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

2023 a big year in place naming and public art equality

Sydney councillor Linda Scott recently said ‘when it comes to statues it’s a bit of a sausage fest’. That’s a good way to describe commemorative injustice. But despite the dearth of places and monuments celebrating women who shaped our communities and beyond, Victoria is leading the way in changing this.

As Australia’s first coordinated effort for equality in public place naming and public art (#puthernameonit) Victoria hit new heights in 2023. Transformative change and new practice are clearly within our sight.

Changing the face of public place naming and public art across the landscapes of Victoria has been a concerted, collaborative, consultative campaign. Progress was only made possible through the legion of warriors that showed up, took action, advocated, funded, promoted, led, created, researched, shared, developed.

In a celebration of progress here is the annual snapshot of the more specific progress in Victoria and by Victorian led initiatives:

  • Commanding the first action in Our Equal State 2022-27 – ‘Victoria will name 70% of new commemorative named roads, places and landmarks after women’.
  • Launching Finding Her, celebrating 60 women and gender diverse people from a range of backgrounds, locations and industries demonstrating women’s contributions. Her Place Women’s Museum
  • The unveiling 6 new monuments to women, funded through the OoWs $1M investment, further raised the commemorative gap issue whilst contributing meaningfully to progress, Victoria’s diverse history and promoting the stories of incredible women everyone should know.
  • The Local Government Survey achieved a high return rate providing excellent initial data and forming the basis of future work and measurements of progress. Whilst the data is yet to provide a statewide gender gap, we know that place naming after women in some LGAs is as low at 1% and as high as 30%. LGAs continued to do sensational work in the area of policy, Name Banks, GIAs, audits and projects which we applaud.
  • GNV had an increase in interest and actual naming of places after women and commenced the huge task of cataloguing the naming origins by gender of over 250,000 roads, features and locations. GNV continues to look for funding and collaboration opportunities – watch this space!
  • A Monument of Ones Own secured commitments from City of Melbourne City of Sydney for 6 new statues honouring women. Vida Goldstein will be immortalised in Melbourne after community consultation garner over 1000 submissions identifying 185 different women.

Lastly, we’ve felt the uplift in the naming and commemoration of women across Australia and hope you feel it too. Bring on the continued and expediential efforts to address the ‘sausage fest’ in 2024.