Suffrage 125: The Great Miscalculation (or how South Australian women gained the right to stand for Parliament)

  Women’s suffrage was raised in seven separate (unsuccessful) Bills in the South Australian Parliament between 1886 and 1894. During this time, public meetings, lectures, letters to the press, deputations and petitions punctuated public life and slowly turned the tide of public and parliamentary opinion. A driving force behind the...

Guest post

On Collecting Camp

Some of my favourite objects are disobedient ones: objects linked to acts of defiance – past and present – or things that simply challenge one-dimensional interpretations. Among the Centre of Democracy objects is protest badge worn by members of the South Australian branch of CAMP (Campaign Against Moral Persecution). First...

Resisting the Triumph of Women’s Rights – Anti-Suffrage Anti-Utopias

Suffrage 125: Resisting The Triumph of Women’s Rights – Anti-Suffrage Anti-Utopias**   Utopian fiction of the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries became one literary space in which writers interested in social reform, including women’s suffrage and broader gender equality, found an outlet for imagining what a different world might look...

Guest post

Imagining utopia in Catherine Helen Spence’s ‘A Week in the Future’

In her introduction to the Griffith Review volume “State of Hope”, Julianne Schultz writes of South Australia as “born of reform”,[1] and with “hope in its DNA”.[2] While Schultz notes an equally prominent history of conservatism and complacency, her characterisation of South Australia as reformist is one that echoes with...

Suffrage 125: The Petition

What is a petition? In a democracy a petition is a call to action. Petitions and petitioning were core strategies for the women’s suffrage movement in South Australia. The South Australian Parliament explains that “Petitioning Parliament is a long established fundamental right of all citizens. It allows any individual or...

Suffrage 125: No voice in parliament

Imagine campaigning for legislative change without a representative voice in parliament. Can you grasp the challenges? During the campaign for women’s suffrage in South Australia women had no voice in parliament. The political rights afforded to men, and not to women, were what the Women’s Suffrage League and others were...

Suffrage 125: The First Executive

Last month we learned about the formation and role of the Women’s Suffrage League, but who were the key players? This month we explore the lives of a few key individuals from the Women’s Suffrage League, specifically those who were part of the first executive committee – that is the...

Suffrage 125: Women’s Suffrage League

When resistance occurs citizens in a democracy organise to effect change. When Dr Edward Stirling  advocated the extension of the franchise to women, the House of Assembly passed his motion affirming the desirability of recognising women’s political rights; but when the Bill was introduced to give effect to the motion,...