"How else could she (Elsa, the lion) know that it needed all the strength of my love for her to leave now and give her back to nature - to let her learn to live alone until she might find her pride - her real pride?"

JOY, ADAMSON - The Second Release

"There is nothing enduring in the life of a woman except what she builds in a man's heart."


"She had been dragged in the most humiliating of all dusts, the dust reserved for older women who let themselves be approached, on amorous lines, by boys... It had all been pure vanity, all just a wish, in these waning days of hers, still to feel power, still to have the assurance of her beauty and its effects."


"A marriage, she found, with someone of a different breed is fruitful of small rubs..."


"Strange that the vanity which accompanies beauty - excusable, perhaps, when there is such great beauty, or at any rate understandable - should persist after the beauty is gone."


"I suppose the fact is that no friendship can stand the breakfast test... Civilisation has done away with curl-papers, yet at that hour the soul of the Hausfrau is as tightly screwed up as was ever her grandmother's hair, and though my body comes down mechanically, having been trained that way by punctual parents, my soul never thinks of beginning to wake up for other people till lunch-time, and never does so completely till it has been taken out of doors and aired in the sunshine. Who can begin the conventional amiability the first thing in the morning? It is the hour of savage instincts and natural tendencies; it is the triumph of the Disagreeable and the Cross. I am convinced that the Muses and the Graces never thought of having breakfast anywhere but in bed."

MARY ELIZABETH , ARNIM - Elizabeth and Her Garden

"How could one live, while such things were going on? How could one endure consciousness, except by giving oneself up wholly and forever to helping, and comforting, and at last, at last, perhaps healing?"


"... without it (love), without, anyhow, the capacity for it, people didn't seem to be much good. Dry as old bones, cold as stones, they seemed to become, when love was done; inhuman, indifferent, self-absorbed, numb."


"Life was certainly a queer business - so brief, yet such a lot of it; so substantial, yet in a few years, which behaved like minutes, all scattered and anyhow."


"Surely the world we live in is but the world that lives in us. "


"Your true gentlewoman does not sit down and weep and say 'I've never done such things' - she simply 'does' and no more about it. "


"We have always put the responsibility on a woman's shoulders rather than insisting that society changes and stops being violent towards women."


"I think, just the exhilaration of flying. The freedom of the air. The freedom of flight. And you completely remove yourself from the world. And you can voluntarily remove yourself from all those...everything that's near and dear to you. And you voluntarily return."

NANCY, BIRD-WALTON - about aviation

"...women can't have it all. They can have plenty of choices, but at the end of the day, they choose something which means they can't have something else... I feel incredibly lucky that I've had the kind of career that is so consuming that I don't feel I have a void in my life."


"I believe that as more women around the world take on leadership positions – in their communities, countries, across continents – the impact of female leadership will be profound... And let’s face it, including women in leadership teams adds a diversity of attitudes, outlooks and experience. And greater diversity means the team is more likely to come up with new ideas, more creative approaches, and more flexible thinking and responses to challenges."


"As I go about my work as Premier, I know I stand on the shoulders of giants. "


"When a woman is fit and healthy, everything else falls into place. We are conditioned to put others first, that 'burnt chop syndrome' we observed in our mothers. It takes discipline to pay attention to our diets, to exercise, to leave time for refreshment of mind, body and spirit."


"Again and again, I learn how much friendship enriches my life, bringing warmth, assurance, humour, inspiration, a sense of security. It depends on honesty, trust, loyalty. It's about giving. It's for sharing the good times, but also the tough times, hurt, grief, sadness."


"I have learnt how lucky I am to live in this country. I am grateful for the opportunity I have had to see the beauty of our landscape and to meet so many of my fellow Australians in rural, remote and urban places. To observe that unique Australianness we are so proud to call our own, those qualities that make us who we are - courage, toughness, compassion."


"Yes, you can have it all, but not all at the same time. Set your own priorities, trust your gut and follow your heart."


"If we're not growing, we must feel guilty, because we are not fulfilling Christ's demand."


"In family life, love is the oil that eases friction, the cement that binds closer together, and the music that brings harmony."


"Whatever influence you have, it's only for a small amount of time. When Sir Frank (Packer) sold the Daily and Sunday Telegraph to Rupert Murdoch in 1972, I lost my position as women's editor. Suddenly the phones stopped ringing. All the people who said they were my friends, I didn't hear from them. I was only in my 20's, and that was a sobering lesson to learn: how fleeting everything is, and how easily it can be taken away from you. So you never take yourself too seriously, you never think you're too important."


"Like it or not, liberation for women will be achieved only with the full co-operation of men. "


"Even though you get a little twinge every now and again with the years marching on and become aware of your own mortality, you realise you're only limited by your imagination. "


"The only limitations are the ones we put on ourselves. "


"The reason women are always reluctant to reveal their age is because other people label them as 'past it'. In the 21st century, women over 60 are not past it - we are vital, active, sexual beings, living life to the full."


"I played to win. When I was a child, my brothers and I played cowboys and Indians in the park, and I was always an Indian who got captured. That was a learning experience; they were showing me that as a woman I was going to be captured. But in a metaphorical sense, I think I did eventually become a cowboy."

ITA, BUTTROSE - on competitiveness

"Decide what you want - believe you can have it, believe you deserve it, believe it's possible for you. "


"We are the curators of life on earth. We hold it in the palm of our hand."


"My current fear is that the message being sent by the level of vitriol surrounding Gillard's flawed leadership (but tell me whose wasn't flawed) is being heard by Australian women and girls loud and clear. And the message is: 'Don't aspire to high office,sweetheart, because we'll flay you alive.'"


"If Her Majesty's Government be really desirous of seeing a well-conducted community spring up in these Colonies, the social wants of the people must be considered. If the paternal Government wish to entitle itself to that honoured appellation, it must look to the materials it may send as a nucleus for the formation of a good and great people. For all the churches you can build, and all the books you can export, will never do much good without what a gentleman in that Colony very appropriately called 'God's police' - wives and little children - good and virtuous women."


"Marriage takes perseverance and determination. There are always opportunities to walk away from marriage but I feel very strongly that you have a responsibility once you start a family."


"When I was growing up and forming these feelings of regret at being born into the wrong gender, there were very few women doctors, no women engineers, in fact very few women in any professions. So an ambitious little girl would feel frustrated. You must have role models."


