My adjournment matter this evening is for the Minister for Women’s Affairs,
Maxine Morand. I request that she attend a particular conference in
south-western Victoria with me later this year.
By way of background, it is worth noting that on this day 100
years ago the Adult Suffrage Bill received royal assent, giving for the first
time non-indigenous women in Victoria the right to vote. Last year various
events celebrated this wonderful part of our history. Replica petitions were
signed across the state and then sewn together before being presented to the
Parliament in November 2008.
Yesterday and today the Minister for Women’s Affairs joined
with many young women from secondary schools across Victoria, including
representatives of Baimbridge College in Hamilton, who were at Parliament House
yesterday, and past and present politicians — the League of Women Voters
were also here — to celebrate the centenary of this historic milestone. Women
in western Victoria played a major role in the campaign for achieving the vote.
I also read with interest an article in today’s Warrnambool
Standard by Peter Collins, who paid tribute to Vida Goldstein and outlined her
connections with Portland and Warrnambool. Members in this house may remember
that an event was held in Portland late last year to honour the memory of Vida
Goldstein. It was truly an honour to unveil the commemorative seat in Portland’s
historic precinct. The seat was designed by local women artists and is a place
where young women can sit and reflect on Vida’s role and the endless
possibilities they now have to succeed as young women.
In keeping with all this activity we have undertaken in western
Victoria, I now ask the minister to attend the Empowerment through Protest
conference in Portland later this year, which will explain the suffragette
movement to secondary students in our region.