Rhonda Parker

Rhonda Parker


    Memorial to contribution of women to Bunbury region dedicated

    6/10/1999 11:13 AM

      The Minister for Women’s Interests, Rhonda Parker, today dedicated a lasting memorial to the contribution of women to the Bunbury region.

      The memorial, which was funded by a $3,500 State Government Centenary of Women’s Suffrage grant, features footpath plaques of 12 women who made a contribution to the region.

      “The plaques, which are located at 12 points around the Bunbury central business district, state the name, date of birth and occupation of each of the women,” Mrs Parker said.

      “One of the women, Mrs Greta Castieau, celebrated her 100th birthday earlier this month.

      “The women featured on these plaques in many cases led the way in opening up many fields to women.

      “They undertook work in areas such as local government, education, the church, the arts, community service, real estate and nutrition.

      “Their success, achieved against the prejudice of the times, helped create the conditions enjoyed by the women of today where they have access to higher education, can enter any profession and represent their constituents as members of Federal, State and local government.”

      The women featured on the plaques are:
      • Miss Edith Steere, who in partnership established the Steere and Clarke Estate Agency in 1917;
      • Mrs Francis Craig, a foundation member of the Country Women’s Association’s Bunbury branch and represented the organisation at national and international level;
      • Mrs Caroline Mitchell, a highly respected nutritionist, a passionate teetotaller and President of the Bunbury Temperance League. Her eldest son became Sir James Mitchell;
      • Mrs Olga Martin, widowed five weeks before the birth of her second son. Mrs Martin struggled to raise her family before taking up fundraising for the Silver Chain when she retired at 60;
      • Mrs Mollie Clifton, an active member of many organisations in Bunbury and Brunswick, particularly in the areas of music and theatre. Mrs Clifton received an Order of Australia for her work in the community;
      • Mrs Gladys Steer, a member of many community groups, was particularly interested in the Repertory Club and the Mission to Seamen;
      • Mrs Greta Castieau, a foundation member and first secretary and newsletter writer for the Bunbury Art Society. Mrs Castieau was a painter and taught art to many local people;
      • Mrs Marian Hudson, first female Bunbury Town Councillor from 1948-52;
      • Miss Chrystabel Stephens, first headmistress at the then newly built Bunbury Highschool in 1923. Miss Stephens had marched in suffragette parades in native England;
      • Mrs Olga Hotchin, first female Justice of the Peace in the South-West and first President of the Pensioner’s League;
      • Mother Mary Angela Costello, entered the Sisters of Mercy in Subiaco after teaching in the Bunbury region where she eventually ended up as the first Mother superior in 1897; and -
      • Miss Eliza Cons, a member of the Church of England and Women’s Christian Temperance Union, she built a facility for sailors visiting Bunbury.

      “The completion of these historical plaques encompasses all aspects of the suffrage celebration by informing us about women’s history and inspiring others for generations to come,” Mrs Parker said.

      Media contact: Owen Cole 9481 7810