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Enjoying a Day Off

Unbroken Spirit is a tribute to those women who have lived and worked in the mining city of Broken Hill, New South Wales. While their menfolk toiled underground to mine silver, lead and zinc, women in the semi-desert region of Broken Hill faced some of the toughest environmental conditions imaginable. Despite ferocious dust storms, mud rain, soaring temperatures and drought, they cooked, cleaned and provided for their families as well as establishing welfare organisations, schools, hospitals, small businesses, social clubs and theatre groups. During major industrial strikes, Broken Hill women offered crucial support by joining union picket lines and enduring many months of hardship, eking out meagre rations. Over a century later this kind of community spirit is alive and well in Broken Hill and women continue to play a vital role in local business, politics, education, health, welfare, art and culture.

This exhibition links to a database containing biographical notes on over sixty Broken Hill women – past and present – along with relevant publications and archival resources, and a rich collection of digital images from the Outback Archives.