Australian Suffragettes


From the 1880's to the 1890's each Australian colony had at least one suffragette society. These societies organised debates, public meetings and arranged deputations to members of their colonial parliaments. In 1894 Mary Lee and others presented a petition from 11,600 women in South Australia.

In 1902, Australia was the first country in the world to give women both the right to vote in federal elections and the right to be elected to parliament.

Commonwealth Women's Suffrage

Commonwealth women's suffrage in Australia reflected the rights of women to seek election in South Australia and then to vote in Western Australia. The rights were granted in 1895 and 1899. SA granted suffrage to Aboriginal women in 1894. Commonwealth stated that anyone with a state vote was entitled to vote.

Photos of 1890

"Democracy is not just the right to vote, it the right to live in Dignity"


Australian women were vocal and forceful in delivering their message.

Arguments Included:-

- Because Parliament should be a reflection of the wishes of people.

- Because a Government of the people, by the people and for the people, should mean all the people and not one half.

- Because most laws affect women as much as men.

Australian Suffragettes

Symbol of Australian Suffragettes

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