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Great Petition : 19-January-2013
Great Petition : 19-January-2013

Photographs supplied by Graeme Saunders

The Great Petition is a large-scale sculpture unveiled in December 2008 to celebrate the 100th anniversary of women's right to vote in Victoria. The sculpture is a white scroll-like structure, which is twenty metres long and imposing on the small reserve.

In an extraordinary effort to gain the right to vote for all Victorian women, a handful of dedicated women took to the streets in 1891 to collect signatures for a petition to present to the Parliament of Victoria. The result was an impressive collection of close to 30,000 signatures from women from all walks of life. Known as the 'monster petition', signed pages were glued to the sewn strips of calico the length of which was 260 metres. 

Tabled in Parliament in September 1891, with the support of then Premier James Munro, the petition sought that ‘Women should Vote on Equal terms with Men'. Following the delivery of the petition to Victoria's Parliament House, the Women's Franchise Bill was put forward. The Lower House passed the Bill but the Upper House rejected it. This was the first of 19 Bills regarding women's right to vote to be put forward and rejected. It wasn't until 1908,seventeen years later, that the Adult Suffrage Act was passed in Victoria.


Address:Macarthur Street, Burston Reserve, near Parliament House , East Melbourne, 3002
GPS Coordinates:Lat: -37.81155
Long: 144.975187
Note: GPS Coordinates are approximate.
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Monument Type:Sculpture
Monument Theme:Government
Actual Event Start Date:1908
Actual Event End Date:2008
Designer:Susan Hewitt & Penelope Lee


Actual Monument Dedication Date:November, 2008
Source: MA
Monument details supplied by Monument Australia - www.monumentaustralia.org.au