"To those of my own sex who desire to emigrate to Australia, I say do so by all means, if you can go under suitable protection, possess good health, are not fastidious or 'fine-ladylike', can milk cows, churn butter, cook a good damper, and mix a pudding. The worst risk you run is that of getting married, and finding yourself treated with twenty times the respect and consideration you may meet with in England. Here (as far as number goes) women beat the 'lords of creation'; in Australia it is the reverse, and there we may be pretty sure of having our own way."


"Love what you do, work hard, bend when you have to, but never sell out."


"In my view understanding does not require anything so heroic as 'identification', which is at best a slapdash procedure and too often a misleading one."

INGA, CLENDINNEN - Reading the Holocaust

"I was especially terrified of Germans, because they clearly glorified in their wickedness; they wore black uniforms, flaunted an insignia of a human skull couched on human bones, and unabashedly proclaimed themselves 'Nasties'. At a time when Australia stood in real and present danger from the Japanese, my dreams were full of stolid minions of men in black... invading across the back paddock, through the back gate and into the kitchen to kill us all."

INGA, CLENDINNEN - Reading the Holocaust

"Chastity seems to have come as a late development. What the primitive maiden dreaded was not the loss of her virginity but a reputation for sterility. "


"... laughter is lovelier than tears in bed."

DOROTHY, COADE HEWETT - Unanswered Love Letter

"Men have influenced my activism and feminism both positively and negatively. As most gender differences are social, not genetic, we still need to change what we do and what we expect of each other... The potential exists for societies where men and women do not have to conform to unwanted stereotypes."


"Men as well as women, must strive for a balance of experience. Masculinity, defined as requiring the ability to act physically or mentally but excluding anything too emotional or nurturing, currently denies men this balance. Their ability to care is seen as inappropriate for everyday use, and a lack of desire for power or promotion are seen as signs of inadequacy."

EVA, COX - Leading Women

"The essence of leadership is making up your own mind and then being able to take other people with you."

EVA, COX - Leading Women

"A balance is necessary in life. To achieve this we must move away from broad definitions of workplaces as functional and households as emotional. Similarly, home, the haven in a heartless world, as defined by men, cannot be used by them as an antidote to the workplace's discomforts and demands, if this means having the wife as a servicer."

EVA, COX - Leading Women

"Leading women, if they are to offer variations from the present companies of leading men, need to be drawn from a wide spectrum of household and family arrangements. If women with children and family responsibilities are almost always seriously limited by these, then those currently in power will not have the personal experience necessary to represent these overlooked areas."

EVA, COX - Leading Women

"We have to recognise that the validation of identity comes through relationships we have and what we produce."

EVA, COX - Leading Women

"We must continue working for a better world. I want my grandchildren to live in a society with a spirit of independence, a society that puts people before profits and looks after the environment. "


"To keep quiet about sexism and verbal put-downs is to condone violence. This complicit silence is acted out thousands of times a day - the turning of a blind eye to abuse that we know deep down is unacceptable. Soft-pedalling on abuse arodes our collective capacity to exercise compassion and respect, as well as guaranteeing the safety and wellbeing of everyone, especially women and girls."


"High levels of sexual assault and family violence will prevail as long as a tolerator culture persists. Men who care deeply about the women and girls in their lives - mothers, daughters, partners and friends - need to recognise that other men are violent (physically, emotionally and psychologically) towards other women and girls. Silence, defensiveness and passivity... acts as potent cultural affirmation. When men in every sphere of leadership - political, corporate, workplace and community - acknowledge the violence of other men as their issue and show they are prepared to change the attitudes and behaviours of their male peers, the tolerator fabric will wear thin. Rest assured, all of society can only benefit."


"Sexism and misogyny offer no benefit to our advancement as a society. Distortions in power relations become further entrenched. Active discrimination is entrenched."

MARY, CROOKS - A Switch in Time - Restoring Respect to Australian Politics

"The stark reality is that sexual assault and family violence is highly gendered... the overwhelming majority of sexual assault and family violence perpetrators are male. Women know intimately how they order their lives to reduce the risk of male violence that stems from an unhealthy and anti-social masculinity that depends on entitlement, intimidation, domination and control. Most men clearly reject this particular masculinity, rejecting violence in their relationships with women. The next step is for these men to realise the leadership power they have to change the cultural context that produces abusive power."


"For a start, we need to resist the de-stabilising of our minority government by challenging those who promote the idea that it has no legitimacy. Second, we need to 'out' the sexism and misogyny that are being directed towards the nation's first woman prime minister. Such attitudes are degrading of the person who is holding the top job and who is performing with skill and effective leadership under demanding political circumstances. Sexist insults also degrade the office of prime minister. And by extension, they degrade all women and girls in this country. Do we truly believe in a fair go? Are we signalling to the next generations of women and girls that,when push comes to shove, they really don't have a place in key power positions?"

MARY, CROOKS - A Switch in Time - Restoring Respect to Australian Politics

"We all have a key role to play in contesting and changing the tone, quality and focus of current political debate in all of its dimensions. We need to make the most of the information contained in A Switch in Time and do what we can to redirect negative, destructive undercurrents into a more productive,respectful and civil political discourse. And we should do this now, before it's too late."

MARY, CROOKS - A Switch in Time - Restoring Respect to Australian Politics

"Until women write truthfully of their personal experiences and involvement in the outside world, we will continue to be ignored and unrecorded, and generation after generation of young women deprived of this information will continue to make the same mistakes. "


"I'm very much for helping create women who are going to be successful women. I don't like women who imitate men, who want to emasculate men. I think women should be feminine. That does not mean a 'air-brain' or someone who is not strong. I think real strength is strength of character, not the ability to push everyone around. "


"Whether she sees the week or month out, I'm pretty sure Julia Gillard isn't a bitch, witch, she-devil or any of the other pejoratives cast her way in her remarkable career. And let's not kid ourselves it's not remarkable being the first female leader of your country. That's history. Lock it in, Eddie. Julia Gillard will be mentioned in Aussie classrooms for the next two centuries. Gillard has both manifested and magnified the ambitions of more Australian girls under the age of 16 than every female athlete, actress, model, scientist, journalist and cartoon super hero combined."

