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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2021 Week 06 Hansard (Wednesday, 2 June 2021) . . Page.. 1564 ..


place about a lack of representation of historical women in the territory in comparison to historical men. This petition was started by a group of young women from Jasiri Australia who are deeply committed to advancing the opportunities for and representation of women in politics.

You cannot be what you cannot see, Madam Speaker. As I have noted previously, the ratio of men to women represented in public art in the territory is one to 10. Of the 11 representations of historical or political figures in our public art, only one is of a woman.

There are 30 gendered sculptures listed on the artsACT website, 16 men and 11 women. When one looks at this breakdown, it is not quite so stark. However, 10 of the 11 representations of women are abstract, including those representing shopping, being a sister, dreaming in the nude, separation, being a mythical serpent queen, civic pride, whimsy, naivety, driving, stepping out of the house, and celebrating place. Of the representations of men, 10 are historical figures and six are abstract. The abstract sculptures represent being a father, being a son, flying too close to the sun, separation, being a cadet, being a soccer player and, finally, being large and small at the same time.

The difference in representation is glaringly obvious. As such, I agreed to support the petition started by Jasiri Australia. Additionally, I have written to the Chief Minister about the issue, with my letter having been referred to the Minister for the Arts. The minister has let me know that she has asked artsACT to review the public art guidelines to figure out the most effective way to embed inclusion and diversity considerations in the artist commissioning process in the ACT. I thank the minister for her response, and I look forward to hearing about the findings.

I am glad to be able to present this petition to the Assembly today and I commend Jasiri Australia for setting it up.

MS CLAY (Ginninderra) (10.05): The Greens wholeheartedly support this petition. Too often, new statues in this city, as in most cities, have celebrated yet another old white man. We have more than enough old white men on pedestals in this town; what we need is a bit more yoniconography. We need to achieve better representation of our community; we need to publicly honour the full range of diversity in our community. Having more statues of women is one way to do it. As Ms Orr has said, if you see it, you can be it.

This is why the Greens took a women’s walk of artwork into the election. I am pleased to say that initiative made it into the parliamentary and governing agreement. The women’s walk would be a co-designed artwork by, for and about women at the West Basin precinct. It would be a really good way to support and properly recognise the women who have contributed to this city and to this country. I am pleased to see that Labor are throwing their support behind this idea, and I cannot wait to see more monumental women in Canberra.

This petition also touches on place naming. The ACT has made some really great strides in that area. I love some of the conventions we have in place across the ACT


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