Rhonda Parker

Rhonda Parker


    Pioneer Women's Memorial in King's Park to mark the Centenary of Women's Suffrage

    21/11/1999 10:30 AM

      A permanent memorial to the women of Western Australia receiving the vote 100 years ago has been opened by Women’s Interests Minister Rhonda Parker today in an area of Kings Park of special significance to women.

      In a Centenary of Women’s Suffrage project, a suffrage precinct below the Pioneer Women’s Memorial has been redeveloped with major landscaping, a large pavilion, a book leaf telling of women’s fight for the vote and soon to installed plaques acknowledging the role of women’s organisations.

      The project is part of a one million-dollar redevelopment of the area extending up to the Pioneer Women’s Memorial which will be completed over the next couple of months.

      “By creating a beautiful area that is conducive to family activities in one of Western Australia’s most visited areas, this refurbishment will be a living memorial to the contribution of women to the State.

      “The site has been transformed to resemble the Darling Scarp landscape and it’s planned to introduce indigenous flaura and fauna to the area including the barking gecko and the blue fairy wren.”

      The enhancement is a joint effort by the State Government’s Centenary of Women’s Suffrage Committee, the Friends of Kings Park and the Kings Park Board.

      It has been undertaken with a $500,000 grant from the Lotteries Commission, donations in kind from students from the West Coast College of TAFE, Central TAFE and other donors.

      “Western Australian women were among the first in the world to win the right to vote only following the women of New Zealand who received the right in 1893 and South Australia in 1894,” Mrs Parker said.

      “Like men, they wanted to influence the political, social and economic decisions that shaped their lives and the society in which they lived.

      “The gaining of the right to vote led to other achievements which have made such a difference to the lives of women and the broader community such as equal pay for equal work, equal rights to education, the right to enter all professions and to run for government at all levels.”

      The Minister also announced an extension of the Government’s Centenary of Women’s Suffrage grants program under which $100,000 a year was allocated over three years to 64 individuals and community organisations.

      “Following the extraordinary success of the small grants projects in raising community awareness of the contribution of women, the Government will make $100,000 a year available from now on for community projects that recognise the role of women in the State.

      “The grants program will be advertised later this month.

      “The projects undertaken so far, half of which have been in the country, have included the creation of public areas, oral and written histories, artworks, theatre productions, public forums and educational programs.”

      Mrs Parker said the continuation of the grants programs would be a perpetual memorial to suffrage and significant role women have played in the State’s development.

      Media contact: Owen Cole 9481 7810