Vale Janet Allison

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.

Left to right: Marlene Cummins, Hone Tuwhare, unidentified, Janet Allison (centre, at back), Louise Butt, and Peter Gray at Commonwealth Writers Festival in the lead up to Commonwealth Games Land Rights Protests in 1982. Image from Radical Times (Peter Gray)
Janet Allison (right) and Jane Gruchy (left) giving as good as they got at IWD March 1978 Roma Street Brisbane (Courier Mail)

Janet 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 UQ Student Union Council, Janet was labelled the ‘Mad Maoist’ and 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 when she passed away 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
25 April 2020