The Hon. Diana Laidlaw AM ~ Mastering Mosaics

diana_laidlaw
The Hon. Diana Laidlaw AM ~ Photo by Jennie Groom © 2015

Diana Laidlaw says she grew up in a family with strong, progressive and political views, an influence for Diana choosing to work in politics.

She started by assisting Federal and State ministers for 7 years before she was elected as a Liberal Party member of the Legislative Council to the Parliament of South Australia in 1982.

When her party won Government in 1993, Diana entered Cabinet and  proceeded to be the first woman to hold 3 consecutive portfolios over 3 consecutive terms (and 3 Premiers) as Minister for Transport and Urban Planning, Arts and Status of Women.

Diana was Minister for the Status of Women in 1994 during the year of centenary celebrations for Women’s Suffrage in South Australia and helped launch a time capsule stored in a vault in Parliament House for women to open in another hundred years.  It will be interesting to see what has changed then!

Representing the Arts as Minister must have ignited Diana’s passion for starting her own artwork with mosaics during this time.  Since her 21 year political career finished Diana’s mosaics are really taking off and are highly sort after.  Pictured here with her popular mosaic poles which she has exhibited widely throughout South Australia.  Loving her artistic life now, Diana works on her mosaics as much as possible from a farm studio in the Barossa Valley.

On a personal level it was fabulous to have Diana Laidlaw launch my first exhibition ‘women@work’ in 2000 as she represented women and the arts!

Advertisements

The Hon. Anne Levy AO – Presidential Power

anne_levy_ao_portrait
The Hon. Anne Levy AO       Photo by Jennie Groom ©

When I met and photographed Anne Levy a couple of years ago, just after her 80th birthday, I knew I was in the presence of a significant woman of parliament but doing some more research recently on Anne has really opened my eyes to how amazing and supremely significant she is and someone should write a book about her so school children can learn about her contribution to history, (just saying!).

Anne Levy is a trailblazer, and I don’t use that term lightly.  It’s rare to see these days politicians staying in the job for much longer than a term or two let alone 22 years and then choosing to retire, but this is what Anne Levy did which demonstrates her popularity in Government.

Anne was the first Labor woman in South Australia to be elected to the South Australian Legislative Council in 1975 where she continued serving the state until retiring in 1997.  During her tenure, Anne served as the first Labor President of the South Australian Legislative Council from 1986 to 1989.  Labor had not previously ever held the Legislative Council presidency. She was also the first woman to preside over any house of Parliament in Australia.  You may want to re-read those last two lines, I had to!

One of the first groups Anne joined as a founding member and later patron, was the Humanist Society of South Australia in 1960.  She was awarded the Humanist of the Year in 1986 for her work towards abortion law reform, voluntary euthanasia, family planning, decriminalisation of homosexuality, and other reforms.  Since then, Anne has been a member, life long member, board member, chair, patron and founder of many, many different groups and societies, not to forget, holding 6 different portfolios as a Minister whilst in Government.

Prior to politics, Anne was already a trailblazing woman for studying science and was awarded a Bachelor of Science with Honours in 1957.  In-between Honours and her Master of Science in 1963, she had 2 children and worked as a Tutor and Senior Tutor in Genetics from 1960-1975 at the University of Adelaide.

Currently, Anne is happy still serving on Boards including the State Theatre of South Australia and The Botanic Gardens and supporting artists by adding to her personal collection.

Taryn Brumfit ~ Entirely Embraced

Taryn_Brumfitt

Photo By Jennie Groom © 2016

I thought on the last Wednesday of the year we would revisit one of this year’s most influential woman with the bonus being its her birthday today!  Plus, it’s nice to have a bit of holiday poetry!

Reintroducing Taryn Brumfitt…….
Women around the world take comfort
From the epiphany presented to Taryn Brumfitt

Finding her post baby body hard to face
Taryn resolved it to be a surgery case
She booked in for a tummy tuck
Then, the epiphany struck….
“How can I teach my daughter to love her body
When it’s mine, I need to embody?”

A Body Image Movement started
Her previous life departed
A before and after photo went viral
The movement caught in a spiral
A book launch
A happy body stood staunch

A documentary to be made
Women embracing their bodies portrayed
Well, get ready to stare
At the films premiere
Be proud of your body, dress up in lace
Taryn’s film is called ‘Embrace’
https://bodyimagemovement.com/embrace-the-documentary/

Helen Skidzevicius ~ Mrs Claus

Hello, long time no see! 

I would just like to say to all the Wednesday’s Woman followers and supporters, thanks for your fantastic feedback and encouragement throughout the year even though there has been a drop off in the last half of the year!

