Country Women and the Colour Bar: Grassroots Activism and the Country Women's Association

Author(s): Jennifer Jones


Country women and the colour baris a timely corrective to established ideas about race relations in rural New South Wales by revealing the untold story of grassroots efforts by Aboriginal and white women, working together. In the 1950s and 1960s, in towns across New South Wales, Aboriginal women joined specially created Aboriginal branches of the Country Womens Association. Country women and the colour baroffers insights into the experience of ordinary Aboriginal and white rural women as they participated in beauty contests, cookery, handicraft lessons and baby contests. It reveals how Aboriginal assimilation policy met everyday reality as these rural women broke with the established segregation in an unprecedented fashion. Working together the women made significant gains for Aboriginal communities prior to Aboriginal peoples widespread access to citizens rights. Some prominent Australians feature in these extraordinary stories: Jessie Street, Charles Perkins, Rachel Mundine and Purth Moorhouse. Using a biographical and highly accessible approach, Country women and the colour bar is an exploration of the role of women in maintaining and challenging the colour bar.


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Dr Jennifer Jones is a lecturer in Australian Indigenous Studies at La Trobe University, Australia. Her research interests include Indigenous Australian history and biography, Indigenous Australian Literature, cross cultural collaboration, rural and religious history and histories of education.

General Fields

  • : 9781925302967
  • : Aboriginal Studies Press
  • : Aboriginal Studies Press
  • : September 2015
  • : 230mm X 152mm
  • : Australia
  • : October 2015
  • : books

Special Fields

  • : Jennifer Jones
  • : Paperback
  • : 192
  • : 8 b/w illus