International Women’s Day: Member’s Statement

Ms ADDISON (Wendouree) (09:41): I am proud to be a member of the Andrews Labor government representing the electorate of Wendouree and its strong women, past and present.

Ballarat has a rich history of strong women, beginning with the Wathaurong women who have lived in the region for tens of thousands of years, caring for country. Their traditions, stories and culture live on with the current generations.

The women of the goldfields of the 1850s, some of the first European women to come to Ballarat, battled the harshest conditions, living in tents, raising their families and working on the diggings, and the women involved in the political struggle of the Eureka uprising and those who created the iconic Eureka flag fought against corruption and injustice.

During the war years the mothers, the sisters, the wives and the loved ones grieved the soldiers who were lost or changed forever in faraway conflicts. The Lucas girls made sure that these brave men were never forgotten, spearheading the construction of the Arch of Victory and the Avenue of Honour.

Jessie Scott, who was elected mayor of Ballarat in 1976, was the first woman to hold the role after 120 years of male mayors.

There are the former members of this place who represented the electorate before me, Karen Overington and Sharon Knight, and Catherine King, who was our first woman to represent the federal seat of Ballarat and continues as the longest serving member in the history of the seat.

In Ballarat we have such a proud tradition of strong women who have shaped our communities. To the daughters of Wendouree: may you inherit their strength and the bravery of those who came before you. Together we will break the bias.

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