The drop off occurred for a couple of reasons, mainly I have been lucky enough to teach photography on Wednesdays at Uni SA since July and with teaching comes learning and I’ve discovered, I love teaching!!  I’ve also done some private teaching sessions and mentoring this year as well.

“Let us be up and doing” exhibition has been on the road travelling too, we went to Renmark, Quorn and Mt Gambier country shows and enjoyed some great feedback.

Please accept my apologies for the irregular blogs and know there are so many new women to feature in the future.

If anyone has any suggestions of people, companies, business etc that would like to sponsor the Wednesday’s Woman blog through selected advertising then please let me know.  It will help to keep the page more regular (eg. I would be made accountable!!).

Meanwhile, please enjoy your Christmas and New Year with some inspiration from Mrs Claus…

Jennie

xx

mrs_claus_by_jennie_groom
Photography by Jennie Groom © 2016

Helen Skidzevicius loves Christmas!  Her partner and her dress up every year, decorate the house, the car and spread the magic of Christmas around their community.

Helen is also known as The Pudd’n Lady because she hand makes chocolate Christmas puddings with liquor, cherries and the recent addition of her secret spiced gingerbread flavoured puddings.

With one child living away from Australia and no grandchildren, Helen buys gifts for people in need and donates them to the wishing tree.

Helen has a lot going on in her life; full time carer for her partner, scorer for softball on Saturdays, sewing, painting and all things craft plus the Christmas puddings!  She will be thankful for a quite one on Christmas Day and will be enjoying a traditional lunch, time with her partner and sparkling wine!

The Hon. Margaret Nyland AM ~ Lady of Law

Margaret_Nyland
Photo by Jennie Groom © 2016

 

not from the highland

but born and bred in Adelaide

….this is Margaret Nyland.

 

fondly known as ‘Judge

by her colleagues

she put at ease

the nick name stuck and won’t budge

she refers to them happily

as her family.

 

After 19 years as a Judge for the SA Supreme Court

retirement was sought…

 

but alas, a retirement disorder

a high responsibility was in order

for this law practitioner

to be the royal commissioner

into the child protection system

that had too many errors to list them.

 

after a two year process,

the 850 page report went to press

the report hit a raw nerve

with the content and title

….’the life they deserve

 

 

Women Leaders – Talking the Talk

women_leaders
Photo by Jennie Groom © 2016                            L-R Rebekha Sharkie, Nick Xenophon Team, Kerrynne Liddle, Liberal Party of Australia, Hon. Kate Ellis MP, Australian Labor Party and Senator Sarah Hanson-Young, Australian Greens

Last night I attended the 2016 Election Q+A hosted by Women in Media at the Advertiser and listen to the above women speak on politics and being a woman in politics. You may know that this topic is close to my heart and my recent work so I just had to feature them as today’s Wednesday’s Women.

The panel of women was diverse with two women running for the Senate and two for the House of Representatives and across the two major and the two (major) minor parties.

My recent exhibition “let us be up and doing” showcased women from South Australia who are former politicians but had achieved a major milestone, like first or longest. Last nights panel, if all elected, would still be ground breaking; Rebekha Sharkie would be the first woman to win the seat of Mayo; Kerrynne Liddle would be the first Aboriginal woman from South Australia to enter the Senate; Kate Ellis will continue as an MP, her 13th year and Sarah Hanson-Young will continue on as a Senator, her 9th year.

I chose last night as a good night to start my petition, “A Plead to Lead by example, Respect from the top down. Politicians quit bully behaviour.” In the footsteps of Mary Lee who travelled the colony (SA) in 1894 gaining 11,600 signatures for her petition to give women the right to vote, I plan to do the same with the above petition as I travel my exhibition around SA in the coming months. I was very pleased our leaders last night started off the handwritten petition with many of the media women signing on too. If you would like to sign the petition which will be presented to State and Federal Parliament, you can either catch me on the road or sign the digital petition here….

 
I wish all the women all the best in the election, be up and doing!

Natasha Howell ~ Ms Milky

Natasha_Howell
© Jennie Groom 2016

This is Natasha Howell, she’s a milk-lady!

I had just finished photographing a building in Stirling last week when I saw Natasha delivering milk into the cafe I was in. “Yay” I thought “a woman doing a job I had only ever seen men doing”.  I watched her and the staff in the cafe have a friendly chat, like I imagine they would every morning.  I then seized the moment and asked to photograph her to show women around the world the variety of work choices they may not have considered.

