Courage and Resilience: The Pioneer Women of Ballarat Montage

Tuesday, March 08, 2022 at 05:45 PM


Sovereign Hill
Bradshaw Street
Canadian, VIC 3350
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Sovereign Hill


Join Sovereign Hill for a special International Women's Day discussion with historians Lucy Bracey and Fiona Poulton (Way Back When Consulting Historians).

Inside Sovereign Hill's Australian Centre for Goldrush Collections is the impressive photographic montage, Pioneer Women of Ballarat. Believed to have been created sometime between 1870 and 1890, the montage is part of the Ballarat Historical Society collection managed by Sovereign Hill Museums Association.

The montage includes 32 portraits of significant women who lived in Ballarat in the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. The montage originally celebrated the women’s status as wives of Ballarat’s prominent male citizens.

In Sovereign Hill's new publication, Courage and Resilience: The Pioneer Women of Ballarat Montage, authors Lucy Bracey and Fiona Poulton have researched and explored the stories of those 32 women, their experiences and roles in the domestic, commercial, economic and social development of the city. The brand new e-publication includes the 32 photographs of the women and their biographies.

Lucy and Fiona will talk about the stories of some of the women who appear in the montage as well as discuss the challenges involved in researching and sharing the stories of women.

The Sovereign Hill Museum Association gratefully acknowledges the support of the Victorian Government and Public Record Office Victoria for making this project possible.

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The History Council of Victoria Incorporated (HCV) is the peak body for history in the Australian state of Victoria. Its vision is to connect Victorians with history and to inspire engagement with the past, their identity and the world today. The HCV champions the work of historians and the value of history. It recognises that history can be written about any place, any person, any period. The HCV advocates why history matters.

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The HCV was formed as an advisory body in 2001 and incorporated in 2003. It comprises representatives from cultural and educational institutions and heritage bodies; history teachers and curriculum advisors; academic and professional historians; and local, Indigenous, community and specialist history organisations.

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The History Council of Victoria acknowledges the State Library of Victoria and the Public Record Office Victoria for supply of the archival images that appear on this website.

We acknowledge the National Film and Sound Archive for the right to use of the video footage on the home page, titled "Melbourne: Life in Australia (1966)".

Image credits

  • Italian sailors on ship at Port Melbourne 1938, Argus Newspaper Collection of Photographs, State Library of Victoria
  • Chinese procession in Collins near Elizabeth Street 1901, Harvie & Sutcliffe, photographers, State Library of Victoria
  • People’s homes, Aboriginal station Coranderrk 1878, Fred Kruger Photographer, State Library of Victoria
  • Chinese nurses at Children’s Hospital under scholarship 1947, Argus Newspaper Collection of Photographs, State Library of Victoria
  • Ladies physical culture class VRI Melbourne c1931, Public Record Office Victoria VPRS 12903/P0001, 011/02
  • Melbourne Cup, Derby and Oaks Day, Flemington Racecourse 1936, Public Record Office Victoria VPRS 12903/P0001/4802, 372/30
  • Flinders Street viaduct at foot of Market Street with advertisement for McRobertson’s Chocolate on bridge, Public Record Office Victoria VPRS 12800/P0003, ADV 1342