Rewriting women back into Australia's history
Australia's national story reinvigorated, and with messages for now
The 'Forgotten Rebels' rewrites - or maybe rights and rebalances - the history of one of Australia's most critical 'foundation myths': the story of the Eureka uprising.
Much of who we are as a nation arises from the stories that have grown around this event. Now, with the advantage of ten years' research and scholarship, this version of our past notices and includes the missing element: women.
All we've learned from our history texts back as far as the 1850s has indicated there were no women to speak of on the goldfields at that time, let alone in significant positions of power. Yet the original sources shows that women were present in at least a 50-50 proportions, and they played a major role in the stockade.
A must read
This is a brilliant, captivating, thought-provoking, not-to-be-missed work of scholarship which is also a jolly good read..
Btw, if you have the chance to hear Clare speak, do!
Clare connected with her own calling thanks to her Year 12 English teacher who 'came alive' when she spoke about history, and inspired Clare to connect with her own calling and, well, the rest is history :-D.
TOP: Joy Lawn (left) speaks with Clare Wright at the Brisbane Writers Festival this weekend #BWF14.
LEFT: I first met Clare in July where she spoke at another event, 'Commemorate, celebrate, inspire: Reflections on the past, present and future of women's rights' (QUT, a panel chaired by Quentin Bryce).
While I was was a fair way back in the audience that day, it turned out my presence was noticed as I look like Clare's mother! I was already a devotee of Clare from the presentation she'd given. Now I was chuffed as well, hence the extra glow ;-)
That women are returned to their rightful place in the story is, in itself, important.
This more grown-up version of the myth allows all the players their humanity rather than the adolescent 'boy's own version; and has them working together rather than pitched against each other.
It also more effectively represents the national persona we are supposedly still dedicated to, one that is at very least 'not racist, sexist [or] otherwise xenophobic'. One that even works with each other.
Clare's other publications include 'Beyond the Ladies Lounge', a study of Australian's female publicans. She also researched, wrote and presented the ABC tv documentary Utopia Girls, and has co-written 'The War That Changed Us', the four part series commemorating the centenary of WWI for ABC1 which is now reaching its conclusion on the ABC.
Sources of further information include:
My magic is in working with women to step into their power zone and be unstoppable for the contribution they want to cause in the world. I am currently offering a small number of Unstoppability Strategy Sessions each month. If you believe we may be a good fit for working together in some form, contact me for a short chat on +61 (0)437327890 or at chris [at] chrishendersoncoaching.com.