- I had someone to look after my youngest who was only
three, but eventually I was able to get him accepted into the creche at
Footscray. It was a wonderful creche - the way they all ought to be today.
It was a government establishment and provided full time care for all
pre-school age children.
The only bad thing about it was that it closed at 5 p.m.
and if you didn't get there to pick up the children they were taken to
the police station! This was barbaric but otherwise, well, they had mothercraft
nurses and I knew my child, an asthmatic, was looked after properly.
This was when I became aware of how terribly important
childcare was to so many women, whether they were in the paid workforce
It always seemed to be at the last minute at work when
the doctor asked me to do something so I was five or ten minutes late
getting away. It was a real nightmare, trying to pick up the kids, get
home, get tea and fall into bed. Anyone who talks harshly about single
mothers receives no sympathy from me. You would think, by the way some
people speak, it is a bed of roses, that you are a single mother by choice
just to get the pension!
- ... While I was still working at the ARU there was
a UAW deputation to Harold Holt, treasurer at the time. I was so busy,
I didn't have time to prepare anything. I rushed in at the last minute
and someone nudged me and whispered 'say something'. So I did.
I remember speaking quite fervently about the need for
childcare services, particularly for working mothers (this was part of
a national 'mother and child' campaign) We didn't get anywhere, but it
may have sown some seeds.
That was my first active foray into the national child
care area. Later I was involved with forming a kindergarten committee
and I had also been a member of the Sunshine Child Care Committee of which
Win Graham had been a founder.