Natasha started working in the Milk industry 14 years ago with her partner at the time but she was mainly in an administration capacity.  They were contracted to Lion Nathan delivering all things dairy and juice into an array of businesses in the Adelaide Hills area.
Over the past 6 years things have altered, the partner has moved on and Natasha has fought to keep going on her own.  Now days she packs, drives the truck and delivers herself with the help of two young lads.

When asked by her friends why she didn’t just sell the contract on, she says “I can’t really think of a good reason to give it up, I’m certainly not sick of it yet”.  In fact, she quite enjoys the physical challenge and she appreciates the friendly contact with all of the different shop keepers.  She is the first to say she doesn’t have the muscle mass of a man but she works very hard and gets her job done, enjoys it and brings smiles to the faces of the Hills folk.

Taryn Brumfitt – Entirely Embraced

Taryn_Brumfitt
Photo By Jennie Groom © 2016
Women around the world take comfort
From the epiphany presented to Taryn Brumfitt
Finding her post baby body hard to face
Taryn resolved it to be a  surgery case
She booked in for a tummy tuck
Then, the epiphany struck….
“How can I teach my daughter to love her body
When it’s mine, I need to embody?”
A Body Image Movement started
Her previous life departed
A before and after photo went viral
The movement caught in a spiral
A book launch
A happy body stood staunch
A documentary to be made
Women embracing their bodies portrayed
Well, get ready to stare
At the films premiere
Be proud of your body, dress up in lace
Taryn’s film is called ‘Embrace’

‘Embrace’ premiering at Sydney Film Festival on June the 12th, in Cinemas from August

International Women’s Day ~ Week!

Title Banner

Yes, International Women’s Day is so popular it goes for a week, possibly even two! For my part in this celebration, I have an exhibition to show you today, not only one Wednesday’s Woman but 11 of them!  This exhibition is on display currently until the 20th of March, 2016 on the Pillars of Parliament House, Adelaide.

About the exhibition
Let us be up and doing”  as quoted by Mary Lee, a suffragette who was instrumental in gaining South Australian women the right to vote which also resulted in South Australia being the first place in the world where women could stand for Parliament. This act was achieved in 1894.

Despite these progressive beginnings over one hundred years ago South Australia was the last state to elect a woman into State Parliament (1959) and still to elect a woman head of Government.

In a speech delivered to the United Nations when Emma Watson launched the ‘He for She’ campaign she stated boldly that equality isn’t just a woman’s issue anymore; it’s a man’s issue too. It is true that equality is a society issue and the support of men is needed to help women progress into the future with equal representation in Government. The support of men is needed so the next woman Prime Minister is treated with the respect that such a position merits.

Let us be up and doing” is a public artwork on view at  Parliament House Adelaide.  It pays homage to our deceased forbears using typographical artworks and exhibits contemporary portraits of a selection of former, female South Australian politicians from a cross section of parties.  “Let us be up and doing.” will remind people that women can and have made significant political contributions with lasting benefits to the entire community and that this is something that is achievable into the future.

Art and Design Concept
Influenced by the portraits of politicians from the 1900’s, we have chosen to step back to what South Australian Parliament could have looked like if women were elected in the early years. The portraits taken in this contemporary age are black and white overlaid with Illustrations of gold ornate frames symbolising a layer of history. They are a mix of oval and arch shaped frames.

Hand drawn typography of a similar era is used over the portraits for names and titles and achievements.  The women look stately, confident and happy, not too dissimilar to Mona Lisa.  This mix of the old and the new celebrates history, the present and brings us into the future.

The Artists and Sub-Committee
Jennie Groom – Photographic Artist, Creator and Project Manager
Maya Graham – Illustrator
Lisa Philip-Harbutt – Project Mentor
Steph Key MP – Ambassador and Advisor

The T-shirt you could WIN!!
A black v-neck t-shirt with the ‘let us be up and doing’ logo.

To win, take a photo of the exhibition at Parliament House, Adelaide between now and the 20th of March and upload onto one of the below social media sites with the hashtag #LetUsBeUpAndDoing

Facebook
Let us be up and Doing

Twitter
@BeUpAndDoing

Instagram
Jennie_Groom

 

Amanda_VanstoneWendy_ChapmanRosemary_CrowleyNatasha_Stott_DespojaMolly_ByrneLyn_BreuerKarlene_MaywaldFelicity-ann_LewisElizabeth_HarveyDiana_LaidlawAnne Levy

Portraits of Politicians on Pillars of Parliament

I would like to announce that my public art exhibition “let us be up and doing” will be back up and doing by popular demand.

Kindly supported by a grant from the Government of South Australia.

On the pillars of Parliament House, South Australia, 7th to 20th of March, 2016LUBUAD Final Invite copy

 

LUBUAD Final Invite

“let us be up and doing” website