Married women teachers declarations

In 1932, against the backdrop of the Depression, the NSW Government passed the Married Women (Lecturers and Teachers) Act. This Act restricted the employment of married women in the Department of Public Instruction, which meant that currently employed married women faced dismissal and any woman intending to marry had to resign upon doing so.

However, married women teachers could apply for an exemption by completing a statutory declaration every year explaining their circumstances. Most applied on the grounds of hardship, combined incomes being inadequate to support a family, supporting husbands unemployed due to illness or injury (especially after service during World War I), or supporting family members.

We hold copies of 693 declarations for exemption submitted by married women teachers for the years 1932–1935 as part of series NRS-12294 Special bundles [Public Service Board], which have all been digitised and are available to view in our State Archives catalogue.

This webinar explores the declarations and how to find them.

Example from the records

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Page from a digitised file

Thelma Rayworth Hitchcock

Parramatta Girls Public School. NRS-12294-8_1187B_085

Family history

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