Women’s History Month: Kay Setches

History Council of Victoria

Kay Setches objected to the Vietnam War and conscription for a variety of reasons. Her main involvement in protesting against them was participation in the later moratoriums, which she discusses here.

Kay Setches interviews


Kay:Wwe were doing those marches. And we used to just take the children in the car, and – the babies really – and put them in the pusher and… push.

Alex: So you went to the three moratorium marches, or just the first one – 

Kay: I know that we went to the last. And I think we went to the one before.

Alex: But what was it like to be at those moratoriums when there was so many thousands of people with one goal?

Kay: Well, I was up near the intersection… where we were in the middle of Swanson and Flinders Street once on one of the marches. And I was scared. I was – I was scared because I was – there was so many people. So many, many, many people. And that, you know, there was a flash of scare there, I’ll always remember it. But really, it was very uplifting to be walking with people that had the same view as you. It was so neighbourly as well, when you’re going along, we were very hopeful that this would lead to a change. A huge change. You know, we had been under a Liberal National government for 23 years by ’72. And it had to stop.

Alex: From what I’ve seen of the pictures of the moratorium, it looks like there are a lot of women there. Did you feel like there were lots of women present on the day? 

Kay: Yes, I did. Yes, I did. 

Alex: Aside from the marches, were there other things that you were involved in?

Kay: I didn’t do anything. No; I went home. And I thought I’d done well, and then I cleaned up the kids, and then we went to bed. That’s what we did; no I didn’t do anything much afterwards.

Alex: Was it the sort of issue that people would talk about at parties or gatherings?

Kay: Always, always because your friends were not that different to you, you know. And so it was uppermost on everyone’s mind, we knew that they were bombing the hell out of Vietnam. We had seen the pictures, the pictures, and we didn’t want our soldiers there.

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

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