The Trailblazers – Celebrating 100 Years of Women

The Trailblazers – Celebrating 100 Years of Women



Read Time

5 minutes

Change Champions

The Trailblazers sounds like a team of hot shots that do awesome things for the world. Much like The Avengers, Justice League, Teen Titans and Power Rangers. They are exactly that. The Trailblazers are extraordinary women that have helped shape the Australia we live in today. How you ask? By being they key women in the New South Wales Parliament.

Did you know, there were no women in parliament till 1925. Sounds crazy right?! It makes you think, how did women speak for themselves? Were their views and opinions considered important? Was there balance in the paradigms of parliament? Women have an amazing point of view and I personally, cannot imagine my world without the opinions of women. They have shaped who I am and what I believe in. They are the creators, the guardians, the councillors, the sculptors of dreams and leaders of our communities. Sigh. Time travel would be an amazing ability to possess right about now…

Moving onto the inspirational part of my week; learning about the amazing feats of the Women of the NSW Parliament over the last 100 years! This is a tribute to the pioneering women and a campaign that the House of Parliament is currently showcasing on their front doors on Sydney’s Macquarie Street. At night, the lighting makes the whole exhibit look absolutely awe-inspiring! If you don’t get the pleasure of witnessing it yourself, here’s a list of all the women showcased in the exhibit along with their contributions. Soak in the greatness…

XX 100 years of women in NSW parliamentArtboard 1
  • 1925-1927 – Millicent Preston Stanley x First woman elected to NSW Parliament.  I can’t even begin to imagine what that would’ve felt like as an individual, as just one person.
  • 1931-1932 – Catherine Green x One of the first two female Members of the Legislative Council.
  • 1931-1934 – Ellen Webster x One of the first two female Members of the Legislative Council.
  • 1939-1950 – Mary Quirk x Champion of the government’s role in supporting and caring for children. That title though!
  • 1944-1950 – Lilian Fowler x A formidable political and social force. A force, people!
  • 1952-1958 – Gertrude Melville x Staunch advocate for women’s rights.
  • 1958-1978 – Edna Roper x ‘I see no reason why women should continue to be second-class citizens’. You go, girl!
  • 1962-1976 – The Hon Eileen Furley OBE x An able and committed community leader.
  • 1973-1980 – Mary Meillon x Passionate advocate for issues affecting country New South Wales.
  • 1978-1986 – Rosemary Foot AO x Avid advocate for community health, visual arts and women’s issues. Visual arts, yusssss!
  • 1978-1999 – The Hon Virginia Chadwick AO x First female President of the Legislative Council.
  • 1981-1990 – The Hon Janice Crosio AM MBE x First female Minister in the NSW Parliament.
  • 1981-1998 – The Hon Elisabeth Kirkby OAM x First female leader of a state political party and passionate supporter of LGBTI right.
  • 1985-1996 – Wendy Machin x ‘Being a woman in some very blokey environments means you have to believe in yourself and be prepared to dive in the deep end.’
  • 1988-1995 – The Hon Anne Cohen x First Liberal woman to serve as a Minister in the Legislative Assembly.
  • 1988-2002 – The Hon Elaine Nile x Passionate campaigner on issues facing families and children.
  • 1991-2003 – Kerry Chikarovski x ‘I wanted to put issues affecting women and children at the top of the government’s agenda – it worked.’
  • 1998-2015 – The Hon Carmel Tebbutt x First female Deputy Premier of New South Wales.
  • 2003-2016 – The Hon Linda Burney MP x First Aboriginal woman to be elected to NSW Parliament.
  • 2003-2012 – Senator the Hon Kristina Keneally x First female Premier of New South Wales.
  • 2003-present – The Hon Shelley Hancock MP x First female Speaker of the Legislative Assembly.
  • 2003-present – The Hon Gladys Berojiklian MP x Premier and first female Treasurer of New South Wales.
  • 2007-2011 – Lynn Lovelock x First female Usher of the Black Rod and Clerk of the Legislative Council.
  • 2011-2016 – Ronda Miller x First female Clerk of the Legislative Assembly.
  • 2011-present – The Hon Gabrielle Upton MP x First female Attorney General of New South Wales.

That’s quite an impressive list of pioneers and women that have opened the doors for other women. Here’s the visual of the exhibit:

This exhibit has actually updated my perception of politics and the NSW Parliament House to be a positive and hopeful one. I have new found respect for our system and every person in it. Showcasing these women proudly in a very inspirational manner is a great example of Brand Positioning and Awareness. Just goes to show that no matter what, branding is a vital part of communication. All the emotions and thoughts that arise by seeing this exhibit instantly get connected with the NSW House of Parliament.

Walking past this exhibit every day still has the same awe-inspiring effect it did when I first laid eyes on it. So ask yourself, is your brand up to scratch and communicating the right message?