100 years ago Victorian women won the right to vote. In celebration of the centenary, the State Government is inviting people to sign a replica of the original ‘monster’ petition presented to Parliament in September 1891.
During 2008, 170 calico banners displaying the Victorian Women Vote 1908-2008 logo are traveling to metropolitan, rural and regional areas in Victoria.
Victorians will be invited to sign these as a way of marking the Centenary.
Two banners will be on display and available to sign at the 130th Annual Horsham Show on September 30th and October 1st, 2008 at the Australian Labor Party stall.
Member for Western Victoria, Gayle Tierney said this is a great opportunity to be a part of such a wonderful recognition and encouraged all men and women to celebrate the 100th anniversary.
“It is very important to remind ourselves of the real struggle women and men went through to deliver genuine democracy 100 years ago,
“I would encourage all Horsham residents and surrounding areas to get involved in celebrating this important occasion and one way is to sign this petition,” Ms Tierney said.
The aim is to collect 30,000 signatures in acknowledgment of the achievement of the original ‘monster petition’.
These banners will be sewn together at the end of the year and displayed at the November Finale and Parliament House Open Day.
In 1891, Premier James Munro said he would introduce a bill for women’s suffrage if it were demonstrated that ordinary women wanted this right.
The Victorian Woman’s Christian Temperance Union and the Victorian Women’s Suffrage Society took up the challenge, joining forces to organise a petition.
Embarking on a door knocking campaign across Victoria, they collected almost 30,000 signatures in six weeks.
The Monster petition, so named for its great length, is about 260 metres long and 200mm wide and is made of paper pasted to cotton or linen fabric backing, rolled onto a cardboard spindle which rests on a stand. Several attendants were required to carry it into Parliament where it was tabled in September 1891.
For more information about Victorian Women Vote 1908 – 2008, log onto www.women.vic.gov.au/womenvote