Kathleen Hotson

HOTSON, Kathleen (?-?)

B.? D.?

Educated University of Adelaide; ‘student of political economy and social economics’; school teacher; during World War I travelled throughout Australia advocating peace, feminism and socialism; regarded by authorities as a ‘notorious sower of discord’ and the ’embodiment of militant pacificism’, she was a leading activist in the South Australian peace movement; gifted orator and leading speaker for Australian Peace Alliance & Anti- Conscription League (est.1916), addressing crowds at Adelaide’s Botanic Park and at lunchtime meetings outside factories; secretary Adelaide branch of APA. Campaigned in Melbourne 1917, organising for Women’s Political Association and assisting Vida Goldstein’s Senate campaign; active in Women’s Peace Army; July 1917 helped form Children’s Peace Army, conducting lessons in socialism, pacificism and internationlism. In Brisbane during 1918; helped form Queensland branch of APA. By 1918, had widened commitment to pacificism & feminism to embrace socialism also. Member South Australian Socialist Party/Social Democratic League; represented Party at Easter Peace Conference 1917 & 1918; addressed meetings of Victorian Socialist Party, Australian Socialist Party (Sydney) and Broken Hill branch of IWW ; assisted in formation of Queensland Socialist League 1918(?); regular speaker at Brisbane Domain & celebrations commemorating May Day and Russian Revolution. 1918 became women’s organiser for Shop Assistant’s Union in Queensland but resigned after 10 months after becoming disheartened with attitude of male unionists & difficulty of organising women workers.

J. Damousi Ph.D thesis, 1987.