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Friday, June 24, 2022

Maribyrnong women breaking the bias during WWII

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To celebrate the upcoming International Women’s Day, the Public Record Office Victoria is hosting a free online lecture focusing on young women munitions workers in Footscray.

From the 1890s through to World War II, thousands of young women found employment at the Colonial Ammunition Company works on the banks of the Maribyrnong River in Footscray.

One of the reasons the particular site was chosen was to be close to a large population of working class women to supply the factory with labour.

Senior Archivist at the University of Melbourne Katie Wood will be one of key speakers at the free online webinar.

She said the story of the young ammunition workers is a “rollicking tale of work, family, war, community, politics and even sport”.

“Through their work, their contribution to family incomes, their self-organisation and their impact on the local community, these women challenged the prevailing biases,” she said.

“They were active participants in one of the most important changes to the lives of Australians in the Twentieth Century; the broadening of women’s employment.”

The webinar is in line with the 2022 International Women’s Day campaign theme #BreakTheBias.

The theme is intended to challenge inequality where it’s visible and through personal actions be responsible for breaking the bias in the community.

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