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Lady Jessie Street (Women Artwork) Print Page Print this page

20-May-2016
20-May-2016

Photographs supplied by Russell Byers

Artwork commemorates peace campaigner and community activist Lady Jessie Street and recognises her contribution to Reconciliation in Australia. 

Three cast bronze slivers create the focus of the Women Artwork. The concave etched copper surface of each sliver presents a biographical sketch of Dr Faith Bandler, Lady Jessie Street and Dr Evelyn Scott. The artwork serves to remind us of the determination of these women and their collective contribution to Reconciliation in Australia, including through their roles in the 1967 Referendum.

The slivers are arranged to form a contemplative space adjacent to a circular seat, which incorporates an audio feature comprising personal reflections by Dr Faith Bandler, Dr Evelyn Scott and Sir Laurence Street. Two key words and a quotation feature on the convex side of each sliver, highlighting personal values or qualities particular to each individual. Incorporated into the surrounding pavement are additional words embodying qualities and values considered mutually important to all three women.

Lady Street (née Lillingston, commonly known as Jessie Mary Grey Street; (1889 – 2 July 1970) was an Australian suffragette, feminist and human rights campaigner.

She was a key figure in Australian political life for over 50 years, from the women's suffrage struggle in England to the removal of Australia's constitutional discrimination against Aboriginal people in 1967. She is recognised both in Australia and internationally for her activism in women's rights, social justice and peace. 

Apparently inspired by the British Anti-Slavery Society when visiting England in the 1950s, Jessie Street was the initiator of the 1967 "Aboriginal" amendment of the Australian Constitution with fellow activist Faith Bandler. She "masterminded the formation of the Aboriginal Rights Organisation, which led to the successful" Australian referendum, 1967 (Aboriginals) and even drafted petitions calling for the Referendum.

Jessie Street published a number of papers relating to Aboriginal people based on her observations during her numerous visits to Aboriginal Settlements. These include a Report on Aborigines in Australia, May 1957, Report of visit to Pindar Camps,'Report of visit to West Australia in connection with Aborigines'; 'Suggestions for Northern Territory' (Between Camooweal and Darwin); Comments on the 'Report from the Select Committee of Voting Rights of Aborigines'; and 'The question of discriminations against Aborigines and the United Nations.


 

Location

Address:King Edward Terrace, Reconciliation Place, Parkes, 2600
State:ACT
Area:AUS
GPS Coordinates:Lat: -35.298532
Long: 149.133007
Note: GPS Coordinates are approximate.
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Details

Monument Type:Art
Monument Theme:People
Sub-Theme:Community
Monument Designer:Sliver -Belinda Smith, Rob Tindal (artists), Jennifer Marchant (graphic designer), Artwork Patterning- Violet Petyarre, Awelye (body painting)
Link:http://adb.anu.edu.au/
Source: MA,ADB
Monument details supplied by Monument Australia - www.monumentaustralia.org.au
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