ACT Heritage Library Manuscript Collection

HMSS 0154 Majura Women's Group Records

Scope and content notes

 

Call Number

HMSS 0154

Collection 

Majura Women's Group Records

Date Range

1986-2005

Quantity

5.00m (6 manuscript boxes, 2 oversize containters, hatbox, 2 rolls)

Access Conditions

open

Copying Conditions

unstated

Related Collections

 

In 1982 the Downer Women’s Community Group was formed, in 1987 changing its name to the Majura Women’s Community Group. The Group was incorporated as the Majura Women’s Group in 1989.

It is a self-run community group that helps reduce the isolation of women who choose to stay at home with their young children. It provides women with an opportunity to meet regularly, exchange information and learn new skills. The Group is funded by the ACT Government through agencies such as the Children’s, Youth and Family Services Bureau and HealthPact. The grants are used mainly to run a licensed adjunct childcare facility and to fund speakers and session leaders.

From 1989 to 20-09, the Group ran an annual community arts project, originally called the Backyard Project, later the Community Arts Project. Each project employs a community artist to help participants explore themes relating to the lives of women at home with young children. The projects have included ceramics, silk screening, textiles, terracotta sculpture, writing and performance. Some examples are the tile murals at the Dickson Library and the Dickson Aquatic Centre, sculpture and other art works for places such as the Queen Elizabeth II Hospital for Mothers and Babies, and oral histories with some of Canberra’s older women, women from different cultural backgrounds, and the Chorus of Women which came together to protest the Iraq War. Exhibitions of the smaller works have been held from time to time. Several books of writings have also been published and donated to libraries and other community groups.

 

The final project in the formal series was an exhibition at the Belconnen Arts Centre in January 2010 and creative writing, print-making and bookbinding projects.  The projects continue informally and in 2011-2012 wall hangings were produced and donated to a school and to the Downer Community Centre where the Group meets.  For Canberra's centenary year in 2013, the Group researched and recreated women's fashion from the 10 decades of the city's existence as the national capital and presented the result as an exhibition.

The collection consists of minutes and other administrative documents, funding applications and acquittals, correspondence, publicity material, project management and examples of output, and photographs. 

Box List

BOX
NO.

DESCRIPTION

QUANTITY

DATE RANGE

1

CONSTITUTION

1 sleeve

1992

 

 

 

 

1

MEMBERSHIP
Includes membership and mailing lists

1 file

1990 – 2000

 

 

 

 

1

MEETINGS
Committee, special general and annual general meeting minutes and supplementary papers, financial reports, auditor’s reports, president’s reports, lists of correspondence

8 files

1986 – 2001

 

 

 

 

1

CHILDCARE
Correspondence, information sheets, employment

1 file

1989 – 1995

 

 

 

 

2

CORRESPONDENCE
Mainly with other community organisations, and with speakers for the Group. A list of correspondence in and out is included. Monthly lists of correspondence are included in the Meetings papers

3 files

1989 – 2000

 

 

 

 

2

PUBLICITY
Includes correspondence with newspapers, advertising and flyers, programs of events

3 files

1987 – 2000

 

 

 

 

2

PROGRAMS AND EVENTS PLANNING NOTES

1 file

1989 – 1995

 

 

 

 

2, 3, 4

GRANTS
Includes submissions, allocation, acquittal and evaluation documents, and correspondence

14 files, 1 sleeve

1990/1991 – 2000/2001

 

 

 

 

4

LINOPRINTS
One of the earliest craft activities of the Group, it continues both within the Group and as an independent activity under the name No Chickens, an offshoot group that has met in members’ homes from 1990. Linoprints continue to decorate the covers of the Majura Women’s Group newsletter and other publications

1 file

1990 +

 

 

 

 

4, 6, 7, 8, 9

BACKYARD PROJECTS
Each project produced one or more objects, including wall murals, sculpture, textiles, books and oral histories. These files include the working papers of the group leaders, correspondence, the artist’s report on the project, photographs, and usually one or more of the objects produced. There is no documentation for the 1992 project.
Each project file is described below

6 files, 1 album, 2 rolls, 1 oversize

1989 – 2013

 

 

 

 

4

WRITING PROJECTS
Separately funded projects run by local writers. The files include a copy of the publication and may also include the working papers of the group leaders, correspondence, the leader’s report on the project, and photographs

2 files

1992 – 2005

 

- Home grown anthology. 1992. Group leader Sara Dowse
- Majura Women’s Group writing project 1993; a collection of writing by women. 1993. Group leader Dorothy Johnston
- Home bound. 1996. Group leader Dorothy Johnston. This book documents the work of the previous years’ Backyard and Writing Projects
- Women’s works: an anthology by the Majura Women’s Group. 2005. Group leaders Kathy Kituai and Rachel Bruhn

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

AUDIO WOMEN
A radio and audio project undertaken with ArtsACT funding. It explored the skills involved in recording social history and making radio documentaries. Some of the recordings are only for acquisition of recording skills and have little information value. Group leader was Sarah Gillman.

