Lilian and her daughter, Ivy, entered the ballroom. As they looked around they could see the flash and glitter of men and women dressed in their finest as they swayed to the music. The room was a buzz of activity and excitement. This ball was to celebrate the great strides that groups like theirs, The Women’s Social Committee, had made in establishing the rights of women. Tonight they would be celebrating women finally being able to receive an endowment if they had children and their marriage broke up, or if they were deserted.
In 1902 women had achieved the right to vote in New South Wales. Now, a quarter of a century later they finally had a way to make ends meet if their marriages broke up, or dissolved in any way, and they had children. Lilian put her shoulders back and stepped forward into this brave new world. No woman would be left in the situation that her mother had been left in. Looking after young children with hardly any income and a husband who could take anything she earned.
The music was loud, but not unbearably so. As the night wore on, a number of competition dances were held. Neither Lilian nor Ivy won any of the competitions but they both joined in enthusiastically. This was a celebration of how far they had come, but there was so much further that they needed to go for women to truly have equality in New South Wales. Now to focus on education. After all, there was nothing like the Rhodes scholarship for outstanding women!
1927 ‘FOR WOMEN. NATIONAL VICTORY BALL.’, The Sydney Morning Herald (NSW : 1842 – 1954), 3 December, p. 12, viewed 18 February, 2016, http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article16423707
I have focused on the side of the family that I have not researched as well for this unit. For this reason, I find this family much harder to write about as I know less of them. I also find it difficult to add in a sense of when to my writing. I find specifying when makes it much harder for me to get into a flow for a story. So this was a considerable challenge for me.