Her Place: Women in the West


Everyday Documents and Australian Women’s History: Why Archives Matter

A panel discussion about the role of serendipity, family stories and fragments of paper in the writing of history, including so-called ‘big picture’ academic history. Germaine Greer described archives as ‘the pay dirt of history’: this panel of historians and archivists will talk about some examples of ‘pay dirt’ that have made a difference to their research into Australian women’s lives.

Audience members are invited to bring examples of their own pay dirt and stories of women in their past to share. No document or serendipitous example is too ordinary if it shines light on the diversity of Australian women’s historical lives!The panel will be convened by Dr Nikki Henningham, Research Fellow – Australian Women’s Archives Project.


DR ROSEMARY FRANCIS is an Honorary Fellow in Historical and Philosophical Studies at the University of Melbourne. Her research interest and expertise are 20th-century Australian history, with a focus on oral, feminist and labour history. She has worked on several projects for the Australian Women’s Archives Project. Prior to her work as a historian, Rosemary taught languages, politics and history at Victorian high schools for 20 years.

NIKKI HENNINGHAM is the Executive Officer of the Australian Women’s Archives Project, which was established in 2000 to promote the protection of women’s archival heritage. She has a PhD in Australian women’s history and is an experienced oral history practitioner. She is co-editor of the Australian Women’s Register.

HELEN MORGAN is an author, archivist and Research Fellow at the eScholarship Research Centre, The University of Melbourne. A historian with archival and editing qualifications, she has worked as information architect and exhibition designer on the Australian Women’s Archives Project since its inception in 2000, and is co-editor of the Australian Women’s Register.

In-conversation with Women in the West

Join us for an informal lunchtime conversation with the women featured in the exhibtion including Halima Mohamed and Paola Balla as well as Ruth Crow researcher Claire Collie.

Paola Balla is a Wemba-Wemba and Gunditjmara woman with Italian and Chinese heritage. She is an artist, curator, writer, educator and speaker whose projects engage with the complexities of race and identity in history as well as the impacts of racism in contemporary society.

Claire Collie is a landscape sociologist, with a background in anthropology. Inspired by the visionary work of Ruth and Maurie Crow, she is currently undertaking a PhD at the Melbourne School of Design, the University of Melbourne. Excavating the Crows’ vision for a future Melbourne, Claire was dismayed to find how far we have drifted from justice thinking in current planning ambition.

Halima Mahomad has been a community activist for nearly 30 years. She has led initiatives such as the African Women’s Social Enterprise, in partnership with a number of organisations, before establishing Skilling Employment and Aid Enterprises Australia Inc. (SEAEA Inc.) in partnership with Green Collect in Yarraville.

Loving Feminist Literature: Decolonising Feminism, Building Solidarity

A night of live readings of bold and irresistible feminist texts by a selection of diverse feminist educators, students and practitioners, including Clare Land, who will read from her book ‘Decolonizing Solidarity’.

Audience will be invited to participate in discussions that celebrate and re-invigorate collective feminist praxis and love across difference.

Loving Feminist Literature is a collective of intersectional feminists who celebrate the political and intellectual contributions of feminists far beyond the white liberal agenda. Our aim is to expose and promote feminist writing— especially underrepresented black, queer, Indigenous, non-binary, gender diverse perspectives— and make academic feminist writing accessible and irresistible to all!  Our vision is to build a platform for feminist solidarity at a time when feminist studies are disappearing from Tertiary Institutions and feminist books are unavailable in local libraries or bookshops. Let’s stand together, speak together, listen and learn.


Her Place: Women in the West – Walking Tour

A guided walk through Footscray focusing on the lives of women who have made a difference and contributed to the West. Over the course of the walk you will hear about women of tenacity – leaders, advocates, storytellers and speakers of injustices. Through the spoken word and recounted experiences, women, both past and present, will be celebrated inspiring the next generation of women and men. Comfortable shoes and wet weather gear recommended. Please get in touch for wheelchair access

CHANTAL WYNTER is a Melbourne based creative producer who creates interdisciplinary work in collaboration with Local Government, artists, arts organisations, galleries, festivals and businesses. Chantal has extensive experience in developing, facilitating and delivering creative projects in a community context from small to large projects. Her interest lies in producing on-site encounters that combine creative mediums to express a subject or theme.

Building Feminist Communities

In light of a shifting political landscape the work of feminists is about to intensify. Now is the time to once more organise and collectivise. This event will bring together academics, activist groups and philanthropic organisations to showcase their work and share their aspirations for 2017. Feminists across all sectors will have the opportunity to get together, meet others and build partnerships. Nibbles, drinks and music by an all-female band, Kerryn Fields and the Dudettes.

Hosted by the Victoria University Feminist Research Network, a community of feminist scholars from Victoria University in conjunction with Her Place.