The Editor

Kerith Power

I have been a songwriter-singer since 1966 and was also directly involved in promoting and seeking out women’s music in Australia in the decades following the International Women’s Year of 1975. In 1982 with feminist colleagues I organised a women’s concert in my home town of Lismore featuring Margret Roadknight. It was on my initiative and with my co-ordination that that the First National Women’s Music Festival was held in Lismore NSW in 1983. The lead performer was Judy Small.

Three festivals followed on a biennial basis, staffed by women volunteers and featuring a range of performers including those above, Jeannie Lewis, and in the final festival, international artists and a women’s film festival curated by filmmaker and now Zen Roshi  Susan Murphy.Through the festivals and through sales of my cassettes Liberation Road (1983) and Birds of Passage (1985) I established contacts all over Australia.

The hard copy manuscript of The First Australian Women’s Songbook consists of lyrics, sheet music, a short cv and photograph of each writer of fifty songs collected from women from all over Australia. This material, carried intact to five different cities over thirty years, remains unpublished. In 2017 I finally acquired the equipment, software, time and space to transform the project into digital format.

Kerith Power author first australian womens songbook

Awards & Publications

Newcastle Trades and Labour Council songwriting award for “Upwardly Socially Mobile”.
Produced cassette Liberation Road with the Lismore Women’s Music Collective.
Marxist Summer School Songwriting Award.

Published in the New City Songster (UK.) ed. Peggy Seeger , Produced cassette Birds of Passage.

Full writer member, Australasian Performing Right Association. Songwriting award Byron Pacific Festival Songwriting Competition.
Received Australia Council grant to compile the First Australian Women’s Song Book.
Songwriter in Residence, Lismore Women’s Refuge.

Funded by Lismore Trades and Labour Council. Performed unpublished cassette sequence Natural Alllies.

Song lyric “Hey-ho Tedium”

Published in anthology Brown, D, Ellyard, H & Polkinghorne, D (eds) Angry Women(1989). Sydney: Hale & ironmonger.

Completed compilation of the song book but was unable to secure Australia Council support for publication.
Song Lyric “This Woman Walks”

Published as preamble in Somerville, Margaret (1996) Body/Landscape Journals. Melbourne, Spinifex Press.

‘M.D. Mackie: A passionate educator’, M.Ed (Hons) thesis, UNE. Song “Touchstone”.
‘Storylines of Indigenous Women and Leadership in early Childhood Education’, PhD thesis, UNE.
Power, K. ‘Honouring My Elders: Australian Feminists in Early Childhood Education’ &

Power, K. ‘Honouring My Elders: Australian Feminists in Early Childhood Education’, published in the proceedings of the 8th Early Childhood Convention, 22- 25 September , Palmerston North, New Zealand.

Power, K. ’Crossing cultural contact zones to reclaim matriarchal leadership: Indigenous and feminist leadership in early childhood education’

Published in the refereed proceedings of Reconceptualising Early Childhood Education Conference, Tempe, Arizona. Produced and performed song sequence Contact Zone.

Power, K. ‘Songs Of Place Belonging’

Multimedia presentation presented at NZRECE/ARECE conference., 21-22 January, Wellington, NZ.