DVRCV Main Menu

You are here:

You are here

Celebrating Australia’s trailblazing women

Celebrating Australia’s trailblazing women

IWD 2017 banner

March 8 is International Women’s Day.

Although we like to think this is every day at DVRCV, on March 8 particularly we like to reflect on and celebrate the social, economic, cultural and political achievements of women. 

In homage to this year’s theme “Be Bold for Change”, and in celebration of this our 30th Anniversary Year, we wanted to highlight some of the trailblazing Australian women and key events that have shaped the history of our country.

1883 – Bella Guerin was the first woman to graduate from an Australian university

1890 – Constance Stone became the first registered female doctor in Australia

1894 – South Australia became the first state to accord women the right to vote

1897 – Catherine Spence was the first female political candidate

1912 – Sarah (Fanny) Durack became the first Australian women to win gold at the Olympic Games

1921 – Edith Cowan was the first woman elected to an Australian parliament

1962 – All Aboriginal women were finally granted the right to vote

1966 – The ban on employment of married women in the Commonwealth Public Service was abolished

1969 - Zelda D’Aprano chained herself to the Commonwealth Building in Melbourne to protest unequal pay between men and women

1972 – First rape crisis centre established; Federal Child Care Act established to provide federal funding for childcare; Women’s Electoral Lobby began

1974 – Australia’s first women’s refuge established; first women’s health centre opened

1979 – The Victorian Equal Opportunity Board grants Deborah Wardley the right to be employed as a pilot by Ansett

1984 – Federal Sex Discrimination Act passed

1986 - Janine Haines became the first female leader of a political party in the Federal Parliament

1987 – Domestic violence became a criminal offence in Victoria; Mary Gaudron appointed as first female High Court Judge

1990 – First female State Premiers, Carmen Lawrence and Joan Kirner

2000Equal Opportunity for Women in the Workplace Act introduced

2001 – Carol Martin became the first Aboriginal women elected to an Australian parliament

2010 – First female Prime Minister of Australia, Julia Gillard

2011 – The Australian Government released the first ever National Plan to Reduce Violence Against Women; Nicola Roxon is Australia’s first female Attorney-General

2015 – Rosie Batty named Australian of the Year

Looking back, it’s easy to see how far we’ve come (even though that progress was hard fought). Yet, there’s still more work to do to achieve political, economic and social equality and for women to live free from violence. Here at DVRCV, we won’t stop fighting for that.

Happy International Women’s Day to each and every woman who has boldly stood for change – at home, at work, on the streets and in our institutions. Collectively, we make a difference.

Source: The Australian Women’s Timeline