Women in the West is the second exhibition organised by Her Place Women’s Museum in Footscray and will profile the work of artists and activists, sportswomen, writers and scientists, businesswomen and lawyers, politicians and philanthropists. A series of public and educational programs accompanies the exhibition. Admission to the Exhibition is FREE.
Women’s football trailblazer, Susan Alberti AC, is one of ten women featured in the Her Place: Women in the West exhibition running at VU at MetroWest Gallery from 7-31 March, just in time for International Women’s Day.
For Alberti, inclusion in Her Place: Women in the West tops off an amazing year.
“I saw my beloved Bulldogs win their first AFL premiership in 62 years and my lifelong dream of an AFL Women’s league finally realised. The reception that the AFLW has received has been beyond all expectations, even mine,” she said.
“The Her Place: Women in the West exhibition is another milestone. Too many women, not just in the West, fail to get the recognition they deserve. This initiative celebrates women who have made their mark – and I’m not just talking about the football field!”
Also featured in exhibition are:
- Paola Balla, Indigenous artist and activist;
- Ruth Crow AM, activist;
- Maisie Carr (née Fawcett), botanist and ecologist;
- Kerry Greenwood, writer and lawyer;
- Joan Kirner AM, former premier of Victoria;
- Melba Marginson, refugee and immigrant advocate;
- Halima Mohamed, Somali community leader;
- Alice Pung, writer and lawyer; and
- Peta Searle, Development Coach, St Kilda Football Club.
Searle is the first (and currently only) female AFL coach. Currently, an Assistant Coach with the St Kilda Football Club, has had a career filled with many firsts – the first Victorian Women’s Football League coach to coach a team (Darebin Falcons) to five consecutive Premiership Final wins, the first head coach of the AFL Victoria Academy, and the first female to coach in the VFL.
Searle, who has lived in Yarraville for 15 years, also served as head coach for the Western Bulldogs Women’s team, for the AFL’s first exhibition match.
She is overawed that the exhibition puts her in the company of women like Susan Alberti, another women’s football trailblazer.
“There’s are lot more women out there who do more important work,” said Searle. “However, I recognise the power and influence that AFL has on society and understand that’s vital that we make women’s achievements more visible through initiatives such as the Women in the West exhibition.”
“Telling the stories and experiences of half of our population is really valuable as it provides woman with role models. It means that they have a platform on which to develop their own unique abilities and develop their own passions. It also values diversity, which is so important for progress and sustainable success,” said Searle.
“It says to the younger generation that if you work hard, think outside the square and persist, you will create opportunities for yourself.”
Despite the strides made by women’s football this year, there is still has a long way to go when it comes to women coaches, says Searle.
“There are only two women out of eight coaches in AFLW and I’m still the only female coach in AFL. The onus has to be put on clubs to seek out and develop more women coaches.”
For each of the profiled women, there is a short-biography, video and artefacts.
Alberti, is lending the exhibition an AFL 100 Years of Female Football, an AFL Victoria recognition plaque and a commemorative framed photo of the remaining 1954 Western Bulldogs Premiership Team. Greenwood will be represented by a battered lawyer’s briefcase and a silk coat composed of different coloured panels on which more than 50 of her book titles are painted.
- Everyday Documents and Australian Women’s History: Why Archives Matter
Wednesday 15 March, 6-8pm FREE
- In-conversation with Women in the West
Friday 17 March, 12.30-1.30pm FREE
- Loving Feminist Literature: Decolonising Feminism, Building Solidarity $10 full/$5 concession
Monday 20 March, 5.30-8.30pm
- Her Place: Women in the West – Walking Tour
Wednesday 22 March, 6-7pm FREE
- Building Feminist Communities
Thursday 30 March, 6-8pm FREE
- Teaching Gender Equality: Professional Development for Teachers
Monday 27 March, 5-7pm FREE
- Guided Educational Tours: Primary and Secondary
Monday, Wednesday and Fridays, 7 March to 22 March, 10.30am, 1.30pm FREE
ALL bookings for public and education programs: https://www.eventbrite.com.au/e/her-place-women-in-the-west-tickets-32220824353