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Barclay, Hilda Violet (1905–1997)

Hilda Violet Barclay (1905-1997) schoolteacher, trade union leader

Birth: 14 November 1905 at Chatswood, Sydney, daughter of Charles Barclay, coal lumper, and Olivia Bertha, née Simpson, laundress. Marriage: Sydney 1961 Samuel Lewis Williams Thomson (1901-1997), teacher. Death: Sydney, 21 February 1997 

  • Joined NSW teaching service in 1927. Taught in various country towns before going on exchange to Bolton, Lancashire.
  • Firsthand experience of Nazi atrocities in Germany convinced her of the need to strengthen the trade union movement in Australia.
  • From 1940 activist in NSW Teachers' Federation; elected to executive, 1942; its first female organiser, 1945-56.
  • Secretary, New Deal for Education Conference Committee 1947.
  • A federation delegate, she was one of the first females elected to NSW Labor Council executive, 1944. Part of left-wing group within federation. Defeated in 1956 union elections.
  • Instrumental in establishing the Teachers' Club, Sydney.

Sources
Education, 21 April 1950; 22 June 1960; 19 November 1975; John O'Brien, A Divided Unity, politics of NSW teacher militancy since 1945 (Sydney, 1987), p.12

Citation details

'Barclay, Hilda Violet (1905–1997)', People Australia, National Centre of Biography, Australian National University, https://peopleaustralia.anu.edu.au/biography/barclay-hilda-violet-32039/text39597, accessed 28 September 2021.

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