About The Project

The Women of The Illawarra: from Settlement to Suffrage Project is being run by the Illawarra Family History Group. Its aim is to acknowledge women as pioneers in the Illawarra and show how they have been important in the development of the Illawarra. The project is to study the role that women played in the period from settlement to 1902 when women were granted the right to vote.

Most history, which includes family history, is written about men's activities and roles. Women are usually excluded from histories and, when mentioned, are usually portrayed as wives, mothers, daughters and mistresses. The role of women is commonly considered uninteresting or worthless and they are seen as passive and unimportant to society. The aim of this project is to show how women have been important in the Illawarra not only as business women, nuns, nurses and teachers, but also as important members of society who influenced that society in which they lived more greatly than is widely acknowledged.

The project will look at all women within the Illawarra, not only the famous and influential. Women as have been voiceless in history for too long and this project aims to look at the personal tragedies and triumphs and rights and responsibilities of the women of the Illawarra and bring their stories out so we can see how important pioneering women were to their society.