Rhonda Parker

Rhonda Parker


    Launch of pictorial history of women in Pilbara region.

    28/10/1999 2:27 PM

      A pictorial history of the woman of the Pilbara has been launched in Karratha today by Women’s Interests Minister Rhonda Parker.

      The project called 100 years of the Culture of Womanhood in the Pilbara consists of 100 photographs displayed on 10 mounted posters - one for each decade of the century - and has been done through a State Government Centenary of Women’s Suffrage grant.

      The grants help groups around the State commemorate 100 years of women having the right to vote in Western Australia.

      Mrs Parker said the project by the LINK Centre and the Local History Office in Karratha acknowledged the contribution of women to the Pilbara and the difficult conditions they put up with.

      “It recognises the unique conditions that women triumphed over - the isolation, loneliness, predominantly male culture and the harsh and unwelcoming environment,” the Minister said.

      “They overcame these difficulties to create a strong social fabric that continues to be the essence of the communities in this region.”

      Mrs Parker said the right to vote had been fundamental in advancing the status of women in the Pilbara and elsewhere.

      “It was the first step towards achieving equal pay for equal work, equal rights to education, representation across the range of occupations and professions and the right to represent their constituents as members of Federal and State Parliaments and on local government,” she said.

      “An indication of the changing role of women can be seen in the display.

      “Women came with the first European settlers to the region. Some were the wives and daughters of pastoralists or public servants, others followed to work in professions such as nursing, teaching, the public service and as small business proprietors, others as domestic staff.

      “Unfortunately, a lack of photographs of the largest group of women in the Pilbara, Aboriginal women, means their life has received only passing reference in the display.”

      The display will continue to be developed and the organisers hope it will encourage those who have photographs showing women in the Pilbara to lend them to the project through Llyrus Weightman on 9159 6853.

      Media contact: Owen Cole 9481 7810