Vida Goldstein was the first woman to campaign for elected office for a national parliament in the English speaking world. It was the election of 1903, Ms Goldstein ran for the Senate in the Australian parliament, and she lost! Her launch speech was at Portland in Victoria and podcast guest Prof Clare Wright read it aloud for the Sydney Writers Festival's 'Friends, Romans, Countrymen' event in 2022.
In this episode, Clare talks about Vida Goldstein's speech, but also her place in the women's suffrage struggle of the 1880s and 90s. She explains quite brilliantly how that period of women's history unfolded, and how Australian women became leaders on the world stage helping other white women win their struggles in the UK and the USA. Vida was an invitee to the Roosevelt White House, and helped and inspired Emmeline Pankhurst. Clare also explains that the early suffragists did not help indigenous women win or in the case of South Australia, retain the vote. They were products of the White Australia' era they inhabited.
The audio of the speech as read by Clare Wright is courtesy of the Sydney Writers Festival. You can purchase tickets to the 2023 festival here.
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This episode is sponsored by DocPlay. Sign up here for 45 days free on the world's best documentary streaming site, then if you choose to continue, $7.99/m. Clare's narrates the film, Utopia Girls , which you can stream at Docplay.
Tony's personal writing blog is Good one, Wilson!
'Men, you have ten minutes to live' — Dr Brendan Nelson's speech at a Soldier On charity gala, Canberra 2014 (witnessed by cohost Lehmo)