May Day 1962 Protests

This week, Dr Kate talks about a small collection of photographs from the Gilchrist collection, depicting protesters from the Union of Australian Women marching against the development of a US military base in WA in 1962. 

John and Roma Gilchrist were prolific West Australian activists from the 1930s onwards, with links to a number of organisations considered radical at the time including the Workers Art Guild, Humanist Society, the Union of Australian Women (of which Roma was the president for many years) and the Australian Communist Party. 

John was a photographer by trade, and although the majority of John and Roma’s personal photographs depict buildings and Perth’s urban landscape of the 1960s and 70s, this small collection of 1960s speaks to the history of political protest in Western Australia, as well as to the women’s movement to which Roma was linked indelibly for the entirety of her adult life. 

Search the catalogue for the Gilchrist collection and to see the other photographs in the collection.

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Recorded live on ABC Radio Perth on 21 July 2020.