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  • Title
    Joyce Stevens papers, 1912-2005
  • Creator
  • Level of description
  • Date

  • Type of material
  • Reference code
  • Physical Description
    1.05 metres of textual material (7 boxes), including some photographs

    Joyce Stevens, author, feminist and communist, was born at Cullen Bullen, NSW, in 1928. She has been a lifelong activist in the Australian left, labour and women’s movements. She was influenced by her mother, Lucie Barnes, a member of the Australian Labor Party and the Communist Party of Australia (CPA). Lucie was an activist in the Australian Women’s Charter and the Civilian Widows, and formed the Casino Women’s Auxiliary of the Australian Railway Union.

    Joyce joined the Eureka Youth League in 1942 and the CPA in 1945. She was secretary and general office administrator for Current Book Distributors, 1963-1972. Joyce helped to produce the first Women’s Liberation newspaper in Australia, MeJane, and Australia’s first socialist-feminist magazine, Scarlet Woman. She was instrumental in setting up the Control Abortion Referral Service, responsible for establishing the first two women’s health centres in Sydney, at Leichhardt and Liverpool.

    Joyce worked for the Women’s Employment Action Centre on its Register of Women in Non-Traditional Jobs and in their attempts to establish a comparable worth case between pay rates in traditional female and male occupations. She had been the CPA’s National Women’s Organiser and a journalist for the CPA’s newspaper, Tribune. In 1991 Joyce supported the dissolution of the CPA believing that new forces and forms of organisation were needed for a renewal of left politics.

    From 1988 she had been an advocate for public tenants. She published a number of books, including A History of International Women’s Day (1985) and Taking the Revolution Home: Work Among Women in the Communist Party of Australia 1920-1945 (ca. 1987). She compiled, with Sue Wills, the documentary archive The First Ten Years of Sydney Women’s Liberation, acquired by the State Library of NSW in 1999. In 1996 Joyce Stevens received an Order of Australia (AM) for service to social justice for women.
    Compiled from the collection
  • Scope and Content
    SERIES 01
    Joyce Stevens personal papers, 1912-2005

    SERIES 02
    Drawing and linocut collected by Joyce Stevens, ca. 1950-1989

    SERIES 03
    Joyce Stevens collection of oral history recordings, mainly of longstanding women members of the Communist Party
  • Description source

    Information transferred from the Oral History Accession Register as part of the eRecords Project, 2011-2012
  • General note

    Posters from this collection were transferred to POSTERS/ 2150 - POSTERS/ 2267, September 2009 (State Library of New South Wales Catalogue http://library.sl.nsw.gov.au/search/)
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