Bertha McNamara

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Bertha McNamara Bredt (née Matilda Emilie Bertha Kalkstein 28 September 1853 – 1 August 1931), was a Sydney-based Australian socialist agitator, feminist, pamphleteer, bookseller, and mother-in-law of Australian writer Henry Lawson.

Born in Germany, she migrated to Victoria, via England, in 1869. After the death of her husband Peter Hermann Bredt, she became a political activist and published Home Talk on Socialism (1891), one of Australia's first pamphlets on socialism. On 9 July 1892 she married William McNamara.

In Castlereagh St, Sydney, she ran a boarding-house in conjunction with McNamara's Book and News Depot. Bertha McNamara, who has been called 'The Mother of the Labour Movement', carried on agitating for social reform for 25 years after the death of her second husband.

In 1896, her daughter, also named Bertha, married Henry Lawson. Another daughter, Hilda, married prominent Labor Party politician Jack Lang.