International Women’s Day ~ Week!

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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

Let us be up and Doing




Amanda_VanstoneWendy_ChapmanRosemary_CrowleyNatasha_Stott_DespojaMolly_ByrneLyn_BreuerKarlene_MaywaldFelicity-ann_LewisElizabeth_HarveyDiana_LaidlawAnne Levy

Natasha Stott Despoja, Party Woman

From the
From the “let us be up and doing” public art exhibition by Jennie Groom, Illustration by Maya Graham © 2015

Party indeed, for today is Natasha Stott Despoja’s birthday, the 9th of the 9th !

As a fellow member of the double numbers club (I am the 1st of the 1st) I am programmed to remember Natasha’s birthday!

Not shy of parties, Natasha was the party leader for the Australian Democrats from April 2001 to August 2002.  It was during this time I first met and photographed Natasha for an exhibition titled ‘Look at us Now’ for the Centenary of Federation.  A female political party leader in the 100th year of Australia’s Federation – how very apt!  As I was led into Natasha’s office to set up my equipment I noticed that she was on the office phone, sending a text message and having work handed to her all at the same time.  All this business and multitasking with enough room left for a smile at me!

I have since photographed Natasha numerous times socially and for exhibitions and she has always been willing, helpful and friendly.

I have an active interest in politics and I have never heard or read a bad word about Natasha Stott Despoja.  I feel like I have just written a referee letter for a job application, perhaps the job of Prime Minister……aha!

Happy Birthday Natasha!