WOMEN'S SUFFRAGE ANNIVERSARY, SCHOOLS COMPETITION


The SPEAKER: Order!

The Hon. J.A.W. GARDNER: Well, I'm hoping that the member for Florey and I will have the opportunity to ask and answer more questions on this issue in the coming weeks because there's a lot of very exciting work that's being done in the education department to celebrate and commemorate 125 years of women's suffrage here in South Australia. I for one have always felt privileged being in this chamber between these two magnificent tapestries that were part of the contribution to celebrate 100 years, and I pay tribute to the member for Florey and, indeed, all the other members of the house who spoke on her motion to form a committee to celebrate the 125th anniversary of suffrage.

One particular mechanism by which the education department is contributing to this historic event is through a project and a prize for students in years 6 to 9 in all South Australian schools. They are invited to enter a research competition, develop an understanding of the tireless efforts of so many South Australians over so many years, over decades in the 19th century, that brought us to this extraordinary achievement. It is one of the first places in the world to allow women to vote and the first parliament that I'm aware of to allow women to stand for that parliament. Standing in front of the portraits of Joyce Steele and of Jessie Cooper, of course, in the other place, we are reminded of that.

The competition is open until 30 August. I am going to be writing to all members of the parliament, along with my colleague in the other house Michelle Lensink, who is a co-sponsor of this event. I encourage all members to encourage students in their electorates to make a contribution, if they are in years 6 to 9, between now and 30 August. Hopefully, members are doing newsletters and they can promote it through those as well. Student winners and high achievers will be invited to a recognition ceremony here at Parliament House on 19 November. This is not the only work that the education department is doing, but it's an important part of that work. I encourage all members on both sides of the chamber to get involved.