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We're the independent peak body for organisations, practitioners and individuals promoting gender equity in Victoria.

Put Her Name On It

Put Her Name on It is addressing the lack of recognition and underrepresentation of women and nonbinary people in place naming and public art.

From small towns to large cities across the globe, a glaring disparity exists that reflects a broader societal issue. Very few place names and public art, including statues, honour women. This is not just an issue of representation but also one of recognition for the countless incredible women who have helped shape local communities and beyond, yet remain invisible in commemorative place names and public art.

According to Statues for Equality just 3% of statues honour a woman, and A Monument of One’s Own states there are more statues of animals than women in Australia. This lack of representation extends to place naming as well; streets, buildings and parks named after men far outnumber those named after women. In 2022 the Victorian Local Government Place Naming and Commemoration research project identified that 1 in 5 places across the state commemorate a person and 1 in 10 of those commemorative place names honour women. The research also highlighted the ‘bronze gap’ – just 3% of all monuments and public art and 7% of full-body statues honour women from a small sample across Victoria.

Put Her Name on It was created by Women in Gippsland in 2020 as a campaign to challenge and disrupt traditional commemorative place naming and public art practice, address the gender gap and create safer, more inclusive and prosperous societies.

In 2022, Gender Equity Victoria (GEN VIC) partnered with the campaign to create statewide systemic change and national momentum towards commemorative justice.

Victoria

Geographic Names Victoria (GNV) and the Office of Women have displayed incredible leadership in public place commemorative equality. Since 2022 they have:

  • Changed the ‘Rules’ to include gender equality as a principle
  • Improved VicNames capability to collect gendered data
  • Partnered with GEN VIC to deliver statewide research, the Finding Her Commemorative Tour, advocacy and sector capability building
  • Invested $1M in the Womens Public Art Fund Round 1 for six public art works of women by women. In 2023, they announced a second round of $1.2M
  • Embedded a target in the Our Equal State Plan for 70% of all new commemorative place names to be named for women (2023-27)
  • Partnered with Her Place Museum to expand Finding Her and create a research hub of notable women for commemoration

Local Government sector leadership through audits, policy, planning, gender impact assessments, name banks, naming and public art projects

Australian Capital Territory (ACT)

Initiated an Inquiry into Memorialisation Through Public Commemoration (places, monuments, streets and suburbs), which made 13 recommendations to promote and identify opportunities for greater equality and diversity in the people recognised in public places in the ACT.

Naming authorities

  • Check out the Resource section to guide your commemorative justice journey
  • Head to the Events area and book into one of our capability sessions, or come along to one of our network forums

Individuals

  • Nominate a woman – head to your local government area’s website and see if there is an area to nominate a woman for public commemoration. If not, send a letter to the general email address with the details of the nominee.
  • Advocacy – ask your local government area through an email to the general email or via a Question on Notice at the next council meeting (all details will be on their website) about the approach to place naming and public art equality.
  • Donate to a public place commemoration project
  • Follow us on social media – Instagram: Put Her Name on It and use the hashtags #puthernameonit #commemorativejustice #westandwithwomen

 

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