A new documentary “Brazen Hussies“ is currently under production, recording the history of feminism in Australia, using archival footage, images, headlines and interviews showing that the personal really is political. Your stories from the 60’s/70’s can be shared at docs.google.com
“Lectures on the 2008 Centenary of the Vote for Victorian Women”. To celebrate this event, the Victorian Women’s Trust provided an excellent evening of lectures by three prominent historians, in 2008, on re-discovering political women’s history. Professor Patricia Grimshaw of Melbourne University about the first Women’s Suffrage Bill of 1889 which was called the “beginning of a major revolution in society” and finally resulted in the gaining of the vote for Victorian women in 1908, although women could vote in the Federal Parliament from 1902. Dr Jennifer Strauss, of Monash University, described the life of feminist author and poet, Mary Gilmore, who supported birth control and urged women to vote in her page in “The Worker” newspaper. Professor Marilyn Lake of La Trobe University described feminists as supporters of care and compassion.
“Making Women Count: A History of the Women’s Electoral Lobby in Australia” by long-time WEL member Marian Sawer, published by UNSW Press, Sydney 2008. This story explores the effect of WEL both on politics and on the lives of women who discovered the power of sisterhood. It is the first full-scale history of WEL and draws on archival, survey and media evidence. It challenges much social movement theory, showing women’s movement continuity over time. Marian Sawer is an Adjunct Professor in School of Social Sciences, ANU. Visit the WEL Australia website wel.org.au to order book.
“Getting Equal: The History of Australian Feminism“ by Marilyn Lake, Allen & Unwin, 1999. This book is the first full-length history of the women’s movements who fought for women’s political and economic rights, sexual rights and the right to control their bodies. Leading historian Marilyn Lake, Professor of History at La Trobe University, challenges common misconceptions and offers new insights into politics. It is her hope that a knowledge of the past will enable us to be more clear-sighted about what remains to be done.
“Challenging Women: Towards Equality in the Parliament of Victoria” by Dr Madeline Grey. In 1972 Women’s Electoral Lobby politicised a new generation of feminists. One of their aims was to increase the number of women in parliament and make a difference to the culture and practice of politics. Did this happen? For the first time, the history of getting women into the Parliament of Victoria and their experiences once there is explored. From the foundation of WEL to the launch of EMILY’s List, this book analyses historical sources, original interviews and primary material.
“The Host Behind: The Campaign for a Victorian Women’s Centre” by Barbara Cameron, 2005. In August 1986 a public meeting was held in Melbourne to protest the Government sale of a major hospital for women. This meeting resolved that the hospital must be retained and buildings preserved. Later a group of women staged sit-ins outside the hospital with petitions to stake their claim to the site. This is a 100-year journey to the establishment of Queen Victoria Women’s Centre.
“The Lost Mother” by Anne Summers, Melbourne University Press 2009. Anne’s mother posed for several portraits by famous Melbourne artist Constance Stokes as a child. These pictures went missing for many years and Anne Summers recounts her search for information and the second picture, with fascinating stories of the artists and collectors of early Melbourne.
“My Mother, My Writing and Me” by Iola Mathews, Michelle Anderson, Melbourne, 2009. A well-written book about the struggle to write in a quiet place without distractions of family activities.