People Australia

  • searches all National Centre of Biography websites
  • searches all National Centre of Biography websites
  • searches all National Centre of Biography websites

Browse Lists:

Cultural Advice

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people should be aware that this website contains names, images, and voices of deceased persons.

In addition, some articles contain terms or views that were acceptable within mainstream Australian culture in the period in which they were written, but may no longer be considered appropriate.

These articles do not necessarily reflect the views of The Australian National University.

Older articles are being reviewed with a view to bringing them into line with contemporary values but the original text will remain available for historical context.

Jessie McDonald (?–?)

This article was published:

Jessie McDonald (or MacDonald) (?-?), Socialist and political activist 

Birth: details unknown. Death: details unknown. 

  • “Comrade Mrs Jessie McDonald” was a member of the Melbourne branch of the Australasian Socialist Party by 1912, when she proposed to deliver an address on the “the Evolution of the God”.
  • Prominent socialist public speaker during World War I.
  • Committed advocate of class struggle and trenchant opponent of socialist women forming alliances with feminist organisations.
  • Opponent of racist ideas and advocate of birth control. Regarded eugenics as worthy of attention as “a necessary science for human welfare”.
  • In 1919 she spoke at a meeting of the ASP Women’s League with Bella Lavender and Adela Walsh.
  • Author of ‘Australia and the Political Power of its Working Class’ in International Socialist Review, June 1916, and The Love Story of Karl Marx: A Human Document of Biography and Inspiration (pamphlet, 1920).

Sources
Joy Damousi, Socialist Women in Australia, c.1890-c.1918, Ph.D thesis, ANU, 1987; information from J. Damousi, 1991; Neville Kirk, Transnational radicalism and the Connected Lives of Tom Mann and Robert Samuel Ross, OUP 2027, pp 195-196.

Additional Resources

Related Entries in NCB Sites

Citation details

'McDonald, Jessie (?–?)', People Australia, National Centre of Biography, Australian National University, https://peopleaustralia.anu.edu.au/biography/mcdonald-jessie-34317/text43061, accessed 19 May 2024.

© Copyright People Australia, 2012

Life Summary [details]

Alternative Names
  • MacDonald, Jessie
Occupation
Political Activism