What’s in a name? More inspiring women to be publicly honoured

Published 08 March 2022

Newsletter event IWD.png

Gender equity and diversity are at the heart of an updated naming policy unveiled by Council this International Women’s Day.

Mayor Peter Flannery said recognition of inspiring women isn’t something that should happen just one day a year.

Women, young women and girls need strong role models to inspire them, connect to and celebrate - and it’s also importantant for boys and men to recognise and celebrate women in the spirit of mutual respect and equality, in line with this year’s IWD theme, Break the Bias. “We have a really important role to play in ensuring all residents of Moreton Bay, irrespective of gender, ethnicity, or cultural background, feel welcome in public spaces.

“It’s important to me that the next generation are able to look around them and see other women being publicly celebrated every day.

“That’s why we’re asking our community to nominate their favourite local woman and tell us why they deserve to be honoured.

“It may be a pioneering historical woman, community member, sports star, business leader or volunteer that you’d like to one day see recognised in a public place.”

The updated policy will better reflect community expectations and values when it comes to representing women, promoting and normalising gender equality in public life, which is sadly lacking across Queensland, and around the nation.

Deputy Mayor Councillor Jodie Shipway said research shows there are more statues of animals than women in Australia, and only 3 per cent of statues nation-wide honour historical, non-fictional women.

“We have fantastic female role models in our community right now, including Olympic Gold Medallist Kaylee McKeown, Paralympian Lakeisha Patterson, and Activist Olivia Hargroder. We’re also thrilled to be hosting the NRLW Grand Final at Moreton Daily Stadium next month,” Cr Shipway said.

“This policy will not impose quotas or limitations on Council when it comes to naming, but instead broaden our options and take the principals of equality and diversity into consideration, with posthumous nominations also encouraged.

 The principles behind the changes are also inspired by the work of nine-year-old Malia Knox, who has put the spotlight on the underrepresentation of women through her #FemaleFaces4PublicPlaces campaign.

“Malia’s petition for more female statues, pictures and plaques gained considerable media coverage and has led to policy changes by the Queensland Government,” Cr Shipway said.

“Through this policy overhaul, Council is working to make the dreams of young people like Malia a reality and to lead the way among other Queensland councils in the naming of public spaces.

“I don’t want to look back in decades to come and think we were on the wrong side of history.”

To tell us about the amazing women of Moreton Bay who inspire you, visit Council’s Facebook page at www.facebook.com/MoretonBayCouncil and leave your comments.

To read the updated policy, visit our website.