Centenary of Women`s Suffrage in South AustraliaPrint Page Print this page


Photographs supplied by Peter Williams

The plaque and time capsule commemorate the centenary of women's suffrage in South Australia. 

Women's suffrage in Australia was one of the earliest objectives of the movement for gender equality in Australia. It began to be socially and politically accepted and legislated during the late 19th century, beginning with South Australia in 1894 and Western Australia in 1899. 

Propertied women in the colony of South Australia were granted the vote in local elections (but not parliamentary elections) in 1861. The Parliament of South Australia endorsed the right to vote and stand for parliament in 1894 and the law received royal assent in 1895. The law applied equally in the Northern Territory, which was then a part of South Australia. In 1897, Catherine Helen Spence became the first female political candidate for political office, unsuccessfully standing for election in South Australia as a delegate to Federal Convention on Australian Federation, which was held in Adelaide.

Sunday December 18, 1994 Media release by Rosemary Cadden

Today, hundreds of women and men who have participated in South Australia's Women's Suffrage Centenary celebrations and supported the events held throughout 1994, will gather on the steps of Parliament House for the final ceremony of the year.

Today, December 18, is the actual anniversary of the date when the historic legislation was passed in Parliament that put SA on the world map as the first place in the world to grant women their full democratic rights on the same basis as men - the right to vote and the right to stand for election to Parliament.

Various women's groups are planning a range of activities at different times in different locations throughout the day.

During the ceremony on the steps of Parliament House, a collection of items symbolising the year's events will be placed in a time capsule, to be sealed and buried beneath Parliament House to give South Australians a century from now a colourful picture of life in 1994 and an insight into how the community celebrated this significant year.

This will be followed by the unveiling of a bust of pioneer suffragist Mary Lee outside Government House on North Terrace.

In the 12 months since the Centenary was officially launched at the same spot, hundreds of events have been held throughout the State involving thousands of people to commemorate South Australia's women's suffrage centenary.


Address:North Terrace , Parliament of South Australia, Adelaide , 5000
GPS Coordinates:Lat: -34.921387
Long: 138.598442
Note: GPS Coordinates are approximate.
View Google Map


Monument Type:Plaque
Monument Theme:Government
Actual Event Start Date:18-December-1894
Actual Event End Date:18-December-1994


Actual Monument Dedication Date:Sunday 18th December, 1994
Front Inscription

Women`s Suffrage Centenary Time Capsule lies in the vaults of this Parliament

To be opened in 2094 on the Bicentenary of the granting of Parliamentary Franchise to South Australian Women

Source: MA
Monument details supplied by Monument Australia - www.monumentaustralia.org.au