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Writing Women into the history of the Queensland Irish Association, 1898-2020: Challenges, Culture and Contributors

March 10 @ 12:30 pm - 1:30 pm

Free

The presentation attempts a gender-oriented analysis of the Queensland Irish Association (QIA). This organisation, formed in Brisbane in 1898 by members of a disbanded ethnic military corps, the Queensland Irish Volunteers, was constituted as a male-only body with female relatives confined to ancillary, though not unimportant, roles. We explore male members’ attitudes towards gender and the masculine culture encoded in the Association’s symbols, processions, songs, oratory, and recreational activities.

Full and equal female membership was won incrementally between 1971 and 2000. From 1981, the QIA was subject to escalating criticism over the exclusion of women from its traditional male-only St Patrick’s Eve banquet, one of the highlights of the Association’s year and Brisbane’s social calendar. This last bastion of overt masculinity was overturned by a ruling from the Human Rights and Equal Opportunity Commission in 2000. However, women had already substantiated their claims to equal status with their leading roles in the cultural renaissance that marked the QIA’s history in the previous two decades.

Rodney Sullivan
Honorary Research Associate Professor
School of Historical and Philosophical Inquiry
University of Queensland

Robin Sullivan
Honorary Research Associate Professor
School of Historical and Philosophical Inquiry
University of Queensland

Booking is essential. Due to COVID-19 and social distancing requirements, we are unable to offer the usual tea and sandwiches; you are welcome to bring your own drink with you. Thank you for understanding.


Rodney Sullivan is an Honorary Research Associate Professor in the School of Historical and Philosophical Inquiry at The University of Queensland and formerly an Associate Professor in the Department of History & Politics at James Cook University, Townsville. He has published in the fields of Australian and Philippine-American history. His recent research on the Irish in Queensland, has focused on memory practices and sectarianism.  He has contributed to the Australian Dictionary of Biography and the Biographical Dictionary of the Australian Senate. Rodney and Robin Sullivan are Honorary Historians of the Queensland Irish Association. They are writing a history of the Association to be published for its 125th anniversary in 2023.

Robin Sullivan is an Honorary Research Associate Professor in the School of Historical and Philosophical Inquiry at The University of Queensland. She was formerly Queensland Commissioner for Children and Young People and a Director-General in the Queensland public service. Her publications include articles on labour history, education, and family issues. She has co-authored recent articles on the Irish in Queensland.  Robin holds honorary doctorates from the Queensland University of Technology and the Central Queensland University.

Venue

Commissariat Store Museum
115 William St
Brisbane, 4000 Australia
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