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Women of Moonta
Title : Women of Moonta Women of Moonta
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Date of creation : ca. 1900
Format : Photograph
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Description :
Members of the 'mothers meeting' at a baptismal service, at the Moonta Mines Methodist Church, pose here demurely with their babies. However the women of Moonta and district were not always known for their qualities of passivity. Many had worked in and around the mines from the establishment of the industry in the 1860s. When Captain Jones, manager of the Moonta smelters, persisted in harassing the women delivering their husbands' lunch 'victuals' in 1865, not only the men went on strike over pay rates, but the women joined the strikers' meeting and at the decision to continue striking, they "tossed their bonnets in the air, and shouted to the top of their voices." (Wallaroo times, 15 February 1865, p. 3)

During the 'Great strike' in 1874 the women of Moonta attacked strike-breakers with brooms. It was no wonder that when a bill to extend the voting rights to women was introduced in South Australian Parliament in 1885, the people of Yorke Peninsula were strongly in favour. By 1889 branches of the Women's Suffrage League had been formed in the copper triangle.

When Queen Victoria celebrated 60 years on the throne in 1887, 456 Moonta women signed and sent her a congratulatory address. (Wallaroo times, 15 June 1887, p. 2)
Coverage year : 1900
Place : Moonta (S. Aust.)
Region : Yorke Peninsula
Further reading :

Payton, Phlip J. Making Moonta: the invention of Australia's little Cornwall, Exeter : Univeristy of Exeter Press, 2007

'The smelters strike,' Wallaroo times, 15 February 1865, p. 3



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