The last Women’s History Month?

Ideas for renewing Women’s History Month Australia? Or for funding the website after 2014? Share them here – post on the blog star at top right!

Women’s History Month Finale: The Great Debate 2014
Held  in the Albert Hall, Canberra on 26 March on the proposition that ‘Australia doesn’t need Women’s History Month’ – collect your souvenir program  and watch the debate now on Canberra Live.

Angela Woollacott, Dawn Casey  & Marilyn Lake
Alix Biggs, Marnie Hughes-Warrington & Anne Summers

Daryl Karp, Tony Taylor & Kim Rubenstein at work

 Media Alert   Media Release

The Debate is now available on Canberra Live and YouTube.

Some background:

Initiated in 1999 with the first celebration in 2000, Women’s History Month Australia was celebrated annually until 2014. Despite the launch of WHM 2002  at Parliament House in Canberra by Senators Margaret Reid and Amanda Vanstone and MHR Carmen Lawrence in 2002, WHM Australia was always a small and voluntary effort.

Compare for instance the one hundred YouTube videos celebrating WHM USA 2014, with WHM Australia’s single offering to mark the finale of 14 years!

The success of Women’s History Month in the USA, a national event since a 1987 resolution of Congress, and in Canada where it was proclaimed in 1992, originally inspired this initiative in Australia.

But here, the celebration of Women’s History Month remained a series of voluntary endeavours, in recent years encouraged and overseen by a small Canberra-based team.

The debate marked the end of Women’s History Month Australia, coordinated online since 2003, a grand finale in which prominent thinkers gathered in the national capital to debate why – or whether – Australia is different.

Check Canberra Live and YouTube

Women’s History Month 2013
The theme for Women’s History Month Australia 2013 was Finding Founding Mothers, identifying women involved in shaping Federation and the new nation of Australia from 1901.

This theme contributed to other commemorations in Australia this year, including Constitution Day on 9 July and the Centenary of the founding of Canberra, the national capital.

Finding Founding Mothers reviewed how we built on women’s achievements in the last hundred years – and of our progress towards our own legacy for the dawn of the 22nd Century. More ..

Visit the Finding Founding Mothers Gallery to share in the federation of ideas!

And check out our network for events and resources overseas, for instance in the USA where Womens’ History Month is a national observance.

The pioneering legacy of our grandmothers and great-grandmothers is revealed not only in our museums and history books, but also in the fierce determination and limitless potential of our daughters and granddaughters.  US President Barack Obama March 2012

Women’s History Month 2012
Browse the WHM 2012 Women with a Plan Gallery, the feature article about how these women architects, town planners and landscape architects contributed to Australian history, and download the Women with a Plan poster.

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Participation and moderation

The forum on the end – or future – of WHM Australia will be open for the rest of 2014.
All first comments will be moderated and spam and other irrelevant posts rejected.


5 thoughts on “The last Women’s History Month?

  1. I too have just come across this site.A pity you did not include my mother in Women with a Plan. She was a civil engineer and the first woman to hold a builder’s licence in Canberra – 1955. She continued building with her husband and then in her own business in Canberra and Sydney until 1966.

    • Hi Sue – please send a para or two and a photo, will be delighted to add to Women with a Plan feature. Would your mother have been the wife of builder Karl Schreiner?

      • Many thanks for the opportunity. Yes she was the wife of Karl. She helped him with his building business in Canberra and was a builder in her own right having gained a builders licence in 1955 in the ACT. She studied Civil Engineering at the University of Vienna but her graduation (weeks away and thus receiving her degree) was interrupted by the Nazis. She and Karl came to Australia in 1939 and they arrived in Canberra in 1945. They had 2 daughters. She managed running the home as well as working full time as a builder. She built a number of buildings in Canberra ( and later some in Sydney), including the first John Curtin School of Medical Research – a huge undertaking. There is a photo of her in the National Archives – Series accession number A1200/18, image number A1200 L40774. If you have difficulty accessing this please let me know. Happy to add more if you wish. Regards Sue Schreiner

        By the way – if you are doing something on women lawyers please let me know -that is where I fit in. s

  2. I have just found this site! Just found that somewhere someone’s interested in Women in History. There was no mention in the debate that History is ‘his story’ which says it all. Such a shame I missed it for all these years. Family history usually includes the women though not always. Is it not being funded or proclaimed? Why is it stopping. Best regards to those involved. Jeanette

    • Hi Jeanette – yes, no resources to continue at present but this website will stay online for the present and we’re happy to pass on to a new team.

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