Friday, June 21, 2024

Equal pay campaigner cast in bronze

A life-sized statue of prominent Victorian equal pay campaigner, Zelda D’Aprano, has been unveiled at the Victorian Trades Hall.

Victorian Minister for Women, Natalie Hutchins joined former Prime Minister and founding patron of A Monument of One’s Own, Julia Gillard AC; co-chair, Professor Clare Wright OAM; Victorian Trades Hall Council Assistant Secretary, Wilhelmina Stracke and artist, Jennifer Mann to officially unveil the statue.

“Zelda is an important link in the chain of trade union women who have taken action to advance the cause of women’s rights at work,” said Ms Stracke.

“This is a place for Victorians to sit and reflect on the progress that has been made and consider their own role in building a more just and equal world.”

Born in 1928, Zelda D’Aprano worked at Trades Hall as a union official in the 1960s where she organised with other workers for equal pay.

She became a symbol of the struggle for equal pay in Australia in 1969 when she chained herself to the doors of the Commonwealth Building in Melbourne.

“What an inspiring morning as we paid tribute to Zelda D’Aprano, a woman who rejected inequality and refused to stay silent,” said Melbourne Lord Mayor, Sally Capp.

“This statue is long overdue – as are statues of many, many more important women of Melbourne. Outside the Victorian Trades Hall Council, Zelda stands with us once again, willing us to challenge and improve societal norms. Congratulations to everyone involved in this project.”

Honouring Zelda D’Aprano is the fifth of six new pieces of enduring public art around the state celebrating women’s achievements as part of the State Government’s $1 million Victorian Women’s Public Art Program.

“This statue elevates Zelda’s legacy as a pioneer for gender equality and equal pay, while reminding us there’s much more to be done to identify and dismantle the systems and structures which continue to drive inequality for women,” said Minister Hutchins.

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