… women lawyers have participated in significant ways in Australian civic life virtually from the beginning of white settlement.
Australian Women Lawyers as Active Citizens is a ground-breaking online exhibition, which was launched at the National Library on Wednesday 16 November.
The exhibition showcases the experiences of women nominated for the Australian Research Council funded oral history project on Trailblazing Women and the Law. Professor Kim Rubenstein, from the ANU College of Law, led the project, and developed it with Associate Professor Gavan McCarthy and Helen Morgan from the University of Melbourne, in partnership with Australian Women Lawyers, the Family Court of Australia, the Federal Court of Australia, the National Foundation for Australian Women and the National Library of Australia.
The fact that women lawyers have participated in significant ways in Australian civic life virtually from the beginning of white settlement is little known. The exhibition documents how these women affected the world around them and how in the last century they entered previously male-only areas of practice, taking up elite legal positions and coming to the profession in increasing numbers and from increasingly diverse backgrounds.
The online exhibition and the larger oral history project on Trailblazing Women and the Law bring together interdisciplinary expertise in areas as diverse as gender, oral history, law, citizenship, social networks, cultural informatics and women’s history archiving. The exhibition has also identified lawyers already on the Australian Women's Register
The online exhibition and other outcomes of the project will be made accessible through the Australian Women’s Register of the National Foundation for Australian Women’s Australian Women’s Archives Project.
The launch is supported by Clayton Utz. The exhibition proudly sits among the many exhibitions prepared as part of the Australian Women's Archive Project.