• Entry type: Exhibition
  • Entry ID: AWE1140

National Pioneer Women’s Hall of Fame

(1994 – )
  • Nationality Australian
  • Occupation 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.’

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