Art, history, and women in union.
Women unionists have always been active in organising their workplaces, but the history of Victoria's union movement has been written by men, downplaying the role of women activists and literally tearing down their monuments.
Join us as we unveil a bronze relief of union giant Helen Robertson sculpted by Jennifer Mann, an artist passionate about monument equality. With a reading from poet Maxine Beneba Clark with her original piece "We Are Union", and a fiery discussion from a panel of experts including historian Clare Wright and filmmaker Robynne Murphy on how union women can organise to celebrate and centre women's activist history in contemporary culture.
The evening will close with the Melbourne premiere of Murphy's film, Women of Steel. Tickets for the film screening are $12, available on the night.
Wollongong, 1980: Denied jobs at the steelworks – the city’s main employer – working class / migrant women refused to accept discrimination. They began a campaign for the right to work that lasted for fourteen years. Their battle against BHP, the country’s richest and most powerful company, took them from factory gate to the highest court in the land and changed the rules for women throughout Australia. Using rare archival footage and speaking directly to camera, these Women of Steel tell their own stories for the first time on film.