Women on the Coalfields

1872 Amongst the many women involved in the suffrage movement at the end of the 19th century, two sisters Florence and Rosamund Davenport Hill visited Australia and met with Caroline Chisholm. The emigration of women to Australia became their focus and was in the same envelope of social reform as hospitals for women and the prevention of cruelty to children.
1902 Women won the right to vote.
1912 Maternity allowance/child endowment awarded: £5 over 2 weeks for an unskilled worker, married or unmarried mothers. Asiatic, Aboriginal and Papuan mothers excluded.
1919 Billy Hughes appointed a commission to reconsider the basic wage of the worker - a family with three children needed £5 16s which was 30/- more than the current minimum wage. For most of the 1920s, the average wage for an Australian worker was £9 30/-.
1931 - 1943 Due to the Depression women were paid at a lower rate and subject to means test. 5/- paid towards each child under 14/- up to a max. of  £5.
1931 Seven women in Newcastle join the Unemployed Workers Movement, amongst them, Elizabeth Oliver and Catherine Barratt.
1931 First International Womens Day in Newcastle: About 200 men and women attended a meeting on 8th March as a result two women joined the Communist Party. The crowd was interested in the question of organising women in Newcastle. Among the speakers was Lindsay Mountjoy. One of the brightest spots in the IWD celebrations throughout Australia was the meeting of Kurri Miners Wives held on 7th March. 60 attended ..(and) all present promised to support Working Woman and endeavour to increase its circulation as well as sending in letters on their problems as women workers under capitalism.  http://asslh.org.au/hummer/vol-2-no-3/womens-day/
1937 The Newcastle and District Protective Housewives Association aims to work for the economic and social welfare of women... and voiced a concern at the lack of nursery schools and baby health centres.
1942 Maternity allowance - 'As a result of effective lobbying by women, the Maternity Allowance Act 1912 (Commonwealth) is introduced by Labor Prime Minister Andrew Fisher. It provides for payment of £5 to all white mothers, including unmarried mothers, on the birth of a child. The provision for unmarried mothers causes outrage amongst church groups. The Act excludes mothers of 'Asiatic, Indigenous, Papuan or Pacific Islander origin in line with the White Australia Policy. Indigenous women become eligible for the allowance. '
1943 Income Test abolished. Maternity Allowance rose to £15, £16 for 1 or 2 children, £17 10/- for 3 or more.
1942 Widow's pension given to pensioners "of good character and deserving.. "
1966 Married women can work in the Public Service.
1968 Assistance to deserted wives not covered by the Widows Pension.
1969 'Equal pay for work of equal value'.
1978 Maternity Allowance abolished and replaced by other child payments.
1980 Payments given to all categories of sole parents.
1984 Anti discrimination on the basis of sex.
1996 $840.60 paid as Parenting Allowance.
2009 Baby Bonus of $5,000 paid over first year of baby's life to parents earning under $75,000.