SAM, DE BRITO - The Age, 25 JUNE 2013

"In four years of mostly minority government, we've not once seen Gillard lose her cool despite parliamentary pressures and compromises that would have turned John Howard into Groucho Marx and made Tony's Abbott's head explode. Make all the jokes you want about Gillard's red hair, but she's anything but flammable. She's cooler than the other side of the pillow, which we might have the grace to admit in 10 or 20 years' time."

SAM, DE BRITO - The Age, 25 JUNE 2013

"I love being my age. I love getting older. What you lose in looks, you gain in wisdom. I might not be as physically beautiful on the outside today, but I'm much more beautiful on the inside. True beauty comes from inside..."


"Men may have their sports and competition of the dressing room, but women's most intense sexual rivalries are over fertility and motherhood. "


"You have to see human rights as an all-embracing concept. It could be something that would unite the world, if it could only be seen in that light."


"One brave person has to stand up, to be exposed to the limelight, go through the trauma of a sex harassment or rape case. But the force of an actual individual case can be very strong indeed, a bargaining tool, a powerful influence for change."


"I believe every woman should have the right to live in a home free of deadly weapons."


"I'm an immensely shy and vulnerable woman. My husband has never seen me naked. Nor has he expressed the least desire to do so. "


"If the women's movement can be summed up in a single phrase, it is 'the right to choose'. "


"I know what obstacles they (rural women) have to overcome to achieve their goals, such as the tyranny of distance, isolation and lack of services - government agencies, closure of financial institutions, limited educational opportunities, and the need to live away from home for medical treatment, often without any family members to support them. Many of our rural women are achieving great things but to them it is in the ordinariness of their day-to-day living. They do not see the obstacles; they see only the challenges and solutions."


"It is our spirit which brings to life our whole being; if we are spiritually drained and depleted it is very difficult to remain positive in difficult times. In our contemporary lifestyle material goods are necessary to provide temporary relief but are not sustainable, as they will never be enough."


"It hasn't been a great week for women in Australia. Heck, it hasn't been a great year for women around the world in general. But for women in Australia, this past week has provided an especially bad insight into just how unwelcome women are in public life as anything other than deferential, attractive playthings who accept their objectification as a natural, healthy part of a robust society that apparently doesn't take itself too seriously."

CLEMENTINE, FORD - Daily Life 20 June 2013

"In our current society, it is considered a weakness to be female and a treason to protest this. Highlighting inequality results in aggressive insults and threats, all of which are propped up by the repeated narrative now that women are ?playing the gender card'. And this is the final insult. That of all the unfair things associated with women - the violence and insults, the financial oppression, the very undermining of our worth as human beings - it is the acknowledgement of these inequalities that gives us some kind of unfair advantage over the men who benefit from them."

CLEMENTINE, FORD - The Age, 25 June 2013

"It would be rare to find a woman who hadn't endured some kind of ridicule for stepping out of line. When the market dictates that a woman's value is primarily attached to her looks and deferential behaviour, it's the threat of sexually degrading insults that help to keep her in check."

CLEMENTINE, FORD - The Age, 25 June 2013

"Recently, I wrote that feminism was 'finding a way of being a girl that doesn't hurt' a way for girls and women to re-negotiate our understanding of the world so that we can become a full and equal part of it rather than just a means of decorating it; to move towards a place where the mere act of being a girl isn't used against us as both a threat and an obligation. Through feminism, I have found a peace of sorts from the sense that my femaleness required a constant apology so that I might be given permission to pass through these narrow corridors."

CLEMENTINE, FORD - The Age, 25 June 2013

"If we've learnt anything from the tornado of retrosexism that gathers force whenever women in positions of power dare to speak openly about the inequality that even they face, it's that women are expected to smile sweetly even as the most powerful one among us is being aggressively mocked and undermined. Protesting the rampant and ongoing degradation of women is obviously just a manipulative tactical distraction from the "real issues" affecting voting Australians."

CLEMENTINE, FORD - Daily Life 20 June 2013

"The battle for liberation is apparently the last refuge for women unable to participate in an economy that places their sexual availability at a premium. Having someone want to fu*k you is evidently more of an aspiration than wanting them to see you as an equal human being in your own right, with opinions and thoughts worthy of consideration and an autonomy that is yours and yours alone."

CLEMENTINE, FORD - The Age, 25 June 2013

"What all this tells me is that a large proportion of the people in positions of power across Australia - politicians and media pundits included - just don't consider the beating down of women to be of any consequence. Half the time they won't even acknowledge it, let alone take a stand against it, preferring instead to gaslight women and pretend it's all in their head. Are these the kinds of people we want making decisions for us? The ones who think mockery about women's genitals is bad when it targets no one in particular, but OK when it targets the Prime Minister?"

CLEMENTINE, FORD - Daily Life 20 June 2013

"After the events of last week, I'm appalled at the standard Australia seems to be willing to accept in regards to its own behaviour and the behaviour of our leaders. Accuse me of playing the gender card all you like, but I will not walk past it any more. You might consider joining me."

CLEMENTINE, FORD - Daily Life 20 June 2013

"I'm a besotted, devoted, hands-on grandmother... It's a state of loveliness that is impossible to predict and hard to describe other than by way of saying I nearly faint with love for the child."


"Although I entertain great respect and regard for the female sex I consider the qualifications of the ladies to be already sufficiently charming without adding to their influence in society by conferring on them the right to vote for members of the legislature."


"Take every opportunity that comes your way. You should never, never see an opportunity in the eye and pass by. Never!"


"Girls! Girls! Those of you who have hearts, and therefore a wish for happiness, homes and husbands by and by, never develop a reputation for being clever. "


"Bravely you jog along with the rope of class distinction drawing closer, close, tighter, tighter around you... I see it and know it, but I cannot help you... I am only an unnecessary, little, bush commoner, I am only a - woman."

MILES, FRANKLIN - My Brilliant Career

"As adult women, we're better able to protect ourselves emotionally. We understand we don't need to spend time with people who don't make us feel good. We recognise that some people have bad energy and we know we don't want that in our lives. Instead, we choose to spend time with people who love us and treat us well and make us happy. There's no doubt that shows on your face."


"Self belief is just one of the reasons we're younger and looking better today. We're also better educated. We know more about the environment and how it impacts on us, we understand more about nutrition and diet, and how it can affect our health too. We're also aware that what we think can affect us and so we try to think positively."


