Victoria to get six new public monuments celebrating women like Zelda D’Aprano

Victoria to get six new public monuments celebrating women like Zelda D’Aprano

The Victorian government has announced the artists and projects that will share in its $1 million Victorian Women’s Public Art Program that will increase the number of permanent public art monuments celebrating women.

Of 590 statues across Melbourne, only nine currently depict real women, with the program designed to address the underrepresentation of women in public art. Grants of $50,000 to $200,000 have been awarded by the state government to organisations across Victoria.

Successful applicants to the program include:

  • Creative Resilience, Queen Victoria Women’s Centre, Melbourne 
  • Yennega-Yettang/Come—See, Mildural Rural City Council 
  • Three Women on Kurnai Country, Baw Baw Shire Council 
  • Honouring Zelda D’Aprano, Victorian Trades Hall Council  
  • Vera: Linton War Surgeon, Golden Plains Shire Council 
  • Remembering Stella Young, Northern Grampians Shire Council  

“Women have played a critical role in the economic, social and cultural development of Victoria and we should recognise these achievements just as equally as those of men,” Victorian Minister for Women Gabrielle Williams said.

“For far too long, women have been underrepresented in public places. This program is a step in the right direction and will ensure that there are lasting monuments that celebrate the remarkable achievements of Victorian women.”  

“You can’t be what you can’t see. Our public spaces should accurately reflect the diversity of Victoria.” 

The purpose of the Victorian government public art program is to promote gender equality by addressing the underrepresentation of women in public places in Victoria, and highlight the contribution of women from all backgrounds to the cultural development of Victoria. The program is also to support and raise the profile of women artists in Victoria and celebrate and promote their artistic achievements.

Co-conveners of A Monument of One’s Own, Professor Clare Wright and Kristine Ziwica, alongside the Victorian Trades Hall Council, have been announced as successful applicants to the program.

“Of the 580 public statues in Melbourne, only nine depict real women. Yesterday A Monument of One’s Own and our parter @VicUnions received funding from the Vic Govt Women’s Public Art Program to honour Zelda D’Aprano, the legendary equal pay campaigner,” Kristine Ziwica posted to Twitter.

“Today, there is still a 13.8 percent gender pay gap and women were disproportionately impacted by the pandemic, their ability to work and save. Zelda’s action is more relevant and inspiring than ever for a new generation of women fighting for their economic security and justice.”

“It’s official! After almost 3 years of campaigning, we are thrilled to announce that a statue of equal pay activist Zelda d’Aprano WILL be built!” Professor Clare Wright said.

“The Zelda statue will serve as a concrete reminder that the issue she fought for in 1969 – pay equity – is the key to economic security and safety for ALL women. We still have a 14.3% pay gap. Time to go back to the barricades!”

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