Panel Discussion Wed 2 Oct

Title: ‘Their Triumph, Our Motivation: 125th anniversary of women’s suffrage.’


Their Triumph, Our Motivation: 125th anniversary of women’s suffrage

December 2019 marks the 125th anniversary of landmark legislation that enabled women in South Australia for the first time anywhere in Australia to vote in general elections, and to stand as members of Parliament.  Join SA’s Equal Opportunity Commissioner, Dr Niki Vincent, keynote speaker Dr Michelle Arrow, and political trailblazers in exploring the relevance of this event and other women’s rights landmarks for History classrooms across Australia. Proudly sponsored by the Office for Women.

Biographies of Presenters:

Associate Professor Michelle Arrow, Macquarie University

Michelle Arrow is an Associate Professor in Modern History at Macquarie University. She is the author of three books, including Friday on Our Minds: Popular Culture in Australia Since 1945, and most recently The Seventies: The Personal, the Political and the Making of Modern Australia (New South, 2019). Together with Leigh Boucher and Kate Fullagar, Michelle is editor of the Australian Historical Association’s journal, History Australia. Her radio feature, ‘Public Intimacies: The 1974 Royal Commission on Human Relationships’, won the 2014 NSW Premier’s Multimedia History Prize.

Hon Anne Levy AO

The Hon Anne Levy AO was the first ever woman to preside in any Australian House of Parliament. She was an ALP member of the SA Legislative Council for 22 years, from 1975-97, being the first ever ALP woman to enter that chamber. Anne was President from 1986 -9, and then a Minister from 1989-92, holding the portfolios of Arts and Cultural Heritage, Local Government, State Services, and Status of Women. After leaving Parliament she served as Honorary French Consul for 5 years. Anne has also been a member at different times of various Boards, including that of the Botanic Gardens, Country Arts, State Theatre, Dame Roma Mitchell Trust, and Family Planning.

Anne’s career before entering Parliament was as a Senior Tutor in Genetics at the University of Adelaide. She is a widow with two children and four grandchildren.

Dr Niki Vincent is the South Australian Commissioner for Equal Opportunity. (panel chair)

Her functions are to receive, investigate and conciliate complaints of discrimination, foster and encourage informed and unprejudiced attitudes amongst members of the public, with a view to eliminate discrimination; institute and promote or assist in research, data collection and dissemination of information relating to discrimination and to make recommendations to the Minister as to legislative or other reforms that she believes will further the objects of the Act.

Niki holds two University Medals (for her PhD and Honors in Psychology). She has also received an Australian Leadership Award. A mother of four adult children and grandmother to 9, Niki also is a weekend respite foster mum to a 16year old girl from Liberia.

Ms Frances Bedford MP, Member for Florey

Frances Bedford is the Independent Member for Florey and has served in the South Australian Parliament since 1997. She founded the Muriel Matters Society in 2009 to recognise the work of this remarkable South Australian suffragist, who was active in the struggle to enfranchise women in the United Kingdom.

Ms Lisa Teburea, Executive Director Public Affairs, Local Government Association of SA

Lisa Teburea is an experienced and respected public policy and government relations specialist leading the public affairs team at the Local Government Association of South Australia. Lisa has served on a number of boards and committees and is currently a member of the SA Volunteering Strategy Partnership Board.

Title: The end of Angkor and why it matters.

Presenter: Professor Martin Polkinghorne


Martin Polkinghorne is a Lecturer in Archaeology at Flinders University. Since completing his PhD at the University of Sydney, Martin has led excavation teams to discover undocumented sites throughout Cambodia. His current preoccupation is to find the first capital of Cambodia after Angkor.


Angkor is often typecast as a definitive “Collapsed Civilisation”. Descriptions of a grand city of nearly one million inhabitants ruined by catastrophe and left to the jungle is challenging to address in popular perspectives of Cambodia. Invasion by a foreign power was the first and most intelligible explanation, while recent research has laid responsibility at the feet of severe climatic fluctuations. Angkor’s demise remains a contemporary fascination, however local narratives describing loss and failure developed over many hundreds of years. It is regrettable, but the pejorative narrative of “collapse” continues to obscure interpretations of continuity, adaptation and renewal. Martin will discuss the latest archaeological research at Angkor, question long-held constructions of Cambodian history, and demonstrate how understandings of the Angkorian past matter in the present.