"I think it's taken me this long to really trust myself, but now I do, I really do. Thanks to my experience and wisdom, I've learned not to be so naive and trusting. Today I question everything and listen to my instincts... "


"The climacteric marks the end of apologising. The chrysalis of conditioning has once for all to break and the female woman finally to emerge."

GERMAINE, GERMAINE GREER - The Change: Women, Aging and the Menopause

"Thank you very much Deputy Speaker and I rise to oppose the motion moved by the Leader of the Opposition. And in so doing I say to the Leader of the Opposition I will not be lectured about sexism and misogyny by this man. I will not. And the Government will not be lectured about sexism and misogyny by this man. Not now, not ever.
The Leader of the Opposition says that people who hold sexist views and who are misogynists are not appropriate for high office. Well I hope the Leader of the Opposition has got a piece of paper and he is writing out his resignation. Because if he wants to know what misogyny looks like in modern Australia, he doesn't need a motion in the House of Representatives, he needs a mirror. That's what he needs.
Let's go through the Opposition Leader's repulsive double standards, repulsive double standards when it comes to misogyny and sexism..."

JULIA, GILLARD - Misogyny Speech 10 October 2012

"The reaction to being the first female prime minister does not explain everything about my prime ministership, nor does it explain nothing about my prime ministership. I have been amused by colleagues in the newspapers who admitted I suffered more pressure as a result of my gender than other prime ministers in the past, but then concluded it had zero effect on my political position or the position of the Labor party. (My gender) doesn't explain everything, it doesn't explain nothing, it explains some things and it is for the nation to think in a sophisticated way about those shades of grey. What I know is it will be easier for the next woman, and the woman after that and the woman after that. "

JULIA, GILLARD - on losing the leadership

"Protest to be effective, must be followed by resolute action and at this crisis in world history when materialistic energy aims at overthrowing spiritual energy and moral values, action needs to develop into a world crusade for the Spiritual Humanity."


"I know too much from personal observation from how the poor and working classes live to be satisfied with a system which makes their lives one unceasing round of toil, deprivation and anxiety."


"Nothing-was more degrading than for a woman to have to marry for a home. Love should be the sole reason. Surely those with a brain-to think, eyes to see and a mind-to reason must realise that the capitalist system must cease and a co-operative system prevail in its place."


"An' town ladies can't never compre'end country children, any'ow. Our little maid's jus' grown up like a bush flower, an' all the better she is for it."

MARY, GRANT BRUCE - Mates at Billabong

"To me freedom means the liberty to be able to function autonomously within the whole web of life and with awareness that what we do has an impact on everyone and everything else. It requires thought and constant mindfulness. "


"The only causes of regret are laziness, outbursts of temper, hurting others, prejudice, jealousy and envy."

GERMAINE, GREER - The Female Eunuch

"Freedom is fragile and must be protected. To sacrifice it, even as a temporary measure, is to betray it. "

GERMAINE, GREER - The Female Eunuch

"All societies on the verge of death are masuline. A society can survive with only one man; no society can survive a shortage of women."

GERMAINE, GREER - Sex and Destiny

"The older woman's love is not love of herself, nor of herself mirrored in a lover's eyes, nor is it corrupted by need. It is a feeling of tenderness so still and deep and warm that it gilds every grass blade and blesses every fly. It includes the ones who have a claim on it, and a great deal else besides. I wouldn't have missed it for the world."

GERMAINE, GREER - The Change: Women, Aging and the Menopause

"Man made one grave mistake: in answer to vaguely reformist and humanitarian agitation he admitted women to politics and the professions. The conservatives who saw this as the undermining of our civilisation and the end of the state and marriage were right after all; it is time for the demolition to begin."

GERMAINE, GREER - The Female Eunuch

"As soon as we find ourselves working at being indispensable, rigging up a pattern of vulnerability in our loved ones, we know that our love has taken the socially sanctioned form of egotism."

GERMAINE, GREER - The Female Eunuch

"Every time a woman makes herself laugh at her husband's often-told jokes she betrays him. The man who looks at his woman and says 'What would I do without you?' is already destroyed."

GERMAINE, GREER - The Female Eunuch

"Every time a man unburdens his heart to a stranger he reaffirms the love that unites humanity."

GERMAINE, GREER - The Female Eunuch

"Womanpower means the self determination of women, and that means all the baggage of paternalistic society will have to be thrown overboard."

GERMAINE, GREER - The Female Eunuch

"The surest guide to the correctness of the path that women take is joy in the struggle. Revolution is the festival of the oppressed. "

GERMAINE, GREER - The Female Eunuch

"Woman... cannot be content with health and agility: she must make exorbitant efforts to appear something that never could exist without a diligent perversion of nature. Is it too much to ask that women be spared the daily struggle for superhuman beauty in order to offer it to the caresses of a subhumanly ugly mate?"

GERMAINE, GREER - The Female Eunuch

"Act quickly, think slowly. "


"Our life-style contains more Thanatos than Eros, for egotism, exploitation, deception, obsession and addiction have more place in us than eroticism, joy, generosity and spontaneity."

GERMAINE, GREER - The Female Eunuch

"A man with great drive and energy is considered healthily ambitious, a woman with the same qualities is considered aggressively ambitious. "


"It is the helplessness of little women that makes them appear 'all right' in the eyes of bushmen, helplessness being foreign to snorters."

JEANNIE AENEAS, GUNN - We of the Never-Never

"...man is the only animal that strikes his women-folk."

JEANNIE AENEAS, GUNN - We of the Never-Never

"I always think that putting yourself out for others has been more than repaid and also, I have been protesting for over fifty years now but I am not going to stop while I have breath in my body and a working head to think about it all. "


"My guess is that most Australians today would vote for Babe. A piglet who dreams of being a statesmanlike sheepdog. Who merely by asking politely, can lead the electorate two by two through the gate where the grass is always greener."


"I bit the core of pain, to find
this world's true sweetness on my lips,
the virtuoso senses priced
at nothing, in one vast eclipse.
A moving fingertip sufficed
to draw love's orbit through the mind."


