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Monday, January 24, 2011

Feminists feature on Aussie legends stamps

The recipients of the 2011 Australia Post Australian Legends Award each rose to prominence during the 1970s, the period during which second-wave feminism flourished around the world, receiving official recognition when 1975 was declared International Women's Year by the United Nations. During this decade, they addressed various issues of women's inequality in Australia and internationally through their writing, activism, judicial work, advocacy or a combination of these activities.

Eva Cox AO
Eva Cox is a founding member of the Women's Electoral Lobby, established in 1972 as a feminist, non-profit, non-party-political organisation dedicated to influencing powerbrokers to adopt policies that would improve the position of women in Australian society.

Elizabeth Evatt AC
Former chief judge Elizabeth Evatt has made her mark through the legal system. The first woman to preside over an Australian federal court, she was the inaugural chief judge of the Family Court of Australia and a member of the UN Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination Against Women, serving as its chair for two years.

Germaine Greer
Professor Germaine Greer established her international feminist reputation early in her career, through the publication of The Female Eunuch, which quickly became a bestseller. Arguing for a radical response to patriarchy, the book became a seminal work for second-wave feminism.

Anne Summers AO
Writer and journalist Anne Summer was a co-founder of Elsie, the first women's refuge in modern Australia, and wrote the highly influential God's Whores and Damned Police: The Colonization of Women in Australia. From 1983 to 1986, she headed the Hawke government's Office of the Status of Women, where she was responsible for implementing affirmative action legislation and other reforms.

Anne Summers AO said she was honoured to feature on a stamp. "I hope the fact there are four women on Australian stamps at the time of International Women's Day and the centenary of International Women's Day will contribute to continuing to raise awareness about women's issues and the continuing need to fight for equality for women in Australia. I hope it will encourage people to realise that the fight for women's equality is not yet over," Dr Summers said.

The Australia Post Australian Legends Award began 14 years ago when Sir Donald Bradman was the first living person, other than a ruling monarch, to be featured on an Australian stamp. Since then, recipients of the Legends Award have included, among others, Arthur Boyd, Slim Dusty, Rod Laver, Dame Joan Sutherland, Barry Humphries, Nicole Kidman and the 2010 Legends, Peter Carey, Bryce Courtenay, Thomas Keneally, David Malouf, Colleen McCullough and Tim Winton.