Vale Janet Allison

With my sister beside me
I am strong, I am free
When she’s with me
With my sister beside me
I am strong, I am free
She believes in me
-Tiddas 'Woman got no history'

Janet Allison was a fellow student and worker. Janet attended the University of Queensland in the late 1970s and was active in student politics. She joined the public service and worked in the Australian Tax Office providing assistance and child support payments to single parents. Janet was an active unionist during difficult years under Bjelke-Petersen, Fraser, Hawke and Howard governments.

Janet helped organise Rock against Racism during the 1982 Commonwealth Games protests for Aboriginal Land Rights. In the following 40 years Janet attended nearly every major event supporting aboriginal rights that challenged racism.

Janet and Jane IWD March 1978 Roma Street Brisbane (Courier Mail)

She was active in the women’s movement and a fiery speaker, particularly in her youth. I remember Janet tearing strips off student politicians when they crossed the line trying to sack a woman cleaner working at UQ Student Union. In the toy parliament that was the Student Union Council, Janet was labelled the ‘Mad Maoist’ lampooned by future leaders in government and the law.

Janet was a great supporter of aboriginal rights and the Sovereign Grannies group that fought against Children’s Services, particularly when the Department was taking aboriginal kids from their families. Janet was only 67 years after a long fight with cancer.

Janet was a warm and caring friend whom I will sadly miss, especially so soon after the passing of Sam Watson.

Vale comrade,
Ian Curr