MoAD celebrates women’s achievements in Women’s History Month
March is Women’s History Month and the museum is celebrating women’s achievements in a number of ways. In the past year the museum has acquired a number of fascinating and important items relating to British suffragettes, some of which have appeared in blog pages. A selection of these can currently be viewed in the From our Collection exhibition, part of the permanent gallery Designing Democracy. Taking pride of place is the colourful Pank-a-Squith board game, which is a visual journey charting British women’s fight to obtain the vote. Also notable is the hunger strike medal awarded to suffragette Charlotte Blacklock, who was sent to gaol and force-fed when she went on hunger strike in protest at her incarceration and to raise awareness of her cause. Australian women were active supporters of British women campaigning for the vote in the early 1900s, particularly because they had obtained the vote so much earlier.
Another major museum activity in the area of women’s achievements is our participation in the project Australian Women and Leadership in a Century of Australian Democracy. As part of this project the museum hosted a very successful two day conference on the topic in December 2011, with a keynote address by the Governor-General providing inspiration to all delegates.
One outcome of this project is steady growth in the museum’s collections of objects relating to Australian women’s leaders. A notable addition to the collection came from noted Australian feminist and author Dr Dale Spender, who generously donated from her personal collection framed posters that related to famous British suffrage marches and women’s suffrage in Queensland. The museum will continue its search for suitable objects relating to women leaders and welcomes offers of donations in this area.