La Trobe University, together with the Victorian Women’s Trust, have created Square the Ledger – the first University project of its type to trace and document the role and impact of its female graduates, staff and administrators.
Square the Ledger was launched at Queen’s Hall in State Parliament on the highly significant date of Wednesday, 8 March – La Trobe University’s 50th anniversary and International Women’s Day.
Square the Ledger is based on the highly successful Victorian Women’s Trust project ‘Ordinary Women, Extraordinary Lives’. It will look beyond the high achieving women of La Trobe also recognising the ‘ordinary’ women of the University whose contributions have largely gone unheralded.
La Trobe Vice-Chancellor Professor John Dewar said Victoria’s third oldest university has a proud history of educating and engaging respected, influential and innovative women.
“La Trobe women have played and continue to play an important role in our local communities, our cities and our nation, but their achievements have not always been adequately acknowledged,” Professor Dewar said.
“A small number of La Trobe women are well known, but there are many more who have made an enormous impact on Australia’s social fabric without any recognition.
“Square the Ledgeris about acknowledging, honouring and celebrating the women who have worked and studied at La Trobe over the past 50 years.
“Importantly, it is also a commitment to future generations of La Trobe women that they will be properly recognised.”
“It’s about recognising women who may not have been formally recognised with national awards or prestigious medals, but who have made important contributions none-the-less and have a story that should be told.”
Square the Ledger will chronicle La Trobe women’s contributions in a digital archive that will include their stories, as well as podcasts and other content. The public is also encouraged to nominate women who have made a difference to be part of the project.
The collection will evolve over time, with a celebratory event of the first 12 months’ of stories to be held on International Women’s Day next year.
Professor Dewar said Square the Ledger builds on a number of initiatives at La Trobe.
“In 2016, La Trobe won a Workplace Gender Equality Agency Employer of Choice Award. We also participate in the Workplace Equality and Respect Project run by Our Watch and are members of the Science in Australia Gender (SAGE) Athena Swan program.
Square the Ledger will be one of the featured events in the La Trobe 50 Expo at Parliament House from 6-10 March. As part of the launch, visitors to the free event can view a digital exhibition celebrating the lives of La Trobe women.
Speakers at Square the Ledger will launch will include La Trobe Acting Deputy Vice Chancellor Professor Betty Leask, La Trobe historian, author and broadcaster Dr Clare Wright, Victorian Women’s Trust Executive Director Mary Crooks and Victorian Bar Chief Executive Officer Sarah Fregon.
Acclaimed singer, songwriter and La Trobe Alumna Suzannah Espie will perform at the launch.
Media Contact - Anastasia Salamastrakis – 0428 195 464