Two decades of Tuesday Afternoon Group

Issue 

Two decades of Tuesday Afternoon Group

By Adam Hanieh

ADELAIDE — The Tuesday Afternoon Group (TAG) has been meeting, discussing and demonstrating here for 20 years. It is the only women's organisation in Australia that arose during the '70s that still meets each week.

In September 1992, Adelaide Resistance held a public forum with eight of these women, many of them aged in their 70s.

Connie Frazer, who is also an active supporter of Green Left, spoke of her first contact with the women's liberation movement in the late '60s when she saw a politician on TV warning people of the "dangers" of a sex education leaflet.

Her son, who had joined the forerunner of Resistance, told her about a meeting on women's liberation. She went along, picked up the leaflet and attended several other meetings on women's issues. With other women, she rented premises in the early '70s at Bloor Court which were to house the women's liberation movement for many years.

Eulalie Tapp was also introduced to the movement by friends of her son, who had been living on a commune. She regularly attended meetings of more than 70 people at Bloor Court on Monday nights.

Many of the Bloor court meetings were consciousness-raising groups on issues such as contraception and health; women would come along and talk about bad experiences they had had with doctors.

The women stressed, though, that the consciousness raising usually happened through activity and not intellectual discussion — for example, handing out leaflets to high school women about health issues. A number of things were initiated by the group, such as a women's shelter and health centre in Hindmarsh. They also provided a telephone advisory service and pregnancy advice.

When asked about lessons for the movement today, the group agreed that activism was key. Keeping independent of the government and fighting to defend earlier gains were points they thought should be emphasised.