15 March 2015

#FearlessFemales - Day 14 - Newsmakers

March 14 — Newsmakers? Did you have a female ancestor who made the news? Why? Was she famous or notorious? Did she appear in the social column?

I'm writing about my mother again today, not because she was a socialite, famous or infamous, but she certainly was notorious.

Notorious, that is, for her letter writing capacity - letters to the editor, letters to politicians, letters to television stations..... 

I too write letters to politicians (or rather, the Government), but it is part of my job.

Funnily enough though, my sister has just started writing "rants" - but she has a social media platform to do it on instead of having to put pen to paper.

I can only imagine how my mother would have taken to facebook and twitter!

Mum was a combination activist and scaremonger. Here is a sample of her work:

A letter to the newspaper about what "family" should mean. 

Australia's Wonderland was a theme park in the western Suburbs of Sydney - quite close to where she lived.

On the day in question (about 1990 would be my guess) she had taken her niece, great niece and her "honorary" great niece to the park for the day.

She wrote to both Australia's Wonderland and the newspaper. Shortly after her letter, Wonderland changed their "family ticket policy" and just offered a pass that covered any 2 adults and 2 children.

Wonderland closed in 2004, but that same policy now operates most places "family groups" would visit - and I'm reminded of it every time my sister and I and her 2 sons go to attractions.

1990 was a big year for Mum for letter writing - it was the year the NSW State Government proposed a new "community tax" in the vein of the poll tax operating in the UK. She was vehemently opposed to it as testified by the number of letters she wrote to the newspapers (you can take it as "read" she would have also written to every politician as she could). 

Thankfully the Government never went ahead with its proposal.

This last clipping something that is still being talked about today by our current Federal Government - 25 years later: the "unsustainable" cost of the age pension.

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