 

 

5

Project documentation
- Audio Women – the background: includes application for funding, biographical details of the contributors, story boards
- Audio Women – progress reports: includes programs and reports on the work over four terms, correspondence, newscuttings, program of the handover of the project material to the ACT Heritage Library on 11 May 2004

2 looseleaf books

2003 – 2004

10

Hat box, circular, 60cm diameter, decorated with linocut prints; this originally held the recordings and related material collected during the project

1 box

 

5, 6

Audio cassette tapes, minidisks and related documentation: includes cassette tapes or minidisks, production sheets and some related materials. Some tapes were broadcast, most were created as an archival record of the thoughts and concerns of women with young children at the beginning of the 21st century.
The content of each cassette or minidisk is described below. Running time is not always stated, but the untimed interviews were probably no more than 15 minutes.

9 files

2003

 

Three women compiled collections of their work: Frances Byers, Katherine Chan and Sue Hoffmann. One item in Sue Hoffmann’s collection, Sandra’s interview with her on her life in Tarrington, has been recorded on a minidisk in Frances Byers’ collection.

 

 

 

 

 

 

6

PHOTOGRAPHS
Collections of photographs of group activities, including images of some project work

3 albums, 1 wallet

 

 

Backyard Projects 

BOX
NO.

DESCRIPTION

QUANTITY

DATE RANGE

1

CONSTITUTION

1 sleeve

1992

 

 

 

 

1

MEMBERSHIP
Includes membership and mailing lists

1 file

1990 – 2000

 

 

 

 

1

MEETINGS
Committee, special general and annual general meeting minutes and supplementary papers, financial reports, auditor’s reports, president’s reports, lists of correspondence

8 files

1986 – 2001

 

 

 

 

1

CHILDCARE
Correspondence, information sheets, employment

1 file

1989 – 1995

 

 

 

 

2

CORRESPONDENCE
Mainly with other community organisations, and with speakers for the Group. A list of correspondence in and out is included. Monthly lists of correspondence are included in the Meetings papers

3 files

1989 – 2000

 

 

 

 

2

PUBLICITY
Includes correspondence with newspapers, advertising and flyers, programs of events

3 files

1987 – 2000

 

 

 

 

2

PROGRAMS AND EVENTS PLANNING NOTES

1 file

1989 – 1995

 

 

 

 

2, 3, 4

GRANTS
Includes submissions, allocation, acquittal and evaluation documents, and correspondence

14 files, 1 sleeve

1990/1991 – 2000/2001

 

 

 

 

4

LINOPRINTS
One of the earliest craft activities of the Group, it continues both within the Group and as an independent activity under the name No Chickens, an offshoot group that has met in members’ homes from 1990. Linoprints continue to decorate the covers of the Majura Women’s Group newsletter and other publications

1 file

1990 +

 

 

 

 

4, 6, 7, 8, 9

BACKYARD PROJECTS
Each project produced one or more objects, including wall murals, sculpture, textiles, books and oral histories. These files include the working papers of the group leaders, correspondence, the artist’s report on the project, photographs, and usually one or more of the objects produced. There is no documentation for the 1992 project.
Each project file is described below

6 files, 1 album, 2 rolls, 1 oversize

1989 – 2013

 

 

 

 

4

WRITING PROJECTS
Separately funded projects run by local writers. The files include a copy of the publication and may also include the working papers of the group leaders, correspondence, the leader’s report on the project, and photographs

2 files

1992 – 2005

 

- Home grown anthology. 1992. Group leader Sara Dowse
- Majura Women’s Group writing project 1993; a collection of writing by women. 1993. Group leader Dorothy Johnston
- Home bound. 1996. Group leader Dorothy Johnston. This book documents the work of the previous years’ Backyard and Writing Projects
- Women’s works: an anthology by the Majura Women’s Group. 2005. Group leaders Kathy Kituai and Rachel Bruhn

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

AUDIO WOMEN
A radio and audio project undertaken with ArtsACT funding. It explored the skills involved in recording social history and making radio documentaries. Some of the recordings are only for acquisition of recording skills and have little information value. Group leader was Sarah Gillman.

