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Amirah Inglis (1926–2015)

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Amirah Inglis, by Alec Bolton, 1990

Amirah Inglis, by Alec Bolton, 1990

National Library of Australia, 14467994

Amirah Inglis (1926-2015) writer, teacher, feminist and Communist 

Birth: 7 December 1926 at Brussels, Belgium, daughter of Itzhak and Manka Gutstadt (Gust). Marriages: (1) 28 February 1948 to Ian Turner, historian. They had three children before being divorced. (2) 1965 to Kenneth Stanley (Ken) Inglis (1929-2017), historian. Death: 2 May 2015 at Melbourne, Victoria, Australia.

  • Arrived in Australia (Port Melbourne) aged two in 1929 with her Polish immigrant mother, reuniting with husband.
  • Grew up in Brunswick and Elwood, Melbourne, educated at Princes Hill, Elwood Central 1936-1939, MacRobertson Girls High School, University of Melbourne, Australian National University.
  • Her parents were prominent in Jewish left-wing Communist Party of Australia (CPA) circles. Amirah joined the CPA at the University of Melbourne in 1945; was also active in the Labour Club.
  • First job as assistant librarian with the Commonwealth Department of Transport, then with the Guardian, 1948-1950. Active in Federated Clerks’ Union.
  • Stalwart of CPA in Melbourne through Cold War campaigns of 1950s, resigned from party in Canberra in 1961.
  • Worked as school teacher at Lyneham High School, Canberra, also in New Guinea.
  • Significant as historian and activist in commemorating role of Australian volunteers to defend democracy in Spanish Civil War 1936, part of committee to raise funds for memorial in Canberra (1993+), visiting Spain for 1996 homenajes.
  • Her publications included: Not a white woman safe (1974); An Un-Australian Childhood, (Melbourne, 1983); The Hammer & Sickle and the Washing Up, (Melbourne, 1995); and Australians in the Spanish Civil War (Sydney, 1987).

Sources
Papers held in National Library of Australia and Noel Butlin Archives Centre, ANU.

Citation details

'Inglis, Amirah (1926–2015)', People Australia, National Centre of Biography, Australian National University, https://peopleaustralia.anu.edu.au/biography/inglis-amirah-34378/text43145, accessed 17 June 2024.

© Copyright People Australia, 2012

Amirah Inglis, by Alec Bolton, 1990

Amirah Inglis, by Alec Bolton, 1990

National Library of Australia, 14467994

Life Summary [details]

Alternative Names
  • Gust, Amirah
  • Gutstadt, Amirah
Birth

7 December, 1926
Brussels, Belgium

Death

2 May, 2015 (aged 88)
Melbourne, Victoria, Australia

Cultural Heritage

Includes subject's nationality; their parents' nationality; the countries in which they spent a significant part of their childhood, and their self-identity.

Religious Influence

Includes the religion in which subjects were raised, have chosen themselves, attendance at religious schools and/or religious funeral rites; Atheism and Agnosticism have been included.

Education
Occupation
Key Organisations
Political Activism
Workplaces