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Doris May Jobling (1938–2006)

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Doris May Jobling, later Owens (1938-2006) teacher, trade union official, environmental activist and Communist

Birth: 1 January 1938, daughter of Sydney-born parents William Leonard Jobling (1912-1972), watchmaker, and Doris Catherine, née Allerton (1917-1993), machinist. Marriage: 1971 at Sydney, New South Wales, to Joseph James (Joe) Owens, builders’ labourer and trade union official. They had two sons. Death: 12 September 2006 at Swanhaven, NSW; usual residence Edgecliff Road, Woollahra.

  • Of conservative background, attracted to Communist Party of Australia, which she joined in 1968.
  • In 1965 became the second female organiser of the NSW Teachers' Federation. With Bill Leslie, became prime target for conservative ‘Reform Committee’ which alleged she attended CPA meetings during working hours while having use of Federation motor vehicle.
  • Prominent in various ructions in schools in Manly-Warringah district.
  • In 1971 arrested and charged under Summary Offences Act while discharging duties as union organiser on grounds of Killarney Heights High School. Fought and won landmark legal case, ensuring that trade unionists were able to carry out legitimate union activity.
  • A 'militant, and proud of it'.
  • She was murdered at her holiday home by her son Adam.

22 May 1974, 23 June 1976; John O’Brien, A Divided Unity! Politics of NSW Teacher Militancy since 1945 (Allen & Unwin, Sydney, December 31, 1987); Australian Women’s Register:

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'Jobling, Doris May (1938–2006)', People Australia, National Centre of Biography, Australian National University,, accessed 23 July 2024.

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