 

 

5

Project documentation
- Audio Women – the background: includes application for funding, biographical details of the contributors, story boards
- Audio Women – progress reports: includes programs and reports on the work over four terms, correspondence, newscuttings, program of the handover of the project material to the ACT Heritage Library on 11 May 2004

2 looseleaf books

2003 – 2004

10

Hat box, circular, 60cm diameter, decorated with linocut prints; this originally held the recordings and related material collected during the project

1 box

 

5, 6

Audio cassette tapes, minidisks and related documentation: includes cassette tapes or minidisks, production sheets and some related materials. Some tapes were broadcast, most were created as an archival record of the thoughts and concerns of women with young children at the beginning of the 21st century.
The content of each cassette or minidisk is described below. Running time is not always stated, but the untimed interviews were probably no more than 15 minutes.

9 files

2003

 

Three women compiled collections of their work: Frances Byers, Katherine Chan and Sue Hoffmann. One item in Sue Hoffmann’s collection, Sandra’s interview with her on her life in Tarrington, has been recorded on a minidisk in Frances Byers’ collection.

 

 

 

 

 

 

6

PHOTOGRAPHS
Collections of photographs of group activities, including images of some project work

3 albums, 1 wallet

 

Backyard/Community Arts Projects

Box no

Artist or Group Leader

Activities

Objects included with documentation of the project

Date

4, 11

Franki Sparke

Relief printing, monoprints, linocuts, screen printing

Frieze-booklet Wet patch on carpet, 1989
4 sets of hand-printed linocuts

1 screen print

1989

4

Jenna Smith

Drawing, relief printing, screen printing

 

1990

4

Annie Trevillian

Screen printing, writing, quilting, papier mache, linocut, printing

Our hidden lives

1991

8

Bev Hogg

Ceramics, sculpture, found objects, screen printing

1 teatowel with a bag of game pieces, comprising The MUD Game (Mothers’ Uppers and Downers)

1992

4

Franki Sparke

Drawing; the group produced a collage map which was framed and hung at Megalo Print Studio

 

1993

4, 8, 9

Suzanne Knight

Screen printing, painting, book making

5 screen printed teatowels
Length of screen printed fabric

1994

4

Sharon Peoples

Embroidery

Heart felt, a book of textile pieces, photographs and documentation of the project
24 photographs of the exhibition of embroidery at Dickson Library in 1996

1995

4, 11

Kayleen Watts

Terracotta sculpture ‘Diving into Motherhood’

Photographs

1996

4, 11

Simone Penkethman

Writing for performance

Spoken images

1997

4, 11

Nancy Tingey, Penny Jacobs

Works on paper, visual diary

7 watercolours, 10 pastels

Mounted newscuttings

1998

4

 

Tile mosaic for Dickson Swimming Pool

Artwork

1999

4

 

Quilting

Photographs

2001

5, 6

 

Recording social history and making radio documentaries

Audio Women [see separate listing]

2003

4, 7 (oversize)

Amanda Bruhn

Tile mosaic for QE II Hospital

DVD of project by Helen Martin
DVD of assembling the mosaic by Amanda Bruhn

Album of sketches, design notes and photographs

2004

11 (oversize)

 

HealthPact display

1 packet of A2 black and white enlargements of mothers and babies at Majura Women’s Group

3 posters

2003

6

 

Retrospective exhibition at Canberra Museum and Gallery

Majura Women’s Group celebrating 25 years: a selection of recollections, reflections, images and quotations

2006

6

 

Libertea, Maternitea, Realitea; celebrating 20 years of Backyard Projects; exhibition at Belconnen Arts Centre 16 January 2010

Exhibition flyer

2009

6

Philippa Leask, Jan Hamilton, Carole Thompson, Carol Sweetapple, Margaret Young

Textile art with a garden theme, to create a wall hanging, later given to Lyons Early Childhood School.

Surplus textile squares were assembled into a second hanging installed in Downer Community Hall

Report on project with colour illustrations

2011 or 2012

6

 

Women: celebrating a century of Canberra’s women; an exhibition of women’s fashions over the previous 100 years, at Belconnen Arts Centre

10 caption cards from the exhibition, with an A4 colour photograph of each era

Exhibition flyer, opening speech and comments pages from viewers

2013

Audio Women

The Majura Women’s Group is shown as MWG

Interviews recorded at the Downer Community Centre are shown as DCC

ID consists of C for audio cassette, M for minidisk, and an item number

ID

INTERVIEWEE/S ON EACH CASSETTE OR MINIDISK

TOPIC

RUNNING TIME

ASSOCIATED DOCUMENTATION

INTERVIEWER

DATE RECORDED / BROADCAST

C1

Sue Hoffman and

Frances Byers

Audio Women Project and the Majura Women’s Group

Not stated

Production sheet, with note that this was the first interview and was broadcast to publicise the project

