We acknowledge the traditional custodians of this land and pay respect to their leaders, past and present. Visitors to this website should be aware that names may be mentioned, or images portrayed, of people who are now deceased. Any distress this may cause is sincerely regretted.
Three cast bronze slivers create the focus of the Women Artwork. The concave etched copper surface of each sliver presents a biographical sketch of Dr Faith Bandler, Lady Jessie Street and Dr Evelyn Scott. The artwork serves to remind us of the determination of these women and their collective contribution to Reconciliation in Australia, including through their roles in the 1967 Referendum.
The slivers are arranged to form a contemplative space adjacent to a circular seat, which incorporates an audio feature comprising personal reflections by Dr Faith Bandler, Dr Evelyn Scott and Sir Laurence Street. Two key words and a quotation feature on the convex side of each sliver, highlighting personal values or qualities particular to each individual. Incorporated into the surrounding pavement are additional words embodying qualities and values considered mutually important to all three women.
Dr Faith Bandler AM
life is about...getting up...helping each other and doing the best we can, to raise people out of their misery
Dr Faith Bandler interview with Robin Hughes, 1993
A co-founder of the Australian-Aboriginal Fellowship (AAF), Faith Bandler played an important role in the establishment of the national organisation - the Federal Council for the Advancement of Aborigines and Torres Strait Islanders (FCAATSI) - which drew together Aborigines, Torres Strait Islanders, unions and other community groups. Bandler later played a central role in FCAATSI's successful campaign leading to the milestone 1967 Referendum.
A powerful communicator, 'filled with fire to reach a goal', Bandler has always applied herself with resolve, intelligence and compassion to causes desperately in need of society's attention.
The artwork patterning was designed by Jenuarrie, who shares with Faith Bandler a Pacific