JESSIE STREET, Australian suffragette, feminist, and human rights activist (d. 1970); While not a Lesbian, this woman-identified woman was a key figure in Australian political life for over fifty years, from the women’s suffrage struggle in England to the removal of Australia’s constitutional discrimination against Aboriginal people in 1967.
She is recognized both in Australia and internationally for her activism in women’s rights, social justice and peace. inspired by the British Anti-Slavery Society when visiting England in the 1950s, Jessie Street was the initiator of the 1967 “Aboriginal” amendment of the Australian Constitution with fellow activist Faith Bandler. She “masterminded the formation of the Aboriginal Rights Organization, which led to the successful “Australian referendum, 1967” and even drafted petitions calling for the Referendum.
Jessie Street campaigned for equality of status for women, equal pay, appointment of women to public office and their election to parliament. In 1911 she attended a conference of the International Council for Women in Rome. She was also co-founder (1928) and President of United Associations of Women. Jessie was the only Australian woman delegate at the founding of the United Nations in 1945 and established (co-founder of) the UN Commission of the Status of Women and Charter of women’s rights.