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Marie Jean Gollan (1904–1985)

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Marie Jean Gollan, née Stuart (1904-1985) school teacher, peace activist and Communist 

Birth: 15 December 1904 at Goulburn, New South Wales, daughter of native-born parents Henry Charles (Harry) Stuart (1875-1933), clerk, and Grace Eva, née Haddon (1875-1940). Marriage: 7 March 1936 at Mosman, Sydney, to William Eric (Bill) Gollan (1904-1991), school teacher and Communist. They had one son. Death: 17 February 1985 in hospital at Petersham, Sydney; usual residence First Street, Ashbury, Sydney. 

  • Educated at Goulburn before completing a BA and MA at Sydney University where she met Bill Gollan.
  • She returned to Goulburn to teach until her marriage and consequent move to Cessnock in 1936. Joined the Communist Party of Australia in the following year and became active in the promotion of women's issues and in the formation of branches of the Women's Auxiliary of the Miners Federation.
  • Campaigned for equal pay for women from her time at university. It was in the peace movement that Marie chose to make her greatest contribution. Her involvement dated from 1933 when she wrote a regular column for children in the journal of the Movement Against War and Fascism.
  • At Cessnock she helped form branches of the Spanish and Chinese Relief Committees.
  • At Albury in the late 1940s she ran a radio programme devoted to women's and peace issues, and after she and her husband moved to Sydney in 1952 she remained active in these two movements until her death.

Sources
Ross Edmonds, In Storm and Struggle. A History of the Communist Party in Newcastle 1920-1940 (1991).

Citation details

'Gollan, Marie Jean (1904–1985)', People Australia, National Centre of Biography, Australian National University, https://peopleaustralia.anu.edu.au/biography/gollan-marie-jean-33812/text42340, accessed 24 February 2024.

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