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Skirts on Sacred Benches

Skirts on Sacred Benches


FRIDAY 31 MARCH    4:30PM - 6:00PM 

In the same year that the first woman swam across the English Channel and Mussolini's decree banned all women in Italy from holding public office, back home our very own Millicent Preston Stanley, the first woman MP in New South Wales, fought her extraordinary battle for the rights of mothers to retain custody of their infant children.

From the Public Galleries of the Legislative Assembly Chamber,  travel back to 1926 to witness Millicent Preston Stanley, go head to head with her male colleagues on an issue that she staked her political career on.  

How did the parliamentarians of the time deal with the invasion of their chamber by the 'weaker sex'? Some called Millicent a 'battle-axe', others a 'she-devil'. Based on historical sources, including Hansard debates, this re-enactment depicts a determined woman forging a path into politics in an era when this was not the norm.

After watching a re-enactment of this extraordinary trailblazer in action, visitors can learn more about the role and history of women in politics through a visit to the new exhibition A Fit Place for Women: NSW Parliament. Dr Wendy Michaels, Honorary Research Fellow from the University of Newcastle will talk about the achievements of Millicent, based on her own extensive research.

NSW PARLIAMENT HOUSE  FREE ENTRY • BOOKINGS ESSENTIAL  02 9230 2047 • NSW Parliament House is located on Macquarie Street, in the Sydney CBD