"I have had the experience common to many women, of needing to define myself and to find my self-esteem as a person, not simply as somebody's wife or mother. "

HAZEL, HAWKE - A Little Bit of Magic

"Women, I believe, learn to think on their feet, to cope with change and survive. "

HAZEL, HAWKE - A Little Bit of Magic

"I think that women of my generation have had a real need to form networks and friendships because it's been, as they say, a man's world, and women have felt excluded and isolated to a large degree. When women get together in numbers their strength compounds and is seen and felt by themselves and others. "

HAZEL, HAWKE - A Little Bit of Magic

"Women who have had more opportunity to develop their own strengths and talents, or who are quite satisfied and content in a traditional role, unfortunately don't always understand that many women aren't satisfied or content. "

HAZEL, HAWKE - A Little Bit of Magic

"Women's networks are a necessary part of life. A mixture of empathy and brainstorming can move mountains. "

HAZEL, HAWKE - A Little Bit of Magic

"Most of all, I like the quiet, rounded tugs. They remind me of women. As I watch them work I see them as kindly, no-fuss boats which patiently tend much larger, grander and more important-looking ships. They make sure these ships get to the right place as the right time, shepherding them with a pull or a push as needed. Their power is not immediately obvious but it is there - inside. I watch them a lot and never tire of seeing their unsung but absolutely essential work. The silent strong women of the sea. "

HAZEL, HAWKE - My Own Life

"It is important to learn from other women. We have a lot to offer and to learn from each other out of our separate and common experience. The sisterhood (including the boilers - the old chooks!) is important to me. The dialogue between women is a rich field, but change does not come without a lot of reading, asking, listening, risk taking and hard work. "

HAZEL, HAWKE - A Little Bit of Magic

"One of the most important thing in families, both for children and spouses, is never to close off possibilities - particularly never to make demands or threats. "

HAZEL, HAWKE - My Own Life

"One thing that never ceases to delight me about us women, is the friendship and support that we give each other. "

HAZEL, HAWKE - A Little Bit of Magic

"In sum, the truth is that we luxuriate in the comfortable assertion that women enjoy equality. We have salved our consciences by eliminating the more obvious discriminations like unequal rates of pay for work of equal value. But, in fact, we have not eliminated the inheritance of the millennia that women are lesser beings, an inheritance which still manifests itself in a whole range of prejudice and other forms of discrimination."

BOB, HAWKE - on the position of women in Australia, The Resolution of Conflict

"The dialogue between women is a rich field, but change does not come without a lot of reading, asking, listening, risk-taking and hard work. "

HAZEL, HAWKE - A Little Bit of Magic

"Going to Europe, someone had written, was about as final as going to heaven. A mystical passage to another life, from which no-one returned the same. Those returning in such ships were invincible, for they had managed it and could reflect ever after on Anne Hathaway's Cottage or the Tower of London with a confidence that did generate at Sydney. There was nothing mythic at Sydney; momentous objects, beings and events all occurred abroad or in the elsewhere of books."

SHIRLEY, HAZZARD - The Transit of Venus

"Don't wait for a light to appear at the end of the tunnel, stride down there and light the bloody thing yourself. "


"A model woman according to a very prevalent conception of the character is little better than an amiable idiot; and any woman who evinces strength of mind and vigour of intellect becomes an object of derision and a butt for the feeble sarcasm of the mentally destitute of the other sex."


"The older you are, the more you have to offer. Life begins at 40 and it just gets better and better."


"The other thing is that women my age know that looks are only skin deep. They don't matter. What matters is who you are. Hopefully at the end of the day, you're a good person. That's what counts."


"No matter how many times I witness the miracle of someone having their sight restored, I'm still overwhelmed with emotion. When the eye patch comes off just 24 hours after surgery and you see that smile light up the room, you are witnessing a life being transformed."

GABI, HOLLOWS - on the gift of sight

"I just know when you do good things, it helps other people and makes you feel good... I don't think I'm a goody-goody for one second, but I believe that helping people was the right way to be. And you just gave someone else a hand up, help them up and they'll come back and help you if you need it."


" It doesn't matter what business you're in. It is the people who achieve things, not capital, and the great advantage for us is that I think women have always known this. "


"It stems from my Australianisms and belief that everyone is a fundamental cog in the wheel."


"Along the way, I've-discovered my own culture from within and within it, my ancestral ways of thinking, which meant I needed to come back and look within the spirit of the person - which is something I recall my parents and grandparents did - and not just judge by appearance. "


"The skills that all prostituted women must develop are those which allow them to survive, such as disassociation, being alert to danger and limiting the activities that the customers request to those (she is) prepared to accept without too much damage to her health and sense of self."

SHEILA, JEFFREYS - The Idea of Prostitution

"Prostituted women are being paid to receive exactly the treatment as sexual objects that other women workers are seeking to abolish."

SHEILA, JEFFREYS - The Idea of Prostitution

"Prostitution does not fit here. It is not a sexual practice for the women involved, and it was not 'discovered' and categorised as perversion by sexologists in the same way (as transvestites, transsexuals, pedophiles, sadomasochists and fetishists). Prostitution, unlike the other practices, is performed for money and has nothing to do with the 'sexual tastes' of the practitioners."

SHEILA, JEFFREYS - The Idea of Prostitution

"We need men to find their inner compassion and women to find their inner strength. We need to call on all our human qualities and ways of knowing in order to make a better world. "


"I think the influence of women needs to be more consciously accepted in all areas of life. It's been lacking. It's been there but it hasn't been acknowledged. "


"You should choose organisations that are going to be flexible and supportive and recognise people are going through different stages in their careers and actually need different sorts of support. "


"If I'm watching my son play soccer, that's what I'm doing. If I'm going to a school concert, that's what I'm doing. I turn the phone off. I actively tune into whatever I'm doing. I walk every evening with one of my sons and for that half an hour, 45 minutes, that's what I'm doing."


"As a woman, you have to make choices with regard to your life and your career. There is no doubt it's hard. I myself have four children, so life my life is very full. You make choices with regard to how you prioritise, and how you manage your whole life, but again, key to one's success is loving what you do, being very happy in what you do, enjoying working with and through people and prioritising and being pretty focused on what matters. I prioritise my whole life, not just my work life. I don't seek to compartmentalise my life and I make sure I prioritise the absolutely crucial family events, and absolutely crucial activities that surround my four children. "


"Some minds remain open long enough for the truth not only to enter but to pass through by way of a ready exit without pausing anywhere along the route."


