Women’s History Month: Faye Findlay

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Faye grew up as a Christian, which had a significant impact on her attitude towards the Vietnam War. Her main involvement in protesting against the war was attending the 1970 Moratorium, which she discusses here.

Faye Findlay interview


Alex: Did you go to the first moratorium march in 1970? 

Faye: Yes, I did. 

Alex: What made you decide to go to that?

Faye: I suppose some of it would be Jim Cairns. Even though my family, you know, didn’t talk politics, my father was a laborer. And so therefore, I knew that they voted Labor. And I suppose that also falls in line with the community aspects of the church. So I was, I was Labor, you know, left leaning. Jim Cairns and the emphasis on peace, spoke to me. And by then, I was, I had just started working, having finished school with a little bit of trauma – I had to repeat leaving; I’m not an academic, and I repeated leaving and during that leaving University High kind of changed in that the deference to authority, kind of like slipped, and they didn’t want to be tested. So things like underground newspapers, and you didn’t have hats and gloves. And, you know, staff parading at Wilson Hall at the beginning of the year, and speech night at the end of year – that all, you know, crumbled in those two years. So I mean, I know it’s no, these are kind of micro things that are happening, but they do seep through, you know, and influence you on a macro level. So that even though I was a timid little person, you know, and a loner, I went to the march because I thought that was the right thing to do. And I do have the recollections of looking across the street to the wall-to-wall people, and thinking this is significant. I mean, I’ve been to many marches since then. But that’s, that’s been the biggest one, and perhaps the most impactful.

Alex: So it wasn’t a scary experience to be there with so many people?

Faye: I was always on the gutter edge, you know, I’m never literally in the centre of things, you know, I always want to know that I could slip into a store or – but though on that particular day, you kind of couldn’t move except with the flow of people.

Alex: And did you get a chance to hear Jim Cairns or were there too many people in the way?

Faye: I don’t recall; I only recall impressions, looking over the crowds that – how immense it was, but I am – or, no, I am – but even then, I was a pretty earnest type person. So I’m pretty sure I would have seen it from Treasury Gardens, you know.

If you know a Melbourne woman who was involved in protesting against the Vietnam War, please leave a comment!

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