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Equal Pay Stalwart Honoured In Bronze

30 May 2023

A life-sized statue of prominent Victorian equal pay campaigner Zelda D’Aprano has been unveiled at the Victorian Trades Hall.

Minister for Women Natalie Hutchins joined former Prime Minister of Australia and founding patron of A Monument of One’s Own The Hon. Julia Gillard AC, co-chair Professor Clare Wright OAM, Victorian Trades Hall Council Assistant Secretary Wil Stracke and artist Jennifer Mann to officially unveil the statue.

Born in 1928, Zelda D’Aprano worked at Trades Hall as a union official in the 1960s where she organised with other workers for equal pay.

Zelda became a symbol of the struggle for equal pay in Australia in 1969 when she chained herself to the doors of the Commonwealth Building in Melbourne.

Depicting her in this iconic moment, the bronze sculpture of Zelda was created by internationally recognised artist Jennifer Mann in her Macedon Ranges studio.

It was cast by Fundere Fine Art Foundry, an artist-run foundry based in Sunshine.

Honouring Zelda D’Aprano is the fifth of six new pieces of enduring public art around the state celebrating women’s achievements as part of the Andrews Labor Government’s $1 million Victorian Women’s Public Art Program.

Quotes attributable to Minister for Women Natalie Hutchins

This statue elevates Zelda’s legacy as a pioneer for gender equality and equal pay, while reminding us there’s much more to be done to identify and dismantle the systems and structures which continue to drive inequality for women.”

“The Andrews Labor Government is addressing gender inequalities that persist across women’s lives, with Victoria’s new gender equality strategy set to be released in coming months.”

Quotes attributable to A Monument of One’s Own The Hon Julia Gillard AC

“I congratulate the team at a Monument of One’s Own for its determination to bring this vision to life and give more Australian women the recognition they deserve.”

“We need to be bold and loud about the achievements of Australian women, because women like Zelda D’Aprano have played such an important role in so many of the country’s key moments in history.”

Quote attributable to Victorian Trades Hall Council Assistant Secretary Wilhelmina Stracke

Zelda is an important link in the chain of trade union women who have taken action to advance the cause of women’s rights at work. This is a place for Victorians to sit and reflect on the progress that has been made and consider their own role in building a more just and equal world.”

Reviewed 30 May 2023

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