Office for the Public Sector

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Proudly celebrating 125 years of women’s suffrage in South Australia

This year we commemorate 125 years of a landmark victory that changed the course of women’s rights.

The Adult Suffrage Bill, passed on 18 December 1894, awarded South Australian women the right to vote in general elections and to stand for parliament for the first time ever in Australia. This Bill was realised at the South Australian state election on 25 April 1895.

This was a huge step towards gender equality and positive change for women in South Australia, and is something we should all be proud of.

This year’s theme their triumph, our motivation, underpins the extraordinary efforts of the suffragists in the late 19th and early 20th century and how this drives our continued efforts in working towards gender equality.

Key suffragists from this time include Mary Lee and Catherine Helen Spence, as well as Elizabeth Webb Nicholls (President of the WCTU twice during the period 1889-1904 and credited with having gained 8,268 of the 11,600 signatures for the largest petition to the SA Parliament).

These women were trailblazers for other South Australian women who were destined to become high profile public servants for generations to come.

When we reflect upon our history and both the imperative and impact of women being able to vote and be heard, we need to acknowledge the injustice, pain and suffering felt by Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander women in the past and still today.

This year’s 125 support graphic was designed by Jayne Arnott, a musician and graphic designer living in Adelaide, South Australia. The interlocking numbers represent generations of women working together and lifting each other up to achieve change in the past, present and future.

For more information on the 125th anniversary of women’s suffrage in South Australia, please email the Office for Women or follow them on social media at:
Facebook/sawomen and Twitter@WIS_Adelaide

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