‘Splendid opportunities’: Women traders in postwar Hong Kong and Australia, 1946–1949
Source TitleAustralian Journal of Biography and History
University of Melbourne Author/sDickenson, Jacqueline
AffiliationSchool of Historical and Philosophical Studies
Document TypeJournal Article
CitationsDickenson, J. (2020). ‘Splendid opportunities’: Women traders in postwar Hong Kong and Australia, 1946–1949. Australian Journal of Biography and History, 3, pp.63-78. https://doi.org/10.22459/ajbh.2020.04.
Access StatusAccess this item via the Open Access location
Open Access URLPublished version
In late March 1946, University of Melbourne graduate and long-time Hong Kong resident Elma Mary Kelly (1895–1974) gave an interview to Melbourne’s Argus newspaper. Released from Stanley prison camp in August 1945, Kelly had recently landed in her hometown after a brief sojourn in London. It was her great desire, Kelly told the reporter, to ‘go back to the East’, where she thought there would be ‘splendid opportunities, especially for Australians’, who she believed flourished there because of their ‘poise’ and ‘liking for the life’.2 Kelly travelled on to Sydney to meet with old friends before returning to Hong Kong in May 1946. On her return, she embarked on an extraordinary venture. In partnership with her fellow Stanley internee Dorothy Gordon Jenner (the journalist ‘Andrea’ of Sydney’s Sun newspaper) and a Sydney friend, Isobel (Belle) Robilliard (1895–1975), Kelly set up the Austral-China Trading Company, an import–export business.
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