Her Place Women’s Museum Australia has warmly welcomed today’s announcement of the establishment of a national Women’s Museum at Clarendon Terrace, in partnership with the National Trust, and supported a million-dollar grant from the State Government.
“This is an Australian first and a huge milestone for Australian women,” said Mary Delahunty, Her Place Director and Treasurer, who was at Clarendon Place this morning when the Minister for Women, the Hon Natalie Hutchins MP, made the announcement.
“Australian women can look to the future by examining – and celebrating – our past. Our stories, so often neglected or disregarded, will finally have ‘a room of their own’ – in fact, two whole floors of the beautiful Clarendon Terrace in East Melbourne, and a digital outreach.
“We invite everyone to come but, of course, we hold special hopes that young women and girls will be inspired by what they discover by women who have gone before. The museum, as well as collecting and telling stories, and holding artefacts and archives, will deliver dynamic educational programs for teachers and students and host topical public events.”
Delahunty said more financial support would be necessary.
“Her Place has a home, but we will still need more support to make Her Place’s vision a reality. We now invite the generous support of women, and all those who support women and gender equality, to become involved to ensure our stories are told, and to help advance the status of women throughout Australia,” Delahunty said.
Her Place Board Chair, Mary Stuart, who is currently overseas, said that a women’s museum is an idea whose time had well and truly come.
Over the past three years, with some seeding funding from the Victorian Government, and a lot of hard work from volunteers and a few very part-time staff, Her Place has delivered ten exhibitions – four in Melbourne and six in regional Victoria. They’ve attracted thousands of people,” Stuart said.
“Everywhere I go the concept of an institution that recognises and honours the role of women is greeted with huge enthusiasm. The astonishing thing is that it doesn’t exist already. Hanoi, Istanbul and Bonn have women’s museums. It’s about time that Australia – and Melbourne - joined that league with a museum built of real bricks and mortar.