other seminars and meetings, separating the functions of UNAA and ANCU, and the death of the Secretary General of the United Nations, Dag Hammarskjold, and the subsequent memorial appeal and Dag Hammarskjold Memorial Interschool Conference.

Correspondents include Howard Dawson, Alec Symonds, Condon Byrne, Wilf Asten, Rev W. J. Hoblin, Frederick Daniell, Alex Castles and John Huelin.

Correspondence, 1961-72 (File 1-12) - Box 1, 2

Subseries 2. Constitution (Victorian Division), Proposals for merging ANCUN and UNA, 1950

Annotated typescript draft constitution of the Victorian Division of the Australian Association for the United Nations, and the typescript Constitution; typescript copy of 'Resolutions on merger of the Australian National Committee for the United Nations and the United Nations Association of Australia as agreed...28th April 1950'.

Typescripts, 1950 (File 1) - Box 2

Subseries 3. Executive circulars, 1961-65

Subjects of the circulars include federal grants, refugees, Hammarskjold Memorial Fund, UNICEF Greeting cards (agreement between UNAA and UNICEF) and their exemption from customs duty and sales tax, WFUNA executive meeting, Australian Council for Overseas Aid, and constitutional amendments.

Circulars, 1961-65 (File 1) - Box 2

Subseries 4. Memoranda, 1960-71

There are general memoranda (1962-70) on Federal Council meeting minutes, the Dag Hammarskjold Memorial Fund Appeal, membership badges, United Nations Reporter, WFUNA plenary assembly, UNICEF greeting cards, Federal Council meetings, and the Association directory.

Executive memoranda (1960-68) relate to the WFUNA international executive meeting, federal executive meetings, annual reports, and the Australian Council for Overseas Aid.

Memoranda, 1960-71 (File 1-5) - Box 3

Subseries 5. Federal Bulletins, 1967-71

Federal bulletins, 1967-71 (File 1) - Box 3

Subseries 6. Miscellaneous, mainly UN material, 1962-67

Items include press statements, including Paul Hasluck's United Nations Day Speech (1965), newspaper clippings, the text of Lord Home's speech to the General Council of the United Nations Association in London (1962), Charter of the United Nations, and Resolutions and decisions of the General Assembly (Dec. 1964/Feb. 1965).

Miscellaneous papers and clippings, 1962-67 (File 1-2) - Box 3

Series 2. Australian National Council for UNICEF (ANCU) - Box 1

Subseries 7. Correspondence, 1966-82

The correspondence deals with topics including UNICEF guidelines, fund raising, travelling expenses, financial statements, Greeting Card Sales Conference, UNICEF Emergency Relief Project (1967), Human Rights Year (1968), Indian drought relief, emergency aid to Vietnam, ANCU directory, Wilfred Asten Memorial, state committees, tax deductibility, public relations, UN development program contributions and the Association's budget.

Correspondents include Howard Dawson, Frederick Daniell, Peter Huxley, Wilf Asten, A. J Symonds, Dorothy Willis, Mrs C. J Hood, Margaret Warland, Paul Cullen, W. C Langshaw, and G. L Taylor.

Correspondence, 1966-82 (File 1-30) - Box 4, 5, 6, 7

Subseries 8. Constitution, 1964-79

Typescript draft constitution of the National UNICEF committee, July 1964, typescript of revised constitutions adopted in January 1970 and in August 1973, and the typescript constitution in operation 18 March 1974 and amended to 12 August 1979. In addition, there is a typescript of the 1967 guidelines for National Committees for UNICEF, together with the 1974 revised edition.

Typescripts, 1964-79 (File 1-2) - Box 8

Subseries 9. Greeting cards

Correspondence (1964-76), minutes of meetings and memoranda (1964-67) and other papers on sales tax (1970), orders, sales and printing. There are also typescript drafts and a final agreement between UNICEF and the UNICEF Committee of Australia concerning the sale of greeting cards, calendars and other UNICEF products (1976).

Correspondents include Howard Dawson, Wilf Asten, Frederick Daniell, Victor Beermann, Miss M. Sharkey, G.L. Taylor, Dorothy Willis and R. Yeomans.

Papers and correspondence, 1964-76 (File 1-14) - Box 8, 9

Subseries 10. Board of Directors minutes, 1966-77

Minutes, 1966-77 (File 1-4) - Box 10

Subseries 11. Executive Officers committee and annual meeting minutes, 1963-81

Minutes, 1963-81 (File 1-4) - Box 11

Subseries 12. Memoranda, 1967-75

Memoranda on minutes of the Association, publicity material, UNICEF film library, state committees of UNICEF, guidelines for UNICEF national committees and a directory of the committees, Australian UNICEF greeting cards, Friends of UNICEF, Biafra Appeal, and the name change to UNICEF Committee of Australia.

Memoranda, 1967-75 (File 1-2) - Box 11

Subseries 13. Annual reports, 1966-80

Annual reports, 1966-80 (File 1-2) - Box 11

Subseries 14. Annual accounts, 1963-75

Annual accounts, 1963-75 (File 1) - Box 12

Subseries 15. Annual conferences, Seminar, 1973-78

Typescripts of conference papers. Themes include 'What every child needs', 'UNICEF - a force', and 'Water - the most precious resource'.

The 1973 seminar theme was the 'Role of UNICEF in the developing world with special reference to the function of ANCU'.

Conference and seminar papers, 1973-78 (File 1) - Box 12

Subseries 16. Emergency appeals and relief aid, 1972-77

There are press releases on emergency and long term aid which refer to the Romanian earthquake (1977), the cyclone in Mozambique (1977), earthquake victims in Turkey, Timor relief appeal, the rural water project in Yemen, and relief for Lebanon, Angola and Guatemala.

Press releases, 1972-77 (File 1) - Box 12

Subseries 17. Friends of UNICEF, 1965, 1968

Publicity brochures and leaflets and information on UNICEF and Friends of UNICEF. Campaign for membership of the 'Friends', targeting schools, businesses, and the general public, and an information sheet on a junior school teaching kit for UNICEF for distribution to schools to encourage membership of the 'Friends'.

Papers relating to Friends of UNICEF publicity, 1965 and 1968 (File 1) - Box 12

Subseries 18. International Year of the Child, 1977

Information sheets on the International Year of the child.

Information sheets, 1977 (File 1) - Box 12

Subseries 19. Newsletters and publications, 1970-79

Newsletters and publications, 1970-79 (File 1-2) - Box 12