My mother was a servant who was brutally harassed by a rich family in whom she was working for. My mother only made 20 shillings per week, therefore I lived very poor as we struggled to earn enough money to even have enough food on our table.
Our house consisted of a very small bedroom with a bed in which we shared, a near broken wood-burning stove with basic kitchen accessories and most terribly an outhouse which had an awful stench and was shared with a large group of neighbours.
My mother and I wanted change especially in the lifestyle we were living. Us women wanted to be treated equally, respectfully and granted rights. But we wanted a something in particular, a suffrage which granted us the right to vote!
Suddenly we saw complete amazement when a constitution of South Australia allowed the women of the state to receive a suffrage. Loud sheers were heard by the women of Victoria as they knew it was going to come for them as well.
The women of my home-state Victoria, saw hope in achieving the right to vote after the successful triumph of South Australia receiving the right. But in actual fact, they were wrong and would have to wait in order to receive theirs.
More and more individuals and groups stood for the right of women to vote. Main streets were filled with women demonstrating and giving out petitions to other women and even men to gain their attention and to join them in gaining the suffrage.
Women shouting ‘support the right of women to share their opinion’, while dressed formally in large amount of clothing and walking around the streets. Women even stepped on the fly attracted horse manure, just to get their information across.
The Womanhood Suffrage League of New South Wales, led by Maybanke Wolstoneholme and Rose Scott, petitioned those who attended the 1897 Federal Convention, to address women's voting rights. They yelled, they screamed and they shouted pleading with them to help them.
My mother and I prayed every single day, hoping that we would have the privilege of being able to receive a suffrage which meant we would be one of the first ever women in the world to receive one. But in actual fact, we still had a long time to wait.
News was travelling fast across, the dry and hot land that another colony, Western Australia had been granted also a suffrage. My mother saw hope in being able to voice her opinion one day in an election before she died.
It was 1901, January the 1 st and the six British Colonies in Australia was declared a federation. A procession of bands, floats and dignitaries were all at centennial park with around 100,000 people attending the swearing of Australia’s first prime minister, Edmund Barton.
The news spread across through the latest addition of Vida Goldstein's Australian Woman's Sphere. It was published and had arrived in Victoria after two months in which the event had happened. There was much larger hope that the women of Victoria would finally have their chance to vote as a large change had occurred.
One of the first bills of the new Commonwealth Government was a franchise bill to give all women a vote in federal elections. It was passed in the year 1902 and had gradually extended to state elections.
Every girl, every women in Victoria cheered and was delighted that it had occurred. The news broke through the different newspapers with the story being on the front cover. But little did they know that it would take effect immediately.
The constitution of Victoria, had dismissed the ruling of the federal bill and had disagreed with the decision made after a week. Women in the state of Victoria became disappointed and had seem to lose hope.
My mother cried her eyes out, pouring drops of water as she heard the news. She basically had lost all hope in being able to get her chance to have her say, to have a vote. She then died two months later, after suffering a server case of typhoid.
It was the year 1908 and I was twenty-three years old. The Victorian Constitution finally agreed in allowing women to vote after amounts of petitioning and demonstrating. The first election in which Victoria participated in was the re-election of prime minister, Edmund Barton.
Women immediately ran straight to the pub, getting drunk and proud of their achievement of being able to convince others to allow woman to vote. It was the end of an era in which women had to protest their rights in order to be granted a suffrage, in order to have the right to vote.