Australia Day marks centenary of right to vote

By ALLAN McNEILallanm@gladstoneobserver.com.au

APART from being the celebration of our country becoming a colony, yesterday was also the 100th anniversary of women in Queensland gaining the right to vote.

Member for Gladstone Liz Cunningham said the right for Queensland women to vote was a significant step, but it was 'a long time coming.'

'It added balance to the rights of women, which is very important,' Mrs Cunningham said.

Mrs Cunningham said the effects of women gaining the right to vote had enabled them to then stand for parliament and represent the community.

However Mrs Cunningham added that it was important for people to remember the suffrage faced by women before they were given the right to vote, because it reminded them about similar situations faced by other groups.

Ms Cunningham mentioned the political situations of Aborigines and minority groups before they were enfranchised to vote.

Queensland women were given the right to vote on January 26, 1905 and while there was some rather convoluted opposition, most people supported the move.

It wasn't until the following year, 1906, that Queensland women voted in an election.



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