Essay about Taking a Closer Look at the Golding Sisters

Essay about Taking a Closer Look at the Golding Sisters

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The ‘Good Christian Award’ recognises outstanding works in a religious context. The Golding Sisters (Isabelle Therese, Annie Mackenzie and Kate Dwyer) are worthy of such recognition based on their brave plight for social justice and equality for women at the turn of the 20th century. These women founded various organisations and used public speaking skills, firsthand understanding of women’s needs and Catholic social teaching principles to sway opinions of those who didn’t support women’s equality. Evidence of their work is still evident today with women in Australia enjoying equality in society, freedom of speech, equal pay and vocations.

The Golding Sisters lobbied for women’s rights to equal pay and employment. Annie Mackenzie (1855-1934) and Isabella Therese (1864-1940) began their careers teaching in both public and catholic schools (Kingston, 2013). Annie worked with infants and girls and later shifted to teaching at the Asylum for Destitute Children (Kingston, 2013). She was also a member on the State Children Relief Board. Belle left teaching early to pursue a career as the first female government inspector in 1900 (Lemon, 2008). With their sister Kate Dwyer (1861-1949), Labour leader and school teacher, the sister’s began the Womanhood Suffrage League in 1893 and the Woman’s Progressive Foundation in 1901 which aimed to combat the inability for women to work in certain industries and sit on juries (The Sunday Morning Herald, 1933). Belle’s research skills assisted in preparing the sister’s persuasive speeches and statements (Fawkner & Kelly, 1995). In 1921 Kate became a female Justice of Peace (Gallego, 2013). Kate also wrote extensively about politics, industries and women’s questions.

The actions of the Golding Sis...


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...2013. Annie Mackenzie and Isabella Theresa Golding (1855-1934). [Online]
Available at: http://adb.anu.edu.au/biography/golding-isabella-theresa-belle-7040
[Accessed 27 October 2013].

Lemon, B., 2008. Isabella Theresa Golding (1864-1940). [Online]
Available at: http://www.womenaustralia.info/biogs/AWE3953b.htm
[Accessed 27 October 2013].

Strachan, G., 2013. Still working for the man? Women's employment experiences in Australia since 1950. [Online]
Available at: http://www98.griffith.edu.au/dspace/
[Accessed 28 October 2013].

The Sunday Morning Herald, 1933. Women's Progressive Association. [Online]
Available at: http://trove.nla.gov.au/ndp/del/article/17026507
[Accessed 30 October 2013].

Women's Diaries, 1997. Portrait of Women during the 1850's. [Online]
Available at: http://xroads.virginia.edu/~class/am485_97/women/portrait.html
[Accessed 28 October 2013].

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