Vida: A woman for our time
Date: September 2020
Duration: 9 hours 17 minutes
Blazing her trail at the dawn of the twentieth century, Vida Goldstein remains Australia's most celebrated suffragette and social reformer. Her life - as a campaigner for women's rights and suffrage in Australia, Britain and America, an advocate for peace, a fighter for social equality for all and a shrewd political commentator - marks her as one of Australia's foremost women of courage and principle. In 1903 she became the first woman in Australia to stand for the Senate, and the the first woman in the Western world to stand for a national Parliament.
Vida grew up mostly in Melbourne. After working as a teacher, she became an indefatigable advocate for social justice on behalf of women and children. She first came to national prominence in her work for woman's suffrage - where she established a pattern of working quietly against men's means of controlling Australian society. Her work for the peace movement and against conscription during the heightened emotions of the First World War marked her as a woman who was willing to defy governments in the name of justice.
Vida came to adulthood when Australia was in the process of inventing itself as a new nation, one in which women might have opportunities equal to those of men. Her work for her own sex, especially her battles for equality in politics, illuminated issues that persist to this day.
Jacqueline Kent has written acclaimed biographies on Julia Gillard, Hepzibah Menuhin and Beatrice Davis.