The National Pioneer Women’s Hall of Fame is dedicated to preserving the place of women in history. It’s fitting that it’s located in Alice Springs in Central Australia, an area that was home to very few women over one hundred years ago. Those that did forge a home out of the bush on isolated properties were tasked with surviving every conceivable hurdle, all of which were borne out of the extreme distances and isolation from major towns. The museum was founded by Molly Clark of Old Andado Station in 1993 and since its inception has embraced women from all walks of life, celebrating those who through pioneering work of any form have gone on to contribute to the advancement of Australia.
“The museum defines a pioneer woman as any woman who is a pioneer in her chosen field from settlement to present day and commemorates the achievements of all Australian women”. The National Pioneer Women’s Hall of Fame website
What’s interesting about this museum is the collection of artefacts that have been donated from across Australia. These collectables form the basis of the museums many exhibits and include a large variety of photographs, books, personal records, art and crafts from settlement through to objects relating to today’s women leaders.
It is a time capsule of hope and resilience, determination and love, and for the earliest of our female pioneers, hardship and loss.
The museum is housed in the Old Alice Springs Gaol, and if you read my blog on where the name of Alice Springs originated from you’ll know that the gaol has a unique history all of its own. There is also a research library.
International Women’s Day will be celebrated on the eighth of March this year. It’s a great time to reflect on those who have come before us and to give thanks for the paths already forged.