The women who shaped Melbourne

Discover 27 surprising stories of women who helped shape Melbourne thanks to a recent research project.

We asked the Victorian Women’s Trust to complete this project, which will help us honour the legacy of our city’s notable women and men in more equal measure. Maria Chetcuti oversaw the research.

‘It is a particularly important element of creating lasting gender equality to show that, throughout history, women have always been shaping our city,’ Maria said.

‘I found Mollie Dyer AM, who achieved so much for Indigenous children’s welfare, a real inspiration.

‘I think we can all feel like a small cog in a big wheel but her legacy reminds me that big things can be achieved with enough compassion, dedication and vision.’

‘There were many women innovators, mavericks and pioneers that paved the way for our communities.’

We will use the stories gathered through this project to help name future streets and laneways, and to influence public art.

‘I’d love to see more women on the public record in our street names and public spaces rather than buried in footnotes in dusty bowels of libraries or lost to history altogether,’ Maria said.

‘There were many women innovators, mavericks and pioneers that paved the way for our communities and bought about real lasting impact.’

The stories have been compiled into a booklet, available for download on the Victorian Women’s Trust website.