The City of Adelaide is celebrating the 125th anniversary of women’s suffrage in South Australia with the launch of the Suffrage 125 City of Adelaide Honour Roll to recognise the city’s female leaders and trailblazers.
The honour roll showcases some of Adelaide’s founding females, pioneers and cultural icons, council members and City of Adelaide employees. It recognises women in our community who have achieved significant firsts, delivered extraordinary outcomes, and who have helped shape our city.
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 a major step towards gender equality and positive change for women in South Australia.
The Lord Mayor of Adelaide Sandy Verschoor said that the honour roll acknowledges the determination of the suffragists and the continued drive to work toward gender equality.
“The 125th anniversary of female suffrage gives us an opportunity to remember the extraordinary suffragists who fought a long campaign for legislation that enabled women in South Australia – for the first time anywhere in Australia – to vote in elections and to stand for parliament,” said the Lord Mayor.
“In recognition of South Australia’s leadership when it comes to gender equality, the City of Adelaide is honouring those women who have contributed to the history of our city and those who continue to challenge stereotypes and put themselves forward to follow their passion and fight for what they believe is important.”
“The Suffrage 125 City of Adelaide Honour Roll goes right back to Queen Adelaide, recognising our founding females, social and workplace reformers, past lord mayors, past and present councillors, Kaurna women, sports women, campaigners, and cultural icons.
“We have such a wealth of talented and inspirational women in this city and the honour roll will continue to grow and evolve as more women make their mark on the city.”
At an anniversary lunch to be held at Adelaide Town Hall today, the Lord Mayor will chair a panel discussion with contemporary pioneers who are leading the way in their chosen field.
Kari Allen from Sparkke, Astrid Eerens from West End Brewery, Adrienne Clarke from the MFS and media personality Amanda Blair will reflect on what has changed for women who are challenging expectations – and what hasn’t.
Sandy Verschoor is only the third female Lord Mayor in the council’s 178-year history and the first in almost twenty years. The Lord Mayor has held many and varied roles across the arts, business and local government, including as a general manager at the City of Adelaide.
Local government in South Australia is continuing this leadership with a record 454 women nominating for the most recent elections, and 22 women elected as mayors across the state.
In 2015, when Sandy Verschoor was sworn in as a City of Adelaide councillor, for the first time in history, the Council Chamber comprised an equal balance of male and female members. The City of Adelaide also pays tribute to the women’s suffrage movement with the Suffrage 125 display in the Southern Gallery of the Town Hall. Suffrage 125 celebrates pioneering South Australian women who have led progressive social reform in the state.
To see the full Suffrage 125 City of Adelaide Honour Roll, go to cityofadelaide.com.au/suffrage/