"I said, "Girls can do anything", which is a line off these T-shirts that Mum brought home from work. Ross goes, "Prove it. I dare you."–and next minute I'm telling him I'll start a girls' footy team and play a match with the boys, after they finish the season. I must've gone mental from lack of sleep. There's no way I can get a team together in less than a month. Ross is going to laugh his head off and it's all my own fault."
—Jan Packard[5]

Janice "Jan" Packard (born November 2, 1960) was the daughter of Margaret and Ron Packard. She grew up in the Box Hill suburb of Melbourne, Victoria during the 1970s. Jan attended school with her best friend, Fran Briggs.


Early life

Jan was born on November 2,[2] 1960[3] to Margaret and Ron Packard. She had two brothers, Terry and Pete. Jan spent her childhood in the Box Hill suburb of Melbourne, Victoria. The Packards were friends with the Maxwell family that lived next door. The families held barbecues every Sunday.

In the late 1960s, her brother Terry was drafted to fight in the Vietnam War. Terry became a draft resister, which caused fighting between the family and the Maxwells. Jan's parents took her to the Moratorium demonstration in 1970.[6]


By 1974, Jan was attending Box Hill High School with her best friend, Fran Briggs. On International Women's Day, Jan's mother took her to a march, where she met Maz Tyson. Her mother later explained her involvement in Women's Liberation and her joining a Consciousness Raising group. Jan accidentally exposed Margaret being a feminist to Ron, before she had a chance to tell him first. They fought about it for several days, until finally reaching an understanding.

Jan was initially confused by Women's Liberation, but eventually warmed to it after talking several times with Maz. She became close to Maz and eventually asked her to dinner. Later, Jan wrote an essay comparing characters from A Tale of Two Cities to Women's Liberationists, which her English teacher Miss Martin made fun of. In response, Jan invited Maz to speak to her class. Maz's speech was successful, changing Miss Martin's opinion about the movement.

Jan partnered with John Fraser for Miss Martin's project about Women's Liberation, instead of Fran. Before the project presentation, Jan fought with Ross McLellan about football. She subsequently agreed to form a girl's team that will play against Ross's team. At first, Jan believed her chances of winning were slim, but "[came] closer to winning than anyone expected." On her birthday, Terry showed her a video of the Moratorium demo that she had long since forgetton.

Personality and traits

Jan could be considered to be a tomboy by her enjoyment of physical activities, such as football and karate. She was close to her younger brother Pete and neighbor, Michael Maxwell, until they stopped playing football with her because "they decided [she] was a girl."

She hated arguments, especially hearing others yell. In the 1960s, she would become distressed whenever her father and older brother fought about the Vietnam War. Jan blocked most of the memories of the fights, almost forgetting them completely. Throughout 1974, she gradually learned how to handle confrontation and arguments.

Family tree

The Packard Family Tree
Sophia "Nanna"
Ron Packard
Terry Packard
(b. 1949)
Janice Packard
(b. 1960)
Pete Packard
(b. 1962)

Behind the scenes

  • Jan is the main character of Jenny Pausacker's A Tale of Two Families.
  • Pausacker also attended the Moratorium demo and took part in Women's Liberation, though she insists that A Tale of Two Families "is Jan Packard's story, not hers." They also share a birthday.


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