Louise Maher

2003; broadcast 2003

C2

MWG members

What they like about the Group

Not stated

Production sheet

None

2/07/2003

C3

MWG members

Oddball knitting and knitting traditions

Not stated

Production sheet, correspondence

Louise Maher

2003; broadcast 9/09/2003

C4

1. Roxanne Lambie, ArtsACT
2. Harry and Gracie
3. Amber Ecclestone

1. Preparation of 2004 grant application
2. Eating toast; birthdays
3. Trying out tape recorder

1. 15 min
2. Not stated
3. 30 sec

1. Production sheet
2. Production sheet
3. Production sheet

1. Francis (Frances Byers)
2. Mary Quilty
3. Casuarina Dalton

1. 24/06/2003
2. Not stated
3. Not stated

C5

1. Robyn Banks
2. Cordelia Dalton

1. MWG in the late 1990s
2. MWG in the 1980s

1. 10 min
2. Not stated

1. Production sheet
2. Production sheet

Casuarina Dalton

July 2003

M1

MWG members

Gardening; members’ children

Not stated

Production sheet

None

November 2003

C6

Simone Penkethman

Spoken Images: MWG and community art

Not stated

Production sheet

Not stated

2003; broadcast 2003

C7

1. Mary Quilty and family
2. Anita Scheiver and family

Informal chat about home life

Not stated

Production sheet

None

April/May 2003

C8

Katy Gallagher, Dickson Library staff, MWG members

Launch of Backyard Project 2002, an animal mural in the children’s area at Dickson Library

30 min

Production sheet, correspondence, background on the mural and radio history projects, launch flyer

None

29/04/2003

C9

Claudia Cresswell, Northside Community Service

Parenting workshop

Not stated

MWG Term 3 program sheet

None

17/03/2003

C10

MWG members (listed on the production sheet)

Thoughts on the ACT Children’s Plan

Not stated

Production sheet, brainstorming notes, summary of the conversation

None

24/09/2003

C11

Tarrington, Victoria, 150th celebrations

Excerpts from recordings made by Sue Hoffmann:

1. Tarrington Trial

2. Robert Paech

1. 4 min 27:50 sec
2. 3 min 28:01 sec

Correspondence, biographical information for Sue Hoffmann, flyer, newscutting,  production notes 

Sue Hoffmann

3/10/2003; broadcast 6/10/2003

 

Sue Hoffmann

About growing up in Tarrington, Victoria; birth family, etc.

 

See M7

Production sheet

Sandra

5/11/2003

 

Libby Bailley

Fertility issues, experiences of IVF and adoption of two children

No recording received

Production sheet

Sue Hoffmann

3/06/2003

 

Sue Hoffmann

A Chorus of Women

No recording received

Press release, letter of protest, program of performance, newscutting

Sue Hoffmann

6/02/2004

 

Frances Byers

Overview of project and her interviews

3.5 inch floppy disk

2 pages of text

 

10/12/2003

M2

1. Rosie Byers, Dan Pope, James Bryan, David Pope

2. Katherine Chan, Frances Byers, Anita Scherrer, Cassandra Freeman, Giselle Bahr, Ellen Onruh, Megan Nutt

3. Sue Hoffmann

1. Group interview with four children about a weekend trip to the beach on the NSW south coast during winter

2. Group interview with seven women on family size and spacing of children

3. Having a first child at 45

1. Tracks 1-2: 10 min

2. Tracks 4-17: 50 min

3. Last track: not stated

1. Summary of interview

2. Summary of interview

3. Notes on envelope

1. Frances Byers

2. Frances Byers, Giselle Bahr

3. Not stated

1. August 2003

2. 26/11/2003

3. Not stated

M3

1.Robert Bryan, Rosie Byers, Frances Byers, James Bryan, Peter Bryan

2. Tom Scott, Rosie Byers, James Bryan

3. MWG members

4. Rosie Byers, Dan Pope, Jack Black, Maihi, Rowen Evans

1. Family life and piano practice

2. Soccer and school

3. Group interview on exercise and how to fit it into the routine with work and small children

4. Fun Day at Turner Primary School for school’s 50th anniversary

1. Tracks 1-3: 10 min

2. Track 7: 5 min

3. Tracks 8, 10, 11: not stated

4. Tracks 12-13: 6 min

Four summaries of interviews

1, 2, 4. Frances Byers

3. Frances Byers and Mary Quilty

1. 1/08/2003

2. 2/08/2003

3. 5/08/2003

4. 28/11/2003

M4

1. Peter Bryan, James Bryan, Rosie Byers, Robert Bryan

2. 13 MWG members

3. 17 MWG members

1. Family life, temper tantrum at bedtime

2. Group interview on knitting

3. What did you intend to do with all the free time that you thought you would have when you were home with a baby?

1. Track 1: 5 min

2. Tracks 3-18: 50 min

3. Track 20: 6 min

Three summaries of interviews

1. Frances Byers

2. Frances Byers and Sorel Old

3. Vanessa Morris

1. September 2003

2. 29/08/2003

3. August 2003

 

