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Every voice counts: suffrage in Australia exhibition

Historical photo of Australian women from 1898

About the exhibition

In celebration of the 120th anniversary of the Commonwealth Franchise Act 1902, Parliament House is proud to present the Every voice counts: suffrage in Australia exhibition. 

From 30 June to 6 November 2022, explore suffrage in Australia, the role of the Federal Parliament in electoral reform and Australia’s influence on overseas suffrage campaigns.

The Commonwealth Franchise Act 1902 granted most Australian women the right to vote and to stand in federal elections. Australia was the first nation in the world to grant women these dual rights.

Proud of its achievement, the Australian Parliament supported women’s activists in their call for Britain, the ‘Mother Country’, to follow Australia’s radical example.

Progress is ongoing. The Franchise Act reflected the majority views in 1902. Participation by women in politics has improved, but for many, is not keeping pace with community expectations. Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander women and men fought for decades to be enfranchised on equal terms with their fellow Australians.

Learn about suffrage in Australia through a selection of images, stories and campaign materials from the Parliament House Art Collection and loans from other institutions.

Image: Photographer unknown, Australasian, 17 September 1898 

Thursday 30 June to Sunday 6 November 2022


Public Exhibition Area

Free for 2 hours and on weekends
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More information
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We acknowledge the traditional owners and custodians of country throughout Australia and acknowledge their continuing connection to land, waters and community. We pay our respects to the people, the cultures and the elders past, present and emerging.

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people are advised that this website may contain images and voices of deceased people.