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Women asked to nominate Victoria’s five most critical issues

Women in Victoria today will be facilitated by Latrobe City Council as part of a State-wide process to commemorate women who shaped the nation

By Latrobe City Council - 15th February 2001 - Back to News

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A workshop to identify the major issues facing women in Victoria today will be facilitated by Latrobe City Council as part of a State-wide process to commemorate women who shaped the nation. The workshop will be held at 7pm on Thursday 1 March at Kernot Hall.

Councillor Lisa Proctor, Latrobe City’s chairperson of the Women Shaping the Nation event, explained that the issues identified as being the most relevant to Latrobe City women as a result of the workshop, would be forwarded with other issues from throughout Victoria to be collated centrally by a steering Committee.

“The five most prominent issues identified, will then form the basis of a petition which will be made available for signing at local community centres such as libraries, recreation centres, Maternal and Child Health Centres and Senior Citizen Centres throughout the State,” Cr Proctor said.

“The Women Shaping the Nation - 2001 Petition, is a Year of Federation event recognising and celebrating the critical role women played in establishing women’s suffrage for Victorians more than a hundred years ago, Cr Proctor added.

Latrobe CEO, Penny Holloway, said that in 1891, the Victorian Womens Suffrage Society and The Woman’s Christian Temperance Union had combined to collect a petition, after the Premier of Victoria had said that he would introduce a Bill for Women’s Suffrage if it were demonstrated that ordinary women wanted the vote.

“Within 6 weeks, 30,000 signatures were gathered from across Victoria. Throughout the Colony, women knocked on doors and wrote to the newspapers thus gaining support for the right for women to be able to vote,” Ms Holloway said.

“The petition was called the Monster Petition as it was the largest ever collected in Australia, and remains one of the largest. When it was presented to Parliament it needed several attendants to carry it in.

“The first signatory was the President of the Woman’s Christian Temperance Union, Mrs William McLean followed by Mrs James Munro, the wife of Premier of Victoria.

“However it was not until 1908, after 19 bills concerning the matter had been presented to Parliament, that Victorian women were at last able to vote in Victorian State elections,” Ms Holloway added.

Councillor Proctor said that at the 1 March meeting at Kernot Hall, Latrobe’s women would be asked to suggest issues that were important for the municipality.

“The meeting will then decide which of those are the most critical, and forward Latrobe’s key issues to the Victorian steering committee,” Cr Proctor said.

“I urge all women in Latrobe to participate in shaping the future of Victoria, just as the women of the 1890’s shaped the Victoria in which we live today,” Cr Proctor concluded.

The Monster Petition of 1891 is currently located in the Victorian Parliamentary Library, and is expected to be displayed to the public in May when the celebrations for the Centenary of Federation are at their peak.

Media Enquiries:

Cr. Tony Hanning, Mayor, Latrobe City tel. 0417 373 577

Cr. Brendan Jenkins, Deputy Mayor, Latrobe City tel. 0417 374 590

Ms. Penny Holloway, Chief Executive Officer, tel. 5173 1401 or 0417 557 103

Jeremy Bein, Public Relations and Communications Officer, tel. 5173 1468


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