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Martiniello, Jenni Kemarre OAM
(1949 – )

Advocate, Artist, Educator, Writer

Jenni Kemarre Martiniello OAM is an award-winning glass artist, poet, writer and photographer of Arrente, Chinese and Anglo-Celtic descent. Acclaimed for her glass works, she has been actively involved in professional and community education in Canberra throughout her career. Jenni founded the ACT Indigenous Writers Group in 1999. With fellow artist Lyndy Delian, she was instrumental in the foundation of the Indigenous Textile and Glass Artists (ITAG) group. Her advocacy for Indigenous artists, and her role in connecting them with other art organisations was pivotal in helping mitigate barriers due to discrimination against Indigenous Australians. Her leadership and advocacy continued through Kemarre Arts, a social enterprise she founded in 2006. It was the Australian Capital Territory’s first independent Aboriginal-run social enterprise and provided support to fellow Indigenous artists, offering writing and professional development. Through her internationally recognised art practice, creative writing and teaching, Jenni has a been a powerful cultural ambassador, educator, and activist. She was awarded the Medal of the Order of Australia (OAM) for services to the creative and visual arts in 2022.

Jenni Kemarre Martiniello was inscribed on the ACT Women’s Honour Roll in 2010.

Archer, Robyn
(1948 – )

Advocate, Artistic director, Director, Singer, Writer

Robyn Archer has established an international reputation as a cabaret artist and as an artistic director. She became the first woman to head a major Australian Arts festival when she was appointed Artistic Director of the Adelaide Festival in 1998 and 2000. On 12 June 2000 she became an Officer of the Order of Australia ‘ for service to the development of cultural life within Australia and its resultant international recognition, through her contribution as an artistic director, performer and writer.’
She is currently the Creative Director of the Centenary of Canberra celebrations, which begin in March 2013.

Matters, Muriel Lilah
(1877 – 1969)

Actor, Educator, Journalist, Lecturer, Suffragist

Muriel Matters was an Australian born suffragist who is most well-known for her work on behalf of the Women’s Freedom League (WFL) in the United Kingdom.

Holt, Lillian Rose
(1945 – 2020)


Lillian Holt was a member of the first generation of Aboriginal high school and university graduates and had an impressive track record of full time work, study and concomitant achievements. She traversed new terrain in order that younger ones might follow.

Lillian worked or studied full time since the age of 17. She worked as an educator in Aboriginal affairs and education “25 hours a day, eight days a week”! She was appointed as a University of Melbourne Fellow in 2003 -2005, prior to that she was Director of the Centre for Indigenous Education, University of Melbourne.

Lillian Holt passed away on her birthday in February 2020, at the age of 75.

Stralia, Elsa
(1881 – 1945)


Elsa was a famous soprano and was well-known in Australia, Europe and America. She gave herself the professional name Elsa Stralia in honour of her country of birth, Australia.

Rosman, Alice Trevenen
(1882 – 1961)

Editor, Journalist, Novelist, Writer

Alice Rosman was an editor, journalist, novelist and writer. She is best known for her work as a novelist, under the pseudonym Alice Grant Rosman. She achieved success particularly in the United States of America and Canada during the 1920s and 1930s, where she was a best-seller for four consecutive years.

Quirk, Margaret Mary
(1957 – )


Margaret Quirk was elected to the Thirty-Sixth Parliament of Western Australia as the Australian Labor Party member for Girrawheen on 10 February 2001 in succession to Edward Joseph Cunningham (retired). She was re-elected in 2005 and 2008. She has been Shadow Minister for Police; Emergency Services; Road Safety from 26 September 2008.

Hodson-Thomas, Katina
(1957 – )


Katie Hodson-Thomas was elected to the 35th Parliament of Western Australia as the Liberal Party member for the new Legislative Assembly seat of Carine. She was re-elected in 2001, 2005, but did not contest the general election of 6 September 2008.

Women Against Nuclear Energy (WANE)
(1980 – )

Anti-nuclear group, Feminist organisation, Peace organisation

Women Against Nuclear Energy (WANE) was formed as a result of a growing feminist concern about, and a desire for action on, uranium and nuclear power issues. WANE’s objectives included educating and activating women as citizens rather than as mothers and carers. The exclusion of males was felt to better enable this, providing women with an environment free from the constraints of sexism that were felt to be inherent in the hierarchical structure of other anti-nuclear groups.

WANE aimed to work with women’s groups in unions against uranium. The group also supported investigation into finding alternative energy sources. WANE believed the implications of a solar future were inherent in feminist theory (for example, people before profits). WANE maintained strong links to Campaign Against Nuclear Energy (CANE) and helped organise Women’s Action for Nuclear Disarmament (WAND).

Ambrose, Ethel Murray
(1874 – 1934)


Trained in Adelaide, Dr Ethel Ambrose applied to the Poona and Indian Village Mission established by Tasmanian evangelist Charles Reeve. Ambrose worked at the mission hospital in Nasrapur from 1905, moving to Pandharpur in 1909 where she led fundraising efforts for a hospital. By the time of her death in 1934, the mission’s medical program had reached over 300 Indian villages.

Women’s Theatre Group
(1975 – 1989)

Theatre performance

The Women’s Theatre Group was active in Adelaide from 1975 to 1989. The group wrote, produced, directed, scored, performed and built the stage for their productions. They performed cabaret and theatrical works. All-women productions were a first in Adelaide. The women worked through a collective. They won the Adelaide Festival Centre best production award for ‘Redheads Revenge’ in 1978.

Other productions included ‘Christobel in Paris’ 1975, ‘Caroline Chisel Show’ 1976, International Women’s Day Concert and ‘Chores 1’ in 1977, ‘Chores 2’ and ‘I want I want’ 1979, ‘Out of the Frying Pan’ 1980,’ Onward to Glory’ 1982, ‘Margin to Mainstream’ and ‘Women and Work Women and Paid Work’ 1984, ‘Sybils Xmas Concert ‘1985, and 1989 ‘Is this Seat Taken?’, this last show explored relationships between Indigenous and non-Indigenous women. The group included the Women in Education Theatre Group and the Feminist Theatre Group.

Adelaide Women’s Liberation Movement Archive
(1984 – 2009)

Historical collection, Research

The Adelaide Women’s Liberation Movement Archive was established in 1984 by a concerned group of women who wanted to preserve the history of what was called the second wave of feminism. With the aid of the Community Employment Program and the feminist community, memorabilia was collected along with the papers of a variety of groups and individuals. The material was collected from late 1969 through to 2008.

Adelaide Women’s Liberation Movement
(1969 – 1989)

Feminist organisation, Social action organisation

The Adelaide Women’s Liberation Movement began at the University of Adelaide in 1968, inspired by the women who were active in Young Labor, and the anti-Vietnam war campaign. These women questioned their role in these organisations and vented their frustration about these male dominated groups.

Anna Yeatman, Anne Summers and Julie Ellis are credited with starting the feminist newsletters Sisterhood and Body Political. By late 1969 they produced Liberation, the Adelaide Women’s Liberation Newsletter which replaced Sisterhood.

Their first protest was against the Miss Fresher competition, which brought media focus to the expression of their feminist ideals for women’s liberation. Public meetings where called and the broader community involvement brought about the establishment of the Women’s Liberation Movement housed at Bloor House situated in Bloor Court off Currie Street, in Adelaide. They provided an environment where ideas for supporting women’s rights were fostered.

The Group wrote a Women’s manifesto which was published in Liberation newsletter in June 1971. The Adelaide Women’s Liberation Group took part in the first Women’s Liberation Conference in Melbourne in 1970.

The Women’s Liberation Movement in Adelaide was the catalyst for the establishment of the Women’s Health Centre at Hindmarsh, The Rape Crisis Centre, Women’s Studies Resource Centre, Abortion Action Campaign, St Peters Women’s Community Centre, Women’s Health Centres at Christies Beach and Elizabeth. They lobbied for Women’s Studies to be part of tertiary education, women’s representation in parliament, a Working Women’s Centre to protect women’s working rights, the Women’s Peace Movement. Bloor House provided a space for women to express their personal political ideas and to get feedback and support. The Women’s Liberation Movement moved from Bloor House to Eden St in Adelaide and then to Mary St, Hindmarsh were it was closed in 1989.

Frazer, Connie
(1925 – 2002)

Feminist, Poet, Revolutionist, Writer

Connie was born in Coventry, England in 1925 to a working class family. She migrated to Whyalla, South Australia with her husband, Bill and their son.

Connie became active in the Anti-War Movement during the Vietnam War, when her son was a teenager, a newspaper announcement regarding conscription being the trigger.

This involvement lead to her joining the Women’s Liberation Movement, where she was part of the core group that established the Women’s Liberation Centre at Bloor Court, Adelaide and a counselling service as part of the centre. She also helped set up the first Women’s Shelter in Adelaide and the Christies Beach Shelter, in suburban Adelaide.

Connie was a member of the Tuesday Afternoon Group, a group of older women interested in women’s issues. She was a poet and writer with the Adelaide based, Friendly Street Poets from its inception and has been published in many of the Friendly Street Poet anthologies, as well as in journals, magazines, and newspapers. She also published two collections with Friendly Street Poets, Other Ways of Looking c1988) and Earthdweller. Ugly as a Boxer’s Glove was also published about Connie’s life, as a text spoken by Connie and edited by Marg McHugh.

Moon, Silver
(1952 – )

Audio Engineer, Composer, Environmentalist, Feminist, Lecturer, Musician, Political activist, Public servant

Silver Moon has been a political activist since 1968, and was active during the Anti Viet man War Moratoriums and anti apartheid demonstrations in the 1970s. She became active in the women’s movement while still at high school. She has spent her life as a peace and environmental activist and as an anarchist-feminist activist.

Women’s Environmental Action Group
(1988 – 1991)

Social action organisation

In 1988 a small group of Adelaide women formed the Women’s Environmental Action Group, to educate people on environmental issues effecting their lives and how they could help change things

The Women’s Advisory Office
(1976 – )

Advisory body, Government department

The Office of the Women’s Adviser to the Premier was created in South Australia in 1976. The first Women’s Advisor was Deborah McCulloch. The Office had a broad ambit and was able to provide women’s services and to liaise with other government department on issues that affected women. The Office could comment upon ways to improve legislation and also undertake its own projects.

Women’s Information Centre Flinders University
(1979 – 1984)


The Women’s Information Centre at Flinders University in Adelaide, South Australia, was established to assist female students with their studies and to act as a free library. The Centre was the focus of a campaign to save Women’s Studies at Flinders University when it was proposed that the course be withdrawn. This campaign was international with support from other women’s studies courses and lecturers. The Centre’s Name was changed to the Southern Women’s Recourse Centre and they published a newsletter Connections.

Port Adelaide Girls Technical High School
(1925 – )

Educational institution

The Port Adelaide Girls Technical High School was established from the Port Adelaide Primary School and the Central School for Girls in 1940. In 1962 the school was moved to the a new building opened by Lady Bastyan, the wife of the governor.

Tuesday Afternoon Group of Women’s Liberation
(1972 – )

Political organisation, Social action organisation

The Tuesday afternoon group was formed in 1972 for older women interested in feminist issues. Over the years the group has included s Molly Brannigan, Eulalie Tapp, Alison Gent, Ruth Sullen, Constance Frazer and Barbara Polkinghorne. They were active in raising the issue of housing for older women. They also supported many women’s issues in third world countries fighting against social injustice. They have been active in the International Women’s Day Marches.

St Peters Women’s Community Centre
(1972 – )

Community organisation, Feminist organisation

St Peters Women’s Community Centre was established in 1977 and provides a meeting place for the women of the St Peters/Norwood area of Adelaide. The Centre offers childcare and courses for women including fitness self defence, crafts, yoga, maintenance. It also has a strong volunteer program offering women the opportunity to gain new skills before entering the work force.

Young Women’s Action Group
(1995 – )

Feminist organisation, Social action organisation

The Young Women’s Action Group was formed as a independent feminist group to support, encourage promote and take positive action on issues of concern surrounding young women in South Australia.

Adelaide Women’s Prison Support Group
(1996 – )

Social activist organisation

The Adelaide Women’s Prison Support Group was formed in 1996. A Meeting was called for 14 October 1996, initiated through the Adelaide Women’s Prison Project (AWPP).

Rape Crisis Centre
(1976 – )

Educator, Feminist support service, Social change

The Adelaide Rape Crisis Centre was formed as an outgrowth of the Hindmarsh Women’s Community Centre, a free medical service for women. It became obvious after a short time that a separate service was needed, given the number of women reporting past rapes and the lack of available services. The founders of the Rape Crisis Centre had three main purposes: 1) to support women after the rape, 2) to change attitudes to rape and 3) to teach self defence. They organised the first ‘Reclaim the Night March’ in Adelaide. The group made a submission to the Mitchell Report on Rape and Other Sexual Offences.

Ms Print
(1979 – 1983)


Ms Print was established to provide inexpensive quality women’s work, to print women’s artistic work and to run workshops for sharing experiences. It operated out of the Women’s Studies Resource Centre from 1979 to 1983.

(1980 – )

Radio broadcasting

5 MMM was a public radio broadcaster that presented a number of women’s programs, including; Women’s Weekly, and Sunday Monthly . The programs had female presenters at a time when commercial stations did not. The women produced, wrote, presented and were the audio engineers. A small collective organised the programs’ content, time lines and themes. The station became 3D radio in 1988.

Unemployed Women’s Union
(1980 – 1981)

Feminist organisation, Social action organisation

The Unemployed Women’s Union was a response to the economic downturn of 1980. The members wanted to debunk the myth of married women who were working as the cause of unemployment, to defend the right for all women to work, and to act as a support group for unemployed women. They picketed employers, published a newsletter, spoke at rallies, wrote letters to newspapers and politicians, and applied for jobs en masse.