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SA Memory. South Australia past and present, for the future


South Australian society is rich in diversity and unique in character. Indigenous communities, early settlers and immigrants comprised part of the rich tapestry of South Australia, shaping its development as they became part of the 'radical dream' - a social experiment that commenced with the lofty ideals of Edward Gibbon Wakefield then developed into successful social reform. South Australians enjoyed a freedom of worship that attracted a variety of religions to the 'paradise of dissent' and became a catalyst for social change. South Australia granted women suffrage in 1894, establishing a benchmark for gender-based equality and a reputation for political progressiveness.

After Federation in 1901, the state retained a unique identity. An example of this is in our role as 'the Festival State', showcasing the best acts from the fields of music, film and visual arts as well as celebrating our food and wine industries. Today, South Australians make changes to society on a local level that can be shared with the world through Your Story. Experience South Australia's social heritage as preserved by the State Library of South Australia.


Rich Tapestry Icon 

A Rich tapestry

South Australian communities

Radical Dream Icon 

The Radical dream

Social reform in South Australia

Religion Icon 

Religion in South Australia

A diversity of faiths

Women and Politics in South Australia 

Women and politics

Social and political development

Mountford-Sheard Collection 

Charles P Mountford

Photography and ethnography of indigenous people

State of the arts icon 

The State of the arts

Arts and culture in South Australia

Advance Australia 

Advance Australia

South Australia and federation

Your Story Theme icon 

Your story

Add your story

Virtual books 

Virtual books

Read selected items online

Fact Sheets 

Fact sheets and bibliographies




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