1. Robin Errey, James Bryan, Mark Errey, Duncan, Harry

2. Paull McKee, James Bryan, Peter Bryan

3. Rosie Byers, James Bryan

4. People at a rally of child care workers, parents and children

1. Bonfire on a spring evening

2. Story time at Dickson Library

3. Children playing in a hailstorm

4. Sounds of the rally

1. 20 min

2. Tracks 8-9: 10 min

3. Track 10: 5 min

4. Tracks 11-13: 15 min

 

No recording received

Four summaries of interviews

Frances Byers

1. 12/11/2003

2. 14/11/2003

3. October 2003

4. mid November 2003

M5

Bruce Smith

Job sharing and family life

50 min

Summary of interview, biographical notes on an envelope

Frances Byers

September 2003

M6

Sue Hoffmann and other members of MWG

MWG 2003 Annual General Meeting with sung president’s report and election of committee members

Tracks 1-3: 33 min

Summary of interview

Frances Byers, Sorel Old

20/08/2003

C12

Robin Errey

Robin’s life as a child in Kenya and immigration to Australia as a teenager

2 sides of cassette

Summary of interview

Frances Byers

17/09/2003

C13

Rosie Byers, James Bryan, Peter Bryan, Frances Byers

Children’s voices, at night, breastfeeding

Not stated

Summary of interview

Frances Byers

8-9/06/2003

C14

Robyn Johnston

On her decision to take her family to Cambodia

Not stated

Summary of interview

Frances Byers

Winter 2003

C15

Alison Smith

Job sharing

Not stated

Summary of interview

Frances Byers

21/07/2003

M7

1. Sue Hoffmann

2. Mary Quilty, Katherine Chan, Cath Croxford, Sue Hoffmann, Vanessa Morris, Ellen Unruh

1. About growing up in Tarrington, Victoria; birth family, etc.

2. Returning to work

1. Track 1: not stated

2. Tracks 3-11: 20 min

1. See file containing C11

2. Summary of interview

1. Sandra

2. Christine Gesto, Ellen Unruh, Frances Byers

1. 5/11/2003

2. 5/11/2003

M8

1. Vanessa Morris, Christine Gesto, Mary Quilty

2. Frances Byers, Christine Gesto, Mary Quilty, Bettina Wolpensinger, Vanessa Morris, Katherine Chan, Casa Dalton, Sarah Gillman

1. Vermin in your life

2. How did you name your children and decide on the children’s surname?

1. Tracks 1-3: not stated

2. Tracks 4-6: not stated

Summaries of interviews

1. Mary Quilty

2. Casa Dalton

1. 10/09/2003

2. 10/09/2003

 

Katherine Chan

Biographical information and overview of interviews

No recording

Manuscript biography, typescript overview

 

26/11/2003, 31/03/2004

C16

1. Julie Chan

2. Katherine Chan

1. Singing with Julia

2. Diary entries 1998, Christmas letters 1997 and 1998

1. part of side A

2. side B and part of side A

Production sheet

Katherine Chan

1. 19/09/2003

2. 23/09/2003

C17

Katherine Chan

Background news stories and general stories current on this day, read at Radio Print Handicapped RPH

Not stated

Production sheet

Katherine Chan

10/08/2003

C18

Joan Boucher

Working holiday taken in her twenties

45 min

Production sheet, black and white photograph of Joan Boucher and others dancing on board ship

Katherine Chan

20/10/2003

C19

Joan Boucher

Recollections of her arrival in Canberra 40 years ago and early days in Canberra

Not stated

Production sheet

Katherine Chan

30/06/2003

C20

Trevor Boucher

Recollections of early Canberra, and of growing up in country Victoria

20 min

Production sheet

Katherine Chan

August 2003

C21

Nicole Ward

Juggling motherhood and work

10 min

Production sheet

Katherine Chan

June 2003

C22

Katherine Chan

Overseas working holiday, 14 months August 1987 to October 1988

60-70 min

Production sheet, typescript diary of the holiday, photographs, letters, greeting cards, documents relating to work overseas

Katherine Chan

9/12/2003