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Lifting the Bar single work   review   essay  
Issue Details: First known date: 2016... 2016 Lifting the Bar
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'Aboriginal women avoided the restrooms of the Country Women’s Association in Kempsey. Aware that white CWA members had expressed opposition to shared facilities, the women themselves elected to steer clear of the restrooms when in town. As Jennifer Jones explains in her measured and eloquent history of Aboriginal branches of the Country Women’s Association in postwar New South Wales, the segregation of public space was endemic. From 1905 Aboriginal women delivered their babies in a screened-off corner of the ‘Aboriginal annexe’ at Kempsey Hospital. This segregation of facilities was justified by accusations of lack of hygiene and ‘questionable living habits’. In 1962 the local newspaper reported on ‘appalling conditions’ on Aboriginal stations and reserves, dwellings and standards that were described as a ‘Health menace to the Shire’. It is little wonder that the women seemed ‘shy’ and unwilling to ‘mix’. Jones’ detailed study reveals the informal and banal racism encountered daily by Aboriginal women and how they lived ‘under the strain of such petty humiliations’ as their babies being weighed on the roadside from the car boot of the nursing sister of the ‘under-utilised’ Kempsey Baby Health Centre for five years.' (Introduction)

Publication Details of Only Known VersionEarliest 2 Known Versions of

  • Appears in:
    y separately published work icon Arena Magazine no. 142 June - July 2016 10687536 2016 periodical issue 2016 pg. 50-52
Last amended 2 Feb 2017 08:54:02
50-52 Lifting the Barsmall AustLit logo Arena Magazine
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