"... it is easier to recount grievances and slights than it is to set down a broad redress of such grievances and slights. The reason is that one fears to be thought of as an arrant braggart."


"He looked at the book, took my name, and consulted his records. Then he informed me I had been lost at sea and was dead. Under the circumstances, he could not possibly give me any money... Even the fact that he was dealing with someone who had been dead for several days failed to awaken interest in his official heart."


"My mother used to say, 'He who angers you, conquers you!' But my mother was a saint."


"... panic plays no part in the training of a nurse."


"A measure of victory has been won, and honors have been bestowed in token thereof. But honours fade or are forgotten, and monuments crumble into dust. It is the battle itself that matters - and the battle must go on."


"His response was remarkable for its irrelevance, if for nothing else."


"I was wholly unprepared for the extraordinary attitude of the medical world in its readiness to condemn anything that smacked of reform or that ran contrary to approved methods of practice."


"At the end of the day, women must understand how they look is important, but not all-important; that there are different ideas of beauty. It is in the eye of the beholder and it comes from within. "


"My surroundings have always been conducive to achieving what you want and believing in self 100 per cent; not being afraid to stand up and voice your opinion. "


"Australians always want everyone to be average, as if the best thing you can do is fit in. "


"What I do value is people having the freedom to make the choices that work best for them, and the freedom to fight for things, as long as they are not harming anyone else. "


"I remember my very first day; it just struck me. I'd never felt so at home with anything as I did then. Whereas with other things I always felt like I was struggling - I felt inadequate... with cooking I felt comfortable, I felt inner confidence. I just loved it."

KYLIE, KWONG - on choosing a career in cooking

"She (Julia Gillard) has been subject to sexist attacks and unwittingly called up the misogyny that lies deep in Australian culture."

MARILYN, LAKE - National Times 26 March 2013

"As the Prime Minister displays extraordinary grace under pressure, as she continues to govern the nation in the face of incessant attacks, as she shows admirable commitment and clear-sightedness, male commentators now move to deplore her toughness - an admirable quality in a man - suggesting surely that it is unbecoming in a woman. But Gillard doesn't only have strength, she has compassion and good humour. And she knows that most women and fair-minded men support her in her program of change and her vision of a fairer society."

MARILYN, LAKE - National Times 26 March 2013

"When some people speak of Prime Minister Gillard they do so with the particular contempt and dislike they usually reserve for women. People often spoke about Margaret Thatcher in the same way. When they call Gillard's judgment into question - one of the most common charges levelled against her - they draw on centuries-old prejudices that hold that women can't be trusted. They couldn't be trusted with money, so for years banks held out against appointing them as tellers; they couldn't be trusted with their children, so had to fight for decades for the right to custody; they couldn't be trusted to sit in judgment on their fellow citizens, so the right to sit on juries was one of the last civil rights to be extended to women in Australia. Not until the 1980s did all states agree to admit women to jury service. Now it seems women can't be trusted to govern."

MARILYN, LAKE - National Times 26 March 2013

"The sun was a warrior whom I gladly contested and whom I overthrew. Dazzling and magnificent was the sun's army on my back and joyous were the blades of sweat that came from my pores and vanquished him."

EVE, LANGLEY - Not Yet the Moon

"There is no power in the world like that of women... this most potent constituency we seek to represent, and for their suffrages we sue. "


"A woman's opinions are useless to her, she may suffer unjustly, she may be wronged, but she has no power to weightily petitions against man's laws, no representatives to urge her views, her only method to produce release, redress, or change, is to ceaselessly agitate."

LOUISA, LAWSON - 1889, speech to inaugural meeting of the Dawn Club

"(It was) not against men, but against customs that have given them the whip hand too long."

LOUISA, LAWSON - on the success of her campaign for women's rights

"There were loads to be lifted - wrongs to be righted and wounds to be healed.


"Whatever a woman does or is, she is criticised. The most innocuous qualities could be twisted to show her in a bad light... If she is vivacious and enjoys social life she is a 'flirt' or a 'gadabout', if she is quiet or of a more serious turn of mind she is 'withdrawn' or 'stupid'. Through such sneers in conversation, writings, jokes or cartoons, contempt for women was handed down from one generation to the next. It was time for some systematic analysis of this constant crusade in the newspapers here in Sydney and all over the civilised world - habitual belittlement leads women to mistrust themselves and silently tolerated jests against womankind."


"I am passionate about women's culture and women's expression generally ... I think I will always be a ratbag. I will never shut-up. I will always be opinionated and fight for social justice, whether it be for women, refugees, or anti-war activism. "


"Will not South Australian women join forces and storm this last miserable subterfuge? Will they not write and insist with an emphasis that cannot be misunderstood or evaded that it is their right as citizens of a young state which claims to be free, that its women should be free. Feudalism has had its day."


"... Sir, this strike has one feature which renders it more profoundly interesting than any of its predecessors...which must secure it a prominent and distinguished page when the history of these colonies shall be written. It is that the women of Broken Hill are the first great body of working women who have raised their voices in united protest against the glaring injustice that the present constitution will not allow them a voice in framing the laws ..."

MARY, LEE - 1892, in Barrier Miner about Broken Hill miners' strike

"Could women have ever descended to such depths of misery and degradation if women had a right in making the laws for women?"


"I believe society and nature are inseparable. If we want a truly just and sustainable future you can't separate them. "


"Age to women is what kryptonite is to Superman. Inside every older woman is a younger woman screaming, 'Get me the hell outta here.'"


"What is the meaning of liberalism? It means liberty; liberty of speech, liberty of worship, liberty of action, so long as one man's liberty does not interfere with that of his neighbour. "


"I believe every single one of us has a choice in life and that we can all choose to live out whatever our exceptional minds dream up."

KARNI, LIDDELL - Women's Words, Karen Phillips

"Choices in life are not and should not be determined by our life circumstances."

KARNI, LIDDELL - Women's Words, Karen Phillips

"If a woman has talent she'll get there. But she has to be willing to fight - to have tremendous determination and be single-minded about it."


"It is important to value the individual, to have good health, a loving family and good relationships, to have community ties, leisure pursuits. These are all part of our lives. It is important to keep all of our parts in working order."


"We are far more effective on the inside looking out than the outside looking in."


"This is the first occasion upon which a woman has addressed this House. For that reason, it is an occasion which, for every woman in the Commonwealth, marks in some degree a turning point in history. I am well aware that as I acquit myself in the work that I have undertaken for the next three years, so shall I either prejudice or enhance the prospects of those women who may wish to follow me in public service in the years to come. "

DAME ENID , LYONS - Maiden Speech, House of Representatives, 1943

"I think women who are willing to 'have a go' are much more widely accepted now than ever before. I think if the opportunities aren't obvious, then women who wish to run their own business will find them or make them happen for themselves. "

MIMI, MACPHERSON - Jobs for the Girls

"The barriers to our integration are attitudinal, structural and procedural. They reflect the resistance or indifference of those who currently enjoy leadership to any changes which might force them out of their comfort zones."


"Things only change and happen when people are prepared to take risks. You don't get anywhere by sitting back."


"Women are the more important members of relationships. Women are the survivors, the nurturers and the bosses, despite men pretending it's a male dominated society."


"I escaped the torture of my childhood home by reading. To this day it is still one of my greatest pleasures."


"It's no fun to be a bluestocking in a family of jockstraps."


"Old age is an ordeal, of flesh and mind. Of winding down, of slowing down, of dying cells. It's accepting the loss of physical attractiveness and replacing it with the power and wisdom that can only come with old age."


"Men and women are like the two wings of a bird. Without one or the other, it cannot fly high. In the world of agriculture, we women don't need to be 'look-alike men', but play our part in nurturing the land and its people. "

CATHY, MCGOWAN - Ordinary People Extraordinary Lives, Margaret Carroll

"One of the drawbacks of Fame is that one can never escape from it."

DAME NELLIE , MELBA - Melodies and Memories

"If I'd been a housemaid I'd have been the best in Australia - I couldn't help it. It's got to be perfection for me. "


"I am one of the few men honest enough to say they do not understand women. "


"Revenge is the most destructive emotion. Know that retribution against someone who has hurt you will not neutralise the bitterness of your pain. It will eat away at your very being. Be positive and remember the past cannot be changed."

WALTER, MIKAC - Circle of Life

"I am passionate about women's empowerment and women's ways. "


"It is very important that women have some view of what is going on in their communities and in the world, so they are able to articulate their thoughts on injustices. We need more women who become known. "


"The standard you walk past is the standard you accept."


"Women are vital to us maintaining our capability now and into the future. If that does not suit you, then get out..."


"If you believe women are constituted differently to men then remove taxation from them. But if you're a democrat and you believe in government of the people by the people and for the people, then you believe in fair play. So when you tax women, give them the vote as well."


"It's very tiring, being so old. But I do love living."


"The most important journey is the one of the spirit, for your internal peace relies on it."

OLIVIA, NEWTON-JOHN - Women's Words, Karen Phillips

"To 'be loved' is the most basic of human needs. Like a flower, it waters the human soul. But 'to love' is a true blessing."

OLIVIA, NEWTON-JOHN - Women's Words, Karen Phillips

"My biggest mistake was my best lesson... you don't learn anything when everything is going perfectly."

OLIVIA, NEWTON-JOHN - Women's Words, Karen Phillips

"I believe love is what makes the world go round. No matter how old or young, love is why we are here. It is the very essence of one's being..."

OLIVIA, NEWTON-JOHN - Women's Words, Karen Phillips

"It's such a rarity to have women in senior powerful positions. We can name them all. Fact is, women can handle power and handle it well. That's something I'd like a lot more women to understand."


"When you have kids, you just can't believe your heart could love something so much. My kids inspire me every day and I think I'm a better singer now because they have given me a greater emotional well to draw from."

KATIE, NOONAN - on motherhood

"Obstacles are there to get around, climb over or scramble through. "


"What is important is that I have been able to demonstrate to other women and also to Aboriginal people generally that Aboriginal people are capable of doing these things and women are capable of doing these things and Aboriginal women are capable of doing these things."


"They (the women) will always do it, it seems to me... I am woman and I am strong. "


"The driving thing was for me to get out of the poverty that we lived in... My mother always used to say that we were as good as anyone else."


"I find it difficult to say I'm black first and a woman second or vice versa. I can't make that kind of distinction. Amongst Aboriginal women I do my best to raise their consciousness both as women and as Aboriginals."


"The women are the movers and shakers in the community...they initiate things...they keep things going."


"I want to say to everyone else, get stuffed, because they think women aren't strong enough, but we just beat the world."

MICHELLE, PAYNE - after winning the Melbourne Cup

"Wifehood and motherhood... are a bigger handicap than the average male genius would... essay to carry to success. "


"It's easy to make life unbearable for a woman trying to get a difficult job done. It's very, very easy. Which is why we are doing it."

BEN, POBJIE - 23-Apr-12

" I didn't take out Australian citizenship in order to protect my place in the sun. I took it out because I like those things that are now under threat. "


"I am woman, hear me roar, in numbers too big to ignore, and I know too much to go back and pretend. "


"If I have to, I can do anything.
I am strong, I am invincible,
I am woman."

HELEN, REDDY - I am woman

"The most exciting thing about women's liberation is that this century will be able to take advantage of the talent and potential genius that have been wasted because of taboos."


"Women temper men. We have a good influence on them."


"If I have to, I can do anything
I am strong, I am invincible, I am Woman."


"Everything I've done in my life has been by instinct. I never had any doubt I could do anything. I always knew I was going to be a writer."


"I write and write
Of patriarchy and oppression
The independent voice to discern
And from experience to learn

I write and write
Of the personal and political
A woman's life to portray
Cultural insights to convey."


"Life is too short to waste on the admiration of one man."


"There are many images and realities of what women are, become, can be - strong, vulnerable, dogged, determined, frail, brave, courageous. The faces of women are at once gentle, reflective, firm; steeped with a sense of self, the lives of women growing older are lives of care, toil, splendour and glory - the future is not to be feared. "


"If women don't lead, nobody else is going to, because nobody else feels as passionately as we do about injustices. We feel passionate about injustices to women and girls, and not in exclusion to injustices elsewhere."


"Eventually I believe we will overcome! "


"... for centuries there has been a long and honorable tradition of women who have resisted and protested against men and their power. "

DALE, SPENDER - Feminist Theorists: Three Centuries of Key Women Thinkers

"It is partly the absence of recorded history which sends women now to the lives of women past for the detailed documentation of their daily lives."

DALE, SPENDER - All Sides of the Subject, Women and Biography

"I believe equality is not just having a say in what you are taught, but having a say in what other people are taught about you, and at the moment, the education system is a white male system, so what is taught is about white men, anybody who starts criticising the values of white men or talking about white men from the point of view of being black or women is seen to be political. Men who teach only men are called objective and women who teach only women are called political agitators. Whites who teach only whites are called traditional an scholarly and blacks who teach only blacks are being trouble-makers. "


"Sexual harassment is becoming the modus operandi of the new world (on-line)... It is the means by which some males are conquering and claiming the new territory as their own."


"Ye want to tell the plain truth all your life, woman, and speak straight; otherwise ye get to seeing double."

CHRISTINA, STEAD - Dark Places of the Heart

"About myself? No. I'm unimportant, an observer, a wandering animal. "


"Loneliness is a terrible blindness."

CHRISTINA, STEAD - Dark Places of the Heart

"I know your breed; all your fine officials debauch the younger girls who are afraid to lose their jobs: that's as old as Washington."

CHRISTINA, STEAD - The Man Who Loved Children

"A mother! What are we worth really? They all grow up whether you look after them or not. That poor miserable brat of his is growing up, and I certainly licked the hide off her; and she's seen marriage at its worst, and now she's dreaming about 'supermen' and 'great men'. What is the good of doing anything for them?"

CHRISTINA, STEAD - The Man Who Loved Children

"I would have been really good in whatever I had chosen because I am a workaholic. I don't do things fifty per cent. I do them one hundred per cent or not at all."


"If you have in mind that the only thing which is important is the progress of science - you have done your job."


"Do not forget that in this wicked world people take you at your own valuation, so make a big noise. That is what men do! "


"Do not forget that in this wicked world people take you at your own valuation, so make a big noise. That is what men do!"


"Women's liberation gave me the courage to seek to do things in my life that I hadn't thought were possible."


"I know I'm not exactly a bombshell but one has to make the best of what one's got. "


"But I think that Australians have a sort of independence, and I think that, rightly or wrongly, they tend to make their own decisions as to how a thing has gone. Pioneers are apt to be like that. I think that it's not a bad idea. You can listen to what everybody says, but the fact remains that you've got to get out there and do the thing yourself."


"If I weren't reasonably placid, I don't think I could cope with this sort of life. To be a diva, you've got to be absolutely like a horse."


"I'm not someone who thinks about the past. I'm so busy thinking about what I'm going to do today."


"I've always been clever enough to surround myself with the best in whatever field I'm working in... Good people make you look good."


"I am a fairly optimistic person... If everything that I'm involved in now suddenly fell away, I know I would cope because I've coped before."


"It is never to late to be what you might have been!! "


"Drink from the stars and toss your hat over the moon. "


"Those of us who are committed have to keep on talking, even when we feel there is no-one listening. We have to critique what is happening and somehow resist being drawn into the vortex of the market that wants to drown us. "


"Love never dies - may this restore your spirit and comfort your heart. "


"I didn't know what I was looking for before I saw it..."


"Democracy suffers when there are deep levels of disaffection with politicians and political processes. This malaise will not be remedied by bad-mouthing politicians. A more respectful and honest relationship between our elected representatives and ourselves will only exist when both are prepared to make this come about."

, VICTORIAN WOMEN'S TRUST - Purple Sage Project 2000

"Life is so fleeting. You must recognise the value of the moment."


"All gradients of reality, all existential distinctions, have finally been annihilated."

MARGARET, WERTHEIM - The Pearly Gates of Cyberspace

"Living in Australia, we do live in a very, very fortunate society, and in many ways we are cocooned from the broader reality and challenges that both people and animals face internationally... I don't think for a moment that by awakening human hearts to the plight of animals we are not broadly extending compassion to other species and our own species."


"I came to represent all the ungainly people, the too-tall ones, the too-fat ones, and the housebound, as I had been, who'd never get the chance to go to China or Buckingham Palace, and who experienced it all through me."

MARGARET, WHITLAM - when criticised for revealing details of the furnishings of Buckingham Palace and what they ate whil

"Sometimes you get out of control. You can be at something pretty toffy and it's so ridiculous, people are so pretentious and you can have a bit of a giggle. Sometimes Gough and I can't look at each other or we set each other going. I think a sense of humour is absolutely essential. And a sense of not being the greatest thing since sliced bread."

MARGARET, WHITLAM - The Matriarchs, Susan Mitchell

"I saw my role as prime minister's wife as being human towards other humans and not treating them badly."


"What am I to do? Stay in a cage - wide open to view, of course - and say nothing? That's not on but if I can do some good I'll certainly try."

MARGARET, WHITLAM - after Labor's historic victory in December 1972

"She was a remarkable person and the love of my life. We were married for almost 70 years. She encouraged and sustained me and our four children, their families and many other people in a life full of engagement with Australians from all walks of life."

GOUGH, WHITLAM - on the death of his wife Margaret

"My main decoration is, I suppose, my conversation."

MARGARET, WHITLAM - The Matriarchs, Susan Mitchell

"Don't be silly, my life is far too ordinary and boring. Anyway I don't want to live in the past, it's the present that counts."

MARGARET, WHITLAM - when asked by Susan Mitchell to write her biography

"Cancer doesn't just ravage our insides, it frequently does a bang-up job of maiming our exteriors. It takes breasts and limbs and flesh as payment for survival, then leaves us to quietly mourn our missing parts, while we try to reassure the world that we are not defective freaks."


"We believe firmly in the existence of political parties, but this does not mean that we pledge ourselves to any particular man or body of men, but instead we pledge ourselves to a principle. We would not vote for any man we had just reason to regard as a bad man, just because he was a Liberal. "


"We (women) take it for granted that we can do what we want. Not so very long ago, that was not the case."


"An ethic of maternalism was central to the utopianism of 19th century feminists. I don't think that today's women see motherhood as a source of personal power, let alone political power. I don't think that women now have that same sense that their lives as mothers gives them any special power or virtue. I think women see their lives as mothers as an adjunct to their working lives - a fulfilling and important adjunct, to be sure - but something they do in addition to working in the public realm, not because being a wife and mother gives them a distinct edge in improving the world as we know it."


"Modern women like to think we invented the idea of balancing work and family but women have always done it."