5 Minutes with… The Lilac Foundation

In this series we have a chat with activists, advocates and stirrers making a difference for women and girls. 

The Lilac Foundation is a girl-led group campaigning for equal recognition of women in public monuments and memorials in Canberra.

lilacfoundation2Tell us about the Lilac Foundation. The Lilac Foundation is a non-profit organisation that is focused on ensuring that women of our past and future will be recognised for their achievements and contributions to society. The Foundation was originally founded by six Year Nine students who are determined to draw attention to and recognise unacknowledged women in Canberra.

What does an average day look like advancing the agenda? A standard day with the Lilac Foundation included emailing, making calls, writing up proposals and pitches and a lot of brainstorming. We’re very eager to keep moving along until we have reached all our goals and ticked off all the needed boxes.

As females in today’s society, we found this to be unacceptable and felt a great need to make a difference.

What drew you to gender equality activism? We were drawn to gender activism and specifically women’s rights through the encounter and exploration of Marion Mahony Griffin. Marion played a major role in the original design and further development of Canberra, however, she was not recognised for her efforts due to her gender. As females in today’s society, we found this to be unacceptable and felt a great need to make a difference. We hope to do this through our Foundation, which has the long term goal of paying tribute to unrecognised women through a walkway of plaques in significant places in the ACT, such as around Lake Burley Griffin.

In your mind, what does a society look like when the contributions and lives of women are equally recognised and celebrated? This society will be a place where significant women from history are as recognised as men, and many of these women aren’t spoken about in relation to their husbands anymore. Furthermore, the present would offer equal opportunities to both genders and there would ultimately be no gender pay gap.

How can people and organisations get involved and support your work? People and organisations can get easily involved in our work by simply offering support. We would greatly appreciate any help, ideas and input from the Canberran community, and it would be amazing to see others get behind us and support such a worthy and much needed initiative. People and organisations could do this through sending us an email to thelilacfoundation@outlook.com.au, visiting our website at thelilacfoundation.weebly.com or even just following our Instagram page!

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