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New pocket parks and public spaces around Sydney are to be named in honour of three influential women who advocated for women’s and children’s rights.
The City of Sydney will name the public spaces after Louisa Lawson, Nita McCrae and Frances Newton.
State Library Senior Curator Margot Riley said it was great to recognize the contribution the women made and to raise awareness about their achievements.
“It is very important because so often women’s contribution is not documented in this way,” she said.
“We often hear the deeds of the men and places are named after men but it’s not as common for places to be named after women,”
“It is marvellous that we are able to put more names out there, not just the same names that everybody is used to hearing, but new names that people aren’t so familiar with,” Ms Riley said.
Louisa Lawson (1848-1920) was a leader of women’s suffrage and owner of a successful women’s magazine, Dawn magazine.
A public space near the former location of Dawn magazine office will be named “Louisa Lawson Place” to honour her contribution to society.
Due to Dawn’s commercial success, being read in Australia and internationally, she employed ten women to work for the magazine.
This led to the creation of the Dawn Club in Sydney which was the centre of the suffrage movement.
...an admirable woman
A new pocket park in Millers Point will be named after Nita McCrae to acknowledge her work.
Nita McCrae (1925-1995) was part of the Millers Point Resident Action Group who fought against the state government to resist the relocation of residents and redevelopment of The Rocks.
In conjunction with the Builders Labourers’ Federation, she placed a green ban on the development.
Ms Riley said that Nita McCrae was an admirable woman.
“She was concerned about her neighbourhood and obviously, very proud that her family came from The Rocks and Millers Point,” she said.
...roles models who did make changes to their world
Frances Newton, a pioneer for early childhood education will be remembered by a new pocket park on the site of a former Darlinghurst kindergarten.
Frances was a key figure in expanding free kindergartens in Sydney and was principal of the Sydney Kindergarten Training College (1902-1905).
The construction of the pocket park- “Frances Newton Reserve”, will start early next year and will include a community garden.
“We’ve got these role models who did make changes to their world through persistence and thinking that they could stand up and do something,” Ms Riley said.
Lord Mayor Clover Moore said she was proud to honour three strong women who championed the rights of women, children and the most vulnerable in the community.
“Each of these women had a vision of making Sydney and Australia a fairer and more equal society and their hard work towards this goal continues to benefit our communities today.”