National Women’s Art Exhibition
The National Women’s Art Exhibition was held in 1995. 146 galleries, museums and libraries around Australia participated in the event, holding simultaneous exhibitions of work by female artists. The exhibitions, which focused on women’s relationship to the landscape, were held to commemorate the 20th anniversary of International Women’s Year.
The National Women’s Art Exhibition was the ‘brain-child’ of Professor Joan Kerr, who also used the event to launch her book Heritage: the national women’s art book in Canberra.
The Women’s Pages: Australian Women and Journalism Since 1850
The Women’s Pages: Australian Women and Journalism since 1850 highlights the achievements of Australian women journalists and their contributions to the nation’s public life and culture. Women from around the nation, across time and all forms of media, have been included. A list of women Walkley Award winners is included to demonstrate the range and quality of women’s journalism that has been produced since the inaugural awards in 1956, a time that roughly coincides with the emergence of the second wave feminist movement.
Short historical notes, entered into a searchable database linked to this exhibition, have been prepared for over 100 women. Some contain links to further bibliographical and archival resources. Longer essays have been prepared about a selection of women.
Female Emigration to Australia
In the years 1833-1837 the British government, under the auspices of the London Emigration Committee, assisted approximately 4000 people to migrate to the Australian colonies from Great Britain and Ireland. Of these 4000 passengers, approximately 2700 were bounty women.
This online exhibition provides background to the scheme and includes a searchable database of the women who took advantage of the government’s offer of an assisted passage.
Putting Skirts on the Sacred Benches: Women Candidates for the New South Wales Parliament
Putting Skirts on the Sacred Benches is an online exhibition that pays tribute to the women candidates who stood for election to the New South Wales Parliament from the time they were eligible to stand in 1918. It lists more than 900 women candidates, recognising their significant contributions and achievements, despite, in most cases, their lack of success. With the major focus on those who did not succeed a fuller picture is gained of the numbers of politically active women in the community who were prepared to put themselves forward for election to public office. Biographical entries about a selection of women have been prepared, some containing links to further bibliographical and archival resources.
Work on this project was funded in 2005-6 by the Sesquicentenary of Responsible Government Committee, an initiative of the New South Wales Government Premier’s Department. The update of the Exhibition after the 2007 state election was funded by the New South Wales Office for Women.
Representative Women: Victorian Women Parliamentarians Since 1923
Representative Women: Victorian Women Parliamentarians since 1923 is an online exhibition which celebrates Victorian women who were elected to both the Federal and State Parliaments. White women in Victoria gained the right to vote and stand for Federal Parliament in 1902 but had to wait until 1908 before they could vote in Victorian State elections and until 1923 before they were eligible to stand for the Victorian Parliament. While late compared with women in other states, this was still relatively early compared with women in countries such as the United Kingdom and France. This exhibition highlights the fact that women members of Parliament were still few in number until the 1980s, but have made steady progress until in 2008 they comprise approximately a quarter to one third of the state and federal legislatures.
This exhibition has been created to honour Professor Patricia Grimshaw on her retirement from the History Department at the University of Melbourne in April 2006. As a member of the Board of the National Foundation for Australian Women, she has been an energetic supporter of the Australian Women’s Archives Project.
She’s Game: Women making Australian sporting history
She’s Game: Women making Australian sporting history is a virtual exhibition that highlights the achievements of Australian women who have contributed to Australian sporting life and culture. Athletes, coaches, administrators, journalists and volunteers are recognised for the important roles they have played in Australian sporting history.
Being Seen And Heard: Migrant Women Organising In Australia, A Documentary History(2006 – )
Being Seen and Heard: Migrant Women Organising in Australia, a documentary history’ in an on-line exhibition that aims to make accessible to a broad audience, information about the records of Australian women of culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds that are held in Australian repositories and private hands. Funding to support the research that produced the exhibition was provided by the National Archives of Australia, through the Ian Maclean Award
Women in Australia’s Working History(2002 – )
In July 2002, the Australian Workers Heritage Centre celebrated the opening of Stage One of its national $8 million project, Women in Australia’s Working History. The first stage is an exhibition, A Lot On Her Hands, featuring the working experiences of a diverse range of Australian women.
Forgotten Immigrants and Australians(1988 – )
The Forgotten Immigrants and Australians exhibition, held in the Old Parliament House, Adelaide in October 1988, showcased photographic images of immigrants from the late 1940’s. Dzidra Knoch’s, a woman of Latvian heritage, felt that it was important at this time to document the lives of immigrants who arrived in Australia directly after the end of the war. ‘My reason,’ she wrote, ‘was that Australians are paying more attention to present day immigrants and appear to have forgotten the first non English speaking migrants who arrived in the late 1940s’.
Knochs’ challenge was collating the material as at that time in Australia, immigrant workers had little time or resources to record their lives. Knochs consequently sourced what she believed to be essential information from the era, in order to provide a record to second and third generation immigrant families and other Australians. The final selection of 236 photographs depicted immigrants and Australians and their way of life in the late 1940’s.
Australian In My Difference: Women and Migration in Australia Since 1945
Australian in My Difference is an online exhibition that celebrates Australian women by focusing on the ways that women from diverse cultures, particularly, but not exclusively, those who came in the latter part of the twentieth century, have contributed to Australian society through their roles in the home, family, community leadership and public life. It not only aims to highlight the achievements of some remarkable women, but to add to the growing scholarly and public discussion about migration as a ‘gendered process’; one that is now undergone by more women than men, not only in Australia, but on a global scale.
The project is a joint initiative of the Australian Women’s Archives Project, the Department of Immigration, Multicultural and Indigenous Affairs and the University of Melbourne.
National Pioneer Women’s Hall of Fame(1994 – )
Museum, Research Centre
In February 1993 a public meeting was called in Alice Springs to gauge the extent of community interest in establishing a project that commemorated the lives of the ‘pioneer’ women of Australia. There proved to be immense interest and a committee was formed to determine how best this aim could be achieved, and how funds might be raised in order to do so. Mrs Molly Clark, of Old Andado Station in Central Australia, contributed much of the early organisational drive as well as an important geographic focus for fundraising efforts. One of the key aims of the organising committee was to raise money to create a purpose-built museum, including an art gallery and research area in Alice Springs. ‘Molly’s Bash’, the main annual fundraising event, has been held on Mrs Clark’s property every year since the project was launched in 1993.
The purpose built centre has not been constructed yet, but the museum and hall of fame have managed to establish a presence in temporary physical quarters and in cyberspace. In March 1994 the Northern Territory government, on behalf of the organisation, leased the Old Courthouse, a 1928 heritage-listed former government building located in Alice Springs’ CBD. Furthermore, the organising committee have successfully applied for funding to establish important on-line exhibitions. ‘Women at the Heart’, ‘First in their Field’ and ‘Women’s Work’ are pioneering efforts in themselves, demonstrating the power of the World Wide Web as it connects the stories of women in remote locations to the international community.
Although the concept was originally promoted as one that would, importantly, preserve and protect the stories of local women, the project quickly became national in scope. As the mission statement suggests, it isn’t only rural and regional women who belong in the centre.
‘The National Pioneer Women’s Hall of Fame is dedicated to preserving the place of women in history and their special contribution to Australia’s heritage.’
First Ladies: Finding Women in Public Record Office Victoria
First Ladies: Finding Women in Public Record Office Victoria is an online guide to archival resources relating to women held at Public Record Office Victoria. Designed to assist researchers interested in women’s history and gender studies by suggesting strategies for ‘finding women in PROV’, First Ladies also provides information about other important resources relating to women in Victoria’s history. By linking these strategies to published material, and the Australian Women’s Archives Project’s online register, First Ladies provides a central access point that links together historical detail, archival resources, published resources and current information about women in Victoria.
Faith, Hope, Charity – Australian Women and Imperial Honours: 1901-1989
Faith, Hope, Charity is an online exhibition listing over 4000 women recipients of Imperial Honours in Australia during the twentieth century, recognising their significant contributions and achievements. Biographical entries on a selection of women have been prepared in the Australian Women’s Archives Project register, containing links to further bibliographical and archival resources.
Where are the Women in Australian Science?
Where are the Women in Australian Science? is an online exhibition that highlights the women recognised in Bright Sparcs and provides access to them as a select subset. The exhibition was an end product of a project funded by the Commonwealth Office for the Status of Women through the National Foundation for Australian Women in 2002-2003, in partnership with the Australian Science and Technology Heritage Centre (Austehc).
Women have always played a significant role in the history of Australian science, technology and medicine but this tends to be forgotten. Women seem to disappear from the historical record. A primary goal of this project was to double the number of women in Bright Sparcs.
Women are 51% of the nation’s population. Using their talents to the full at all levels of scientific and technological education, training and employment is an economic necessity, and an investment in Australia’s future national development. The [Women in Science , Engineering and Technology] Advisory Group believes that continued under-representation and under-participation of women in SET [Science, Education and Technology]-based education, training and employment is not only a cause for social concern on equity grounds, it is also likely to inhibit Australia’s capacity to develop internationally competitive research and industries. There needs to be greater recognition of the value of different perspectives, priorities and operating styles that women can bring to SET.
Discussion paper from the Commonwealth Office of the Chief Scientist, ‘Women in Science, Engineering and Technology’, prepared by the Women in Science, Engineering and Technology Advisory Group, 1995.
Australian Women in War
Australian Women in War is an online exhibition listing Australian women, and women’s organisations, who offered their assistance in the Boer War, World Wars and subsequent conflicts. It provides links to biographical, bibliographical and archival information relating to a small selection of these individuals and organisations in the Australian Women’s Archives Project register. The project was a joint initiative of the New South Wales Local Committee of the Australian Women’s Archives Project (AWAP) and the Australian Government Department of Veterans’ Affairs.
From the information obtained the following conclusions were drawn: All associations, whether military or civilian, were proud of their volunteer status; ex-members made few distinctions between their service and association, in actual fact they were seen as one; some of the significant people suggested for biographies served in more than one conflict.
Women in the making of Canberra
Women in the making of Canberra is an online exhibition based on an exhibition of the same name commissioned by the ACT Women’s Consultative Council in 2001. The exhibition celebrates the significant contributions that women have made to the development of Canberra, with links to biographical, bibliographical and archival information about women, organisations and places listed in the Australian Women’s Archives Project register.