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WAAC 50th Anniversary

WAAC was delighted to welcome members old and new, friends and supporters to our recent 50th Anniversary event, held at Concord. Despite the awful weather, the welcome was warm and the day was interesting and fun!

Guests included Penny Sharpe MLC, a long time friend of WAAC and Jenny Leong MP, who presented a commemorative copy of the Reproductive Health Care Reform Bill 2019 to WAAC.

WAAC members were delighted and moved by the thoughtfulness and generosity of comment made by those attending on the day, including journalist Wendy Bacon, historian Dr Kate Gleeson and prominent Jozefa Sobski, among so many others.

Speakers included:


  • WAAC activist Jeanne Rudd who shared memories of WAAC's early days and some of her collection of historic memorabilia via Zoom,


  • Dr Kate Gleeson who spoke about her early connection with WAAC and the importance of radical analysis in working for change, and


  • Margaret Kirkby, well known WAAC activist and stalwart, who spoke about WAAC's place in the broad sweep of 1970s, 80s and 90s politics and the need to remain vigilant in the face of current events undercutting abortion rights in the USA and Europe.

Check out videos from the day and slide shows of photos and memorabilia by clicking on the links below!

It was then time for Jenny Leong MP to make a presentation of a Commemorative Copy of the 2019 Bill to WAAC, 'for the archives'. While WAAC was only one of many organisations involved in the "Pro-Choice Coalition" working to build support for the Bill, it was an honour to be remembered and recognised in this way.

After Jenny spoke, long time WAAC activist Lynn Muir shared some memories of her time with WAAC.

Following afternoon tea, Penny Sharpe MLC spoke about the work of developing cross-party parliamentary support for the 2019 Bill, and the history leading up to it. She mentioned a number of previous attempts to introduce a bill to either decriminalise abortion or repeal the abortion laws, and the ways in which various organisations helped create for her first an interest in politics, and then a decision to work as a politician.

Our final speaker was Newcastle activist Larissa Scully, who worked to raise awareness about how the closure of the city's main surgical provider, MSI would impact people in Newcastle and the surrounding regions.

With grateful thanks to our speakers, WAAC recorded the day's events and you can hear them the recordings (including comments about unexpected but nerve-wracking technical issues!) by clicking on the links below.

WAAC would like to thank our wonderful speakers for their generous time and the work they put into their presentations. Each one was fascinating and we would gladly have listened to them for much longer!

WAAC would like to offer appreciation to Pip Hinman who kindly brought along a selection of historic photographs of WAAC rallies and feminist events from the Green Left Weekly / Direct Action archives.

In addition, WAAC is very grateful to Claire for preparing the beautiful electronic invitations, to Ed Husic MP's office for the loan of the projector equipment, to Alison for her life saving tea runs and photography, to Mike for managing the electronic presentation and technical side of things, to Margaret and Maret for preparing and serving the delicious afternoon tea and to everyone who helped clean up!


WAAC has also been working on a display of historic photos and memorabilia, in slide show form, by decade!

To check out the slide shows (in PDF format), please click the links below.

If you recognise yourself or someone you know and they are not named, please let us know!

And, if you do have photos (or other memorabilia to share), please contact us if you'd like them to be included in the slide shows.

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