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Working Women's Centre

An initiative of the Australian Council of Salaried and Professional Associations, the Working Women’s Centre (WWC) opened in 1975. The WWC was an independent lobby and research group on women’s issues in employment. Mary Owen and Sylvie Shaw were the co-ordinators, initiating campaigns on industrial health and safety and other areas of women’s employment.

One of the WWC’s major campaigns was for the adoption of a Working Women’s Charter. The campaign was initiated by the Working Women’s Group in 1976 and was carried on nationally by the Working Woman’s Charter Campaign. A national conference on women in the workplace took place in 1977, followed by a Working Women’s Charter Conference in 1978 sponsored by the Australian Council of Trade Unions (ACTU). The Charter included specific mention of the needs of migrant women in the workplace.

The WWC was one of the few union-linked organisations to reach out to migrant women. The Centre employed two part-time migrant liaison officers and published a multilingual newspaper, Women at Work. The Centre was absorbed into the ACTU in 1978 and published its last newsletter in 1993.

Peg Fraser