Media releases

More remarkable Victorian women to be honoured

8 March 2023

The City of Melbourne is taking action to address the gender imbalance in the city’s statues, calling for public nominations for remarkable Victorian women to be commemorated.  

Only nine of the city’s 580 statues in the city depict and celebrate women from Melbourne’s history – representing less than two per cent. Five of the 25 statues on City of Melbourne land depict women. 

In December, City of Melbourne councillors passed a motion to create at least three new statues of significant Victorian women. 

To mark International Women’s Day, Council will invite all Melburnians to have their say by nominating the women they want to see publicly recognised and celebrated for generations to come.  

These contemporary statues will immortalise women who have shaped the city, celebrating outstanding and diverse achievements across the years.   

As part of the selection criteria, nominations must consider the individual’s lasting contribution to Melbourne and Victoria, and reflect the strong values, diversity and inclusive nature of our city. 

The City of Melbourne is calling on private landholders and companies, philanthropists and the Victorian Government to help facilitate the development of the statues in every way possible, such as access to land for the installation of statues. 

Local artists will be engaged as part of this initiative – supporting the Australian creative sector and our talented home-grown talent.  

The new statues will build on Council’s work to recognise the contributions of Victorian women to the city, including the re-naming of streets, public parks and places.  

To nominate a remarkable Victorian woman, visit Participate Melbourne.   

Quotes attributable to Lord Mayor Sally Capp   

“When you look around town, it’s clear more needs to be done to publicly recognise the significant achievements of Victorian women.”  

“There are so many remarkable women who have shaped our great city – and we want to celebrate them for generations to come.”     

“Three new statues will be developed in the coming years, and we won’t stop there. We’ll continue to look at more ways we can better represent and recognise women across our city.”  

Quotes attributable to Deputy Lord Mayor Nicholas Reece  

“The underrepresentation of women in public spaces is a national issue, in every state and every capital city – and we’re proud to be leading the way by taking action to rectify the imbalance here in Melbourne.”   

“There are more statues of fairies and nymphs in Melbourne than there are of actual real women who lived in this city. We want the gender gap to be narrower than the clearance of the Montague St bridge.”   

“We’re calling on people to have their say about the remarkable women who should be immortalised in statues. This a fantastic conversation and debate for Melbourne to have – for too long the women who built this city have been airbrushed out of our history. This program will help give proper public recognition to their outstanding achievements.”     

Quotes attributable to Creative Melbourne portfolio lead Jamal Hakim   

“We’re doing everything we can to ensure our city is an inclusive and welcoming place for everyone.”  

“That’s why we’re inviting Melburnians and our creative sector to help us celebrate the monumental impact of more Victorian women across the City of Melbourne.”     

“We’ll work closely with local artists to ensure more statues around the city depict women, addressing this damaging long-standing underrepresentation.”  

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