Photographs from the Mary Tenison Woods papers, ca. 1941-1959

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Record title

Photographs from the Mary Tenison Woods papers, ca. 1941-1959

Call numbers

PXE 1226

Record identifier


Photographs from the Mary Tenison Woods papers, ca. 1941-1959


Photographs from the Mary Tenison Woods papers, ca. 1941-1959

Full title

Photographs from the Mary Tenison Woods papers, ca. 1941-1959


ca. 1941-1959

Call Numbers

PXE 1226

Record Identifier

Physical Description


1 album (38 photographic prints) - 35 x 28.5 cm. - black and white, silver gelatin

52 photographic prints - 25 x 20.5 cm. or smaller - black and white, silver gelatin

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Copying Conditions

Copyright restrictions may apply : Photographs in this collection created before 1955 are all out of copyright. Photographs created after 1955 are in copyright for the life of creator plus 70 years

Please acknowledge: : Mitchell Library, State Library of New South Wales and courtesy the copyright holder

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1 album
38 photographic prints
Photographs relating to Mary Tenison Woods' time working with the United Nations ca. 1950-1959 including:
Portrait of Mary Tennison Woods with Robert Menzies and Pattie Menzies; pictures of the 5th Session of the United Nations Commission into the Status of Women, 1951; portrait of Mary Tennison Woods with Vi...


Full title

Photographs from the Mary Tenison Woods papers, ca. 1941-1959



General note

Pic.Acc. Upgrade Project - Information transferred from Pic.Acc.3983 as part of the eRecords Project 2012-13

Signature / Inscriptions

Many of the album photographs and loose photographs are described on their reverse



Presented by Jean Daly, 30 June 1977

Administrative / Biographical history

Mary Cecil Tenison Woods (1893-1971), lawyer, was born on 9 December 1893 in Adelaide, daughter of John Kitson, police detective, and his wife Mary Agnes, née McClure. Educated at St Aloysius's College by the Sisters of Mercy and at the University of Adelaide (LL.B., 1916), she was the first woman to graduate in law in South Australia and to be admitted to the Bar (20 October 1917). She practised as a barrister with the firm of (T. S.) Poole & Johnstone with whom she had served her articles, becoming a partner in the reconstituted firm of Johnstone, Ronald & Kitson in 1919. Much of her early work was in the Children's Court and laid the basis for her later commitment to the cause of child welfare reform. Her application to become a public notary in 1921 led to a change in the law: the existing Act did not include women as 'persons'

From 1941 she was a member of the Child Welfare Advisory Council (New South Wales); in 1942 she was sponsored by that council—as well as by the Australian Council for Educational Research, the Walter and Eliza Hall Trust and the Australian Association of Social Workers — to study child welfare in England Her belief in the centrality of social workers in the rehabilitation process led to further honorary positions: she served on the Board of Social Study and Training of New South Wales (1935-40) and its successor, the University of Sydney's Board of Social Studies (1941-49); in 1940-50 she also lectured part time at the university on legal aspects of social work; in 1947 she was guest speaker at the first Australian Conference of Social Work, held in Sydney. During World War II she had sat on the board of the Women's Australian National Services

While chairing the Child Welfare Advisory Council's delinquency committee, Mary Tenison Woods played a major role in creating a separate Child Welfare Department. In 1943 the committee reported that the Girls' Industrial School at Parramatta emphasized detention rather than rehabilitation, that its inmates were inadequately classified and that its staff was untrained

In 1950 she was appointed chief of the office of the status of women in the division of human rights, United Nations Secretariat, New York. During her term two major conventions were adopted: the Convention of the Political Rights of Women (1952), the first international law aimed at the granting and protection of women's full political rights, and the Convention of the Nationality of Married Women (1957) which decreed that marriage should not affect the nationality of a wife. When she left the United Nations in 1958 Tenison Woods was commended by delegates for her dedication to the cause of women, her ability to inspire teamwork, her competence and her sincerity

Australian Dictionary of Biography. (accessed 7 August, 2012)...



Call Numbers

PXE 1226

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