Thursday, 6 June 2013

The Australian Women's Weekly launched - June 1933

I have been struck down with a horrible cold this week (thank you my darling children), so forgive my errant ways.  I am busy drinking green smoothies and garlic and lemon tea to get well by the weekend, as I am off to Sydney.  Civilization as my father kindly put it.  Hopefully lots of photos when I return. I have also been busy on my new blog -Home Lust -  in which I have been looking at houses of the 40s and 50s.  Please visit and follow if you can, I would love some followers!

Anyway, today some more history.  This weekend is the 80th anniversary of the launch of The Australian Women's Weekly, which officially began circulation on Saturday, 10 June 1933 (although the first copies of the magazine hits the streets the Thursday before).

Other newspapers of the day described the magazine as "a women's magazine that seeks to cover a wide range of issues whilst still presenting the traditional women's magazine articles on home making and cooking."  It was said to be "innovative in style and content when compared with existing women's magazines" both published in Australia or imported.

The Australian Women's Weekly, officially began circulation on Saturday, 10 June 1933
The Weekly itself stated that would endeavor to "cover adequately and in full detail every field of work, play or interest for women - especially where women have something at stake; to create interests for women; to be of practical help, by service and guidance, to women in domestic, social, and business life, to be of interest to all every field where where women are and where their eyes will turn will be covered for them by brilliant specialists."

The Weekly did in fact align itself with women's issues and the cause of women's rights from the very first issue.  The cover above shows the story by Mrs Linda P Littljohn, a prominent feminist of the time, titled, "Equal Social Rights For Sexes: Mrs. Littlejohn Outlines Big Issues To Be Fought For", which covered the Women Voter's Federation conference. More prominently  though, are four models alongside the headline, "What Smart Sydney Women Are Wearing."

The magazine was not owned by women though. It was started by Frank Packer (a familiar media mogul name), who was only 26 at the time, together with former deputy Prime Minister and Treasurer, EG Theodore. The editor was also a man, George Warnecke, who stated that the magazine employed a comparatively large staff of women, and that he "wanted women to tackle all kinds of news while preserving the qualities of femininity."

Scottie Dogs, From the Australian Women's Weekly, June 1933
From the Australian Women's Weekly, June 1933
Some of my favorite Covers:

Australian Women's Weekly Cover, cockatoo,  June 1940
1 June 1940
Australian Women's Weekly Cover, Victory Loan, March 1944
18 March 1944
Australian Women's Weekly Cover, New Look Fashion, February 195
18 February 1950
The first 50 years of the publication Weekly from 10 June 1933 to 15 December 1982 (when it changed to  monthly)  can be viewed online at Trove Australia.  Just a little reading for the long weekend!

Deb xx

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