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Hilda Violet Thomson (1905–1997)

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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.

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

'Thomson, Hilda Violet (1905–1997)', People Australia, National Centre of Biography, Australian National University,, accessed 18 July 2024.

© Copyright People Australia, 2012

Life Summary [details]

Alternative Names
  • Barclay, Hilda Violet

14 November, 1905
Chatswood, Sydney, New South Wales, Australia


21 February, 1997 (aged 91)
Sydney, New South Wales, Australia

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