On Saturday night we celebrated 100 years of Lourdes Hill women. And while the guest list consisted mostly of past pupils, parents and friends of the college, the celebration extends far wider than those 900 people.
100 years of Lourdes Hill College, is 100 years of quality education for young women, and 100 years of watching equality between the sexes grow to what it is today.
When Lourdes Hill began in 1916, women had only had the right to vote for 14 years. That year, widowed women were given the automatic guardianship of their children under the Testator’s family maintenance and guardianship infants Act.
In 1975 the first sex discrimination Act was passed in South Australia, the Family Law Act 1975 passed by the Federal Parliament brought in no fault divorce and eleven women’s refuges were opened nationwide.
In 1976, the college celebrated its 50-year anniversary.
In the first 50 years of Lourdes Hill, they watched Merle Thornton and Rosalie Bognor chain themselves to the bar at the Regatta Hotel, they read Germaine Greer’s book The Female Eunich, and the introduction of the contraceptive pill allowed women to have both a career and a relationship.
In the past 50 years we have seen Lourdes Hill and women’s rights grow immensely.
1984 saw the Sex Discrimination Act passed by the Federal government, making discrimination on the base of marital status, pregnancy and gender illegal in Australia. Mary Gaudron was the first female High Court Judge to be appointed in Australia in 1987. In 1989 the Queensland Domestic and Family Violence Protection Act was passed. 2010 saw Julia Gillard sworn in as the 27th Prime Minister of Australia, and 1st female Prime Minister.
As we celebrate the achievement of 100 years of Lourdes Hill College, let us celebrate the changes in our country that have allowed all future Lourdes girls to reach for the stars.
Here’s to the next 100 years of Lourdes Hill girls.
Welcome to the club.