Lunch Hour Talks

Lunch Hour Talk 16 March 2023

16 March Lunch Hour Talk

Speaker: Dr Isobell Barrett Meyering

Topic: Feminists: anti-mother and anti-child?

When Australian women’s liberationists challenged prevailing expectations of female domesticity, they were accused of being anti-mother and anti-child. Dr Isobelle Barrett Meyering provides a much-need reassessment of this stereotype in her book, Feminism and the Making of a Child Rights Revolution, 1969-1979. Drawing on extensive archival research and personal accounts, she places feminists at the forefront of a new wave of children’s rights activism that went beyond calls for basic protections for children, instead demanding their liberation. In this talk, Isobelle will share highlights from her study, with a focus on campaigns initiated by Sydney activists, from the establishment of communal child care to the provision of support for children in feminist refuges.

Dr Isobelle Barrett Meyering is a historian of Australian feminism, childhood and the family. She is currently a Macquarie University Research Fellow, based in the Department of History and Archaeology. She completed her PhD at UNSW in 2017, where she also taught in gender studies and history, and previously worked at the Australian Domestic and Family Violence Clearinghouse. She has been awarded numerous prizes for her work, including the 2018 Australian Women’s and Gender Studies Association PhD Award and the 2019 David Scott Mitchell Memorial Fellowship at the State Library of NSW. Feminism and the Making of a Child Rights Revolution, 1969-1979, published by Melbourne University Press in 2022, is her first book.

Lunch Hour Talk 24 November 2022

Lunch Hour Talk 24 November 2022

24 November Lunch Hour Talk

Speakers: Dr Kerith Power & Dale Dengate

Topic: The First Australian Women’s Songbook

A treat for the last Lunch Hour Talk of 2022.

It was the brainwave of Dr Kerith Power and has become the work of half a lifetime. After the International decade of Women, she started collecting songs that women had written about their experiences of life. This book is a collection of women’s songs from the 1970s through the 1990s about living and working in Australia.

Kerith and Dale Dengate, both volunteers at JSNWL, have been involved in song writing, singing, organizing festivals and performing with women’s groups. The Songbook is now an online archive of 50 Australian women. There are profiles about the women with audio files of their singing as well as lyrics and music.

Hear about the challenges of putting the book together, tracing the writers, and producing a concert to launch the book.

Kerith and Dale invite you to listen to a few extracts of songs which break through the stereotypes of women in Australia.

Where The meeting room at the Customs House Library, at Circular Quay.

When The talk will begin at 12.15, The room is open from 11.30 for tea/coffee/sandwiches

Entry $16 JSNWL members $22 non-members

PLEASE BOOK BY NOON Monday 21 November

Phone the library on (02) 9571 5359 or email