The National Library of Australia's (NLA) oral history and folklore collection goes back to the 1950s and as its website explains it 'includes a rich and diverse collection of interviews and recordings with Australians from all walks of life.' Moreover, it proclaims that it records 'the voices that describe our cultural, intellectual and social life.'
The Trailblazing Women and the Law oral history project, from which this online exhibition evolved, forms a portion of the more than 1000 hours of interviews added to the collection every year. Some women lawyers had already been interviewed for the NLA prior to the beginning of this project, and they too are linked into this exhibition.
Depending on the access conditions determined by each interviewee, the interviews are either available to the public directly online or they may be requested from the NLA's catalogue, although some choose to close the interviews for a specified period.
The oral histories provide avenues to examine and reflect on important research questions . As a research form, oral history contrasts to other materials available to researchers, enriching the web of description at the intersection of biography, social history and professional milieu.
As Robert Perkins and Alistair Thomson write in their introduction to the third edition of the invaluable Oral History Reader (2106) '[o]ver the past seventy years, oral history - 'the interviewing of eye-witness participants in the events of the past for the purposes of historical reconstruction' - has transformed the practice of contemporary history in many countries.' Moreover, they note that oral history has challenged 'the historical enterprise' given it is not only the 'privileged preserve of academic or professional historians.'
This online exhibition enables you to link through to the oral histories of Australian Women Lawyers that are on the database of the National Library of Australia.
For those oral histories immediately accessible (French, Kayess, Lusink, Mahlab) you will see that they are easily searchable as key words and timed summaries allow you to dip in and out of interviews at your pleasure from your chosen digital device at your desired location!
- Banks, Robin - Commissioner, Lawyer, Solicitor
- Bicket, Robyn (1964 - ) - Lawyer, Public servant
- Branson, Catherine (1948 - ) - Academic, Barrister, Commissioner, Crown Solicitor, Judge, Lawyer, Public servant, Queen's Counsel
- Broderick, Elizabeth - Commissioner, Lawyer
- Bryant, Diana (1947 - ) - Barrister, Chief Justice, Chief Magistrate, Judge, Lawyer, Queen's Counsel, Solicitor
- Burton, Pamela Melrose (1946 - ) - Author, Lawyer, Solicitor
- Chong, Patti (1955 - ) - Lawyer, Philanthropist, Solicitor
- Connors, Jane - Academic, Advisor, Advocate, Lawyer
- Conroy, Patricia (1936 - ) - Board member, Community leader, Lawyer, Solicitor
- Davis, Megan - Academic, Lawyer
- Eckert, Judy (1956 - ) - Barrister, Judge, Lawyer, Solicitor
- Fantin, Tracy - Barrister, Lawyer, Solicitor
- Feller, Erika - Academic, Commissioner, Diplomat, Lawyer, Public servant
- Fingleton, Diane (1947 - ) - Chief Magistrate, Lawyer, Magistrate
- Ford, Norma Clare - Barrister, Lawyer
- French, Valerie (1949 - ) - Barrister, Judge, Lawyer
- Gearin, Sally (1949 - ) - Barrister, Lawyer, Solicitor
- Gordon, Sue (1943 - ) - Commissioner, Justice of the Peace, Lawyer, Magistrate, Public servant
- Hall, Marlene Ann (1944 - ) - Lawyer, Public servant, Teacher
- Hill, Jenni (1968 - ) - Lawyer, Partner, Solicitor
- Hiscock, Mary Elizabeth - Academic, Chairperson, Lawyer, Solicitor
- Irwin, Rebecca - Lawyer, Legal officer, Solicitor
- Jago, Tamara - Barrister, Lawyer, Magistrate, Senior Counsel, Solicitor
- Kayess, Rosemary - Academic, Advisor, Disability rights activist, Lawyer
- Kenny, Susan - Barrister, Commissioner, Judge, Lawyer
- Kossiavelos, Koula - Lawyer, Magistrate, Solicitor
- Lavarch, Linda Denise (1958 - ) - Attorney General, Lawyer, Parliamentarian, Solicitor
- Layton, Robyn - Barrister, Judge, Lawyer, Solicitor
- Le Roy, Katherine Jane (Katy) - Academic, Consultant, Lawyer, Parliamentary Counsel, Solicitor
- Lusink, Margaret (Peg) (1922 - ) - Judge, Lawyer, Legal academic, Professor
- Mahlab, Eve (1937 - ) - Board member, Lawyer, Philanthropist, Women's rights activist
- Mathews, Jane - Crown Prosecutor, Judge, Lawyer, Solicitor
- McGlade, Hannah (1969 - ) - Aboriginal spokesperson, Academic, Barrister, Human rights activist, Lawyer, Solicitor, Tribunal member
- Nguyen, Lyma - Advocate, Barrister, Lawyer, Legal officer, Solicitor
- Nyland, Margaret - Commissioner, Judge, Lawyer
- Oliver, Sue - Academic, Barrister, Judge, Lawyer, Magistrate, Solicitor
- Penfold, Hilary - Judge, Lawyer, Parliamentary Counsel, Public servant, Queen's Counsel
- Pritchard, Janine - Judge, Lawyer
- Scutt, Jocelynne A. (1947 - ) - Academic, Activist, Barrister, Lawyer, Writer
- Tennent, Shan Eve (1952 - ) - Barrister, Coroner, Judge, Lawyer, Solicitor
- Thomas, Sally Gordon (1939 - ) - Administrator, Chief Magistrate, Judge, Lawyer, Magistrate
- Thornton, Margaret Rose - Academic, Lawyer
- Walker, Sally - Academic, Consultant, Lawyer, Solicitor, Vice-Chancellor
- Watson, Irene - Academic, Activist, Barrister, Lawyer, Solicitor
- Wilson, Nerida - Barrister, Lawyer, Magistrate, Solicitor
- Withnall, Nerolie - Board member, Chairperson, Director, Lawyer, Solicitor
- Yeats, Mary Ann (1941 - ) - Judge, Lawyer, Solicitor