Ordinary young women – The NCGM

Geraldine Crane, Ordinary women doing extraordinary things, The Brisbane NCGM/YCW (Girls) Story 1945-70, YCW Past Members Association

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About the author

Geraldine Crane was born in Brisbane and is married with five children. She attended Catholic schools completing her secondary education at Junior level (Year 10) at AO Hallows School. She was a member of the Young Christian Students (YCS ) there and joined the Rosalie branch of the NCGM in February 1950. She began work in the State Public Service as a clerk-typist and switched to the Commonwealth Public Service as a clerk after obtaining her Senior Certificate from the Evening Tutorial Classes in 1952.

In the Movement she served twice as Group President at Rosalie, was a member of the Diocesan Executive from 1955-1958, was Diocesan President in 1958 and was a member of the National Executive 1958-1959. She resigned from the Movement on her marriage in August 1959. She was the Foundation President of the YCW Past Members Association from 1964 to 1968 when she went to live in Canberra.

After obtaining a Bachelor of Arts degree from the Australian National University in 1974 she tutored and lectured in Sociology at the Canberra College of Advanced Education (University of Canberra) between 1975 and 1985 and worked in the Australian Bureau of Statistics from 1989 until her retirement in 1995.

Table of contents

Preface x

Acknowledgments vii

Abbreviations and terms viii

Introduction xii

The founder xiv

Chapter 1 The call to action and the response

The nature of Catholic Action Cardijn

A working class Movement Differing altitudes to Catholic Action The Australian experience

Chapter 2 The Grail and its relationship to the NCGM

The Grail

The Grail in Australia Training and formation of girls The National Catholic Girls Movement The Grail legacy to the NCGM

Chapter 3 The Movement in the Brisbane Archdiocese

The beginning of the Brisbane NCGM Growth of the Movement State connections

National and international connections

Chapter 4 The scope of the Movement

A service for every need Some special Movement services Education for life Representation

Chapter 5 The structure and organisation of the Movement

The leaders group The role of the president The parish section The meeting plan General members

The development of the final parish structure The diocesan executive

Chapter 6 Training and formation for leadership and commitment

Content of the training and formation Regular and specialised

Linked to life and within members ‘ capabilities Commitment

Memories and mementos of the Movement

Chapter 7 Chaplains, diocesan presidents and other key leaders

Chaplains and leaders The archbishops and senior priests Diocesan chaplains Diocesan presidents Key leaders

Chapter 8    The appeal of the Movement for young women and its impact on them

Women in the period (1945-1970)

Women’s call to Catholic Action — ahead of its lime


Ordinary young women Development of members Doing extraordinary things

Chapter 9 Identifying some factors which were important for the success of the Movement

Full-time secretaries

Diocesan headquarters

A rose by any other name

Finance and fund raising

Chapter 10 More reasons for the success of the Movement

Hope as conviction in Christ and the Spirit Loving others

Girls and boys working together

Turnover of membership and the ability to adapt

Authority in the Movement

Chapter 11 Evaluation of the Movement

The Movement as a community

The ability to change individuals

The liberating effect for girls

Developing potential, self-esteem and self-confidence

The Past Members Association

Failure to understand the uniqueness of the experience

Chapter 12 Some personal reflections on the Movement

The nature of the Movement The Movement and feminism Cardijn’s importance and influence Communication

A special time ,


Appendix 1

Appendix 2 190

Sources for individual chapters 197

Bibliography 205 Index