MS 9579 comprises correspondence, newspaper cuttings, press releases, photocopies, ephemera and printed material. The subjects include indigenous and race relations issues (the largest series), reproductive rights, women and the Order of Australia, immigration, uranium mining, defence, drug law reform, peace movement and the Gulf War. The correspondents include fellow ministers, various organisations including Amnesty International, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Commission and the Women's Electoral Lobby, and Lois O'Donoghue, Father Frank Brennan, Noel Pearson, Pat Dodson and Kennedy Graham (62 boxes, 12 cartons).
The Acc09.190 instalment comprises documents from Reynolds' period as Minister for the Status of Women, including material relating to the Sex Discrimination Bill, National Foundation for Women, Human Rights and Equal Opportunity Commission, 6th National Labor Women's Conference, Australian Honours Secretariat, domestic violence, international women's issues, abortion and women's health issues, encouragement of women to enter politics; documentation of Reynolds' activities in women's rights before, during, and after her period as Minister for the Status of Women, including documents from the National Council of Women in Australia, International Women's Year 1975, publications, conference programs and reports on women's issues, agendas and minutes from the Caucus Status of Women Committee, reports and resolutions of the International Committee for the Elimination of Discrimination Against Women, women's issues under the Howard government, reports on domestic violence; documentation relating to the experiences of Australian indigenous people in prison, including letters to Reynolds from indigenous prisoners relating to riots at the Townsville Correctional Centre, 1991.
The instalment also includes material on indigenous land and other rights including work undertaken while Reynolds was Adjunct Professor at the University of Queensland, United Nations publications, agendas and minutes from the Caucus Aboriginal Affairs Committee, 1986-1988; research materials, photographs, lists of women, questionnaires and speeches relating to Reynolds' book The last bastion and a later, unfinished book "First speeches"; publications collected by Reynolds, principally concerning the rights and political participation of women in Australia and the Pacific, including a copy of Reynold's book "Her story: Australian Labor women in federal, state and territory parliaments 1925-1994" published by the Senate Printing Unit; archival video recordings including interviews with Reynolds; copies of photographs held by the State Library of Queensland and in private hands depicting north Queensland women at work during World War II; and, a photograph album of Reynolds at official functions relating to the Office for the Status of Women (23 boxes, 2 box files, 1 elephant folio).
Politician and academic. Margaret Reynolds was born in Launceston, Tasmania, in 1941 and studied at the University of Tasmania, University of Queensland and James Cook University before graduating with a Ph.D. from the Queensland University of Technology. Reynolds joined the Australian Labor Party in 1971 and was elected to Parliament in 1983, serving as senator for Queensland from 1983 to 1999. She was Minister for Local Government, 1987-1990 and Minister Assisting the Prime Minister for the Status of Women, 1988-1990. In 1992-1995, she was the federal government representative on the Council for Aboriginal Reconciliation. Reynolds retired from federal politics in 1991 and in the same year became president of the United Nations Association of Australia. She later joined the School of Political Science and International Studies at the University of Queensland as a visiting professor. In 2001 she received a Centenary Medal for service to the Centenary of Federation Project. Reynolds is the author of The last bastion: Labor women working towards equality in the parliaments of Australia (1995) and an autobiographical work, Living politics (2007), among other publications.