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The Clare Burton Memorial Lectures


The Clare Burton Memorial Lectures are an annual event and honour the significant contribution made by the late Clare Burton, who died in 1998, to gender equity and organisational change in higher education and other areas. Since 1999 the Australian Technology Network of Universities have combined with the Equal opportunity for Women in the Workplace Agency and with state women’s advisers to host the lectures in each capital city.

Kibble Awards for Women Writers


The Kibble Awards for Women Writers were established by Nita May Dobbie in memory of her aunt Nita Bernice Kibble. They recognise female writers who have published fiction or nonfiction classified as ‘life writing’.

There are two Kibble awards; the major Kibble Award, worth $20,000 and the Dobbie encouragement award, valued at $2500.

In 2008 Adelaide-based Carol Lefevre, who left school at 16 to sing in a rock band, won the Kibble Award for her first novel, Nights in the Asylum. Karen Foxlee, a nurse-turned-author from Gympie in Queensland, snared the Dobbie encouragement award for her debut work, The Anatomy of Wings.

Nita May Dobbie Literary Award
(1992 – )


This award was established in 1992 in memory of Nita May Dobbie, a librarian and research officer.

National Women’s Conference
(1990 – )


The first National Women’s Conference was held in Canberra in 1990. It was organised by Marie Coleman and other members of the National Foundation for Australian Women.

International Women’s Day
(1928 – )


March 8 is International Women’s Day (IWD), celebrated throughout the world. Australian governments first officially recognised the day in March 1974, when Prime Minister Gough Whitlam announced Australia’s participation in the United Nations’ International Women’s Year for 1975. Since then International Women’s Day has become a regular event in every State and Territory, with a program stretching over the full week.

The first IWD was held on 19 March 1911 in Germany, Austria, Denmark and other European countries. The date was reputedly chosen by German women because, on the same date in 1848, the King of Prussia had promised votes for women among other reforms. The promise was made in the face of an armed uprising, and remained unfulfilled (see

The first unofficial IWD in Australia took place in the Domain in Sydney on March 25 1928, organised by the Militant Women’s Movement and calling for equal pay for equal work; an 8 hour day for shop girls; no piece work; the basic wage for the unemployed and annual holidays on full pay.

Another rally took place in 1929 in Sydney and Brisbane. The late Edna Ryan – feminist and unionist – took part, and during the Whitlam years she successfully campaigned on equal pay before the Industrial Relations Commission. The movement spread, especially among trade union women.

(entry researched and written by Marie Coleman)