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Jessie Street
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    (April 18, 1889-July 2, 1970)
    Born in Ranchi, India
    Birth name was Jessie Mary Grey Lillington
    Australian suffragette, feminist and aboriginal rights campaigner
    President of the United Associations of Women (1930-50)
    After a trip to the USSR (1938), she gave a series of lectures extolling the equality of the sexes in the Soviet Union, leading the press to dub her 'Red Jessie.'
    During a return trip to the USSR (1945), she claimed the Australian ambassador must have been 'brainwashed' after he tried to point out the economic shortcomings of Communism.
    She ran unsuccessfully for the Australian Parliament three times.
    During her two campaigns as a member of the Labor Party, the Australian Communist Party withdrew its candidate for the seat in order to improve her chances of winning.
    She was eventually expelled from the Labor Party over her refusal to resign from organizations considered Communist fronts (1949).
    She was captain of the University of Sydney's field hockey team.
    She was married to Sir Kenneth Whistler Street for 54 years.
    She opened the first contraceptive clinic in Sydney (1933).
    She was the only female member of the Australian delegation to the conference where the United Nations was organized (1945).
    With other female delegates,she got Article 8 added to the UN Charter, recognizing that women could participate 'in any capacity and under conditions of equality' in the UN.
    She successfully campaigned to repeal an Australian law that required female teachers to resign upon getting married (1947).
    She drafted the amendment to the Australian constitution granting citizenship to Indigenous Australians.
    Fellow aboriginal rights campaigner Faith Bandler said, 'She never wanted honor or glory. She'd give ideas away and the credit with them.'

Credit: C. Fishel

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