Photo: Aunty Josie Agius
South Australia has a reputation for leadership in social reform. On 18 December 1894, South Australia became the second place in the world, after New Zealand, to legislate women’s right to vote, and the first place in the world to give women the right to stand for parliament. This incredible achievement was the result of a long campaign by dedicated suffragists and was a major step towards gender equality and positive change for women in South Australia.
To celebrate the 125th Anniversary of Women’s Suffrage in South Australia, the City of Adelaide is launching an Honour Roll to recognise women in our community who have achieved significant firsts, delivered extraordinary outcomes, and who have helped shape our city.
The Suffrage 125 City of Adelaide Honour Roll showcases some of Adelaide’s founding females, trailblazers and cultural icons, Council members and City of Adelaide employees.
The City of Adelaide also pays tribute to the Women’s Suffrage movement with a Suffrage 125 display in the Southern Gallery of the Adelaide Town Hall. Suffrage 125 celebrates pioneering South Australian women who have led progressive social reform in the state.
This display features photographs of Catherine Helen Spence (1825-1910), Mary Lee (1821-1909) and Dame Roma Mitchell AC, DBE, CVO, QC (1913-2000), paired with material about Muriel Matters (1877 – 1969) as well as original ballot boxes sourced from the City Archives. Discover more about these remarkable women by exploring our city and visiting the commemorative sculptures located in in Prince Henry Gardens, North Terrace (Mary Lee and Dame Roma Mitchell) and in Light Square/Wauwi (Catherine Helen Spence).
City of Adelaide would like to acknowledge the following organisations and resources for their support:
- City of Adelaide Archives
- Adelaidia, History Trust of South Australia
- Australian Dictionary of Biography, Australian National University
- State Library of South Australia