History Makers: Women of Australia

We were the second country in the world where women got the vote. In 2010 we had a female Governor General, Prime Minister, Governor, Premier, and Mayor. Women, from the time Australian history has been written, have created, led, invented, achieved, nurtured, and won, and their stories are fascinating. History, generally, can default to telling the stories of the rich, white men at the top, but they are not the only people who have built and participated. Meet some strong Australians who have contributed to making us the people we are today.

This class will be delivered online via the online platform Zoom. Enrolling students need to ensure they have an email, a reliable internet connection, microphone/speakers and access to a tablet, smartphone or computer.


  • First Fleet, Aboriginal contact
  • Ladies, women, and concubines: sex and marriage
  • Servants and served: work and motherhood
  • Town and country: location
  • Cycle of life: Age
  • No idle hands: recreation
  • Victorian home angel
  • Education: home, school, and university, Careers and work
  • Married Women’s Property Act
  • To Federation: suffrage
  • WW1: volunteers for king and country
  • Between the wars: bread and dripping
  • WW2: frontline and homefront
  • Extending the menu: post war migration
  • Whitlam’s women’s work
  • Threats to body, spirit, and purse
  • First female PM


By the end of this talk students should be able to:

  1. Describe conditions of life and work for women over time.
  2. Describe some successful strategies women have used to achieve greater equity.
  3. Outline the timeline of achievement in gender equity.
  4. Describe the lives and achievements of some significant Australian women.
  5. Evaluate the contributions individual women made to benefit the broader community.
  6. Assess the value of Australian women’s contributions to changes in the world.
  7. Value the contributions Australian women have made to families, communities, Australia, and the world.
  8. Be inspired to discover more about individual women.
  9. Enjoy the drama of the historical changes.

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