Labour Australia

  • Tip: searches only the name field
  • Tip: Use double quotes to search for a phrase

Browse Lists:

Cultural Advice

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people should be aware that this website contains names, images, and voices of deceased persons.

In addition, some articles contain terms or views that were acceptable within mainstream Australian culture in the period in which they were written, but may no longer be considered appropriate.

These articles do not necessarily reflect the views of The Australian National University.

Older articles are being reviewed with a view to bringing them into line with contemporary values but the original text will remain available for historical context.

Coleman, Mary Theresa (Tessie) (1890–1957)

This article was published:

This entry is from People Australia

Mary Theresa ('Tessie') Coleman (1890-1957), trade union official

Birth: 1890 at Windsor, New South Wales, daughter of James Michael Coleman (1857-1906), tannery proprietor, and Emily Kate, née Marsh (1865-1924). Unmarried. Death: 18 December 1957 in hospital at Lewisham, Sydney. Religion: Catholic. 

  • In 1910 was one of four pioneers of Printing Trades Women and Girls Employees Union of New South Wales. Foundation assistant secretary and from 1913 to 1917 full-time paid secretary of union.
  • In 1915 successfully organised women in printing trades in Queensland, as she had done in New South Wales, where union membership had grown from 60 members in 1912 to 500 in 1915.
  • Retired in 1917 having 'overtaxed her powers' and union disssolved into the Printing Industry Employees’ Union of Australia.
  • In later life was an accountant living with her brother, Edward Pierce Coleman, a clerk, at Lewisham, Sydney.
  • Cause of death: hepatic failure, mitarative deposits, ovarian carcinoma.

Sources
Australasian Typographical Journal
, 14 October 1915; Printing Trades Journal, 8 May 1917, February 1958.

Citation details

'Coleman, Mary Theresa (Tessie) (1890–1957)', People Australia, National Centre of Biography, Australian National University, https://labouraustralia.anu.edu.au/biography/coleman-mary-theresa-tessie-33062/text41224, accessed 29 January 2023.

© Copyright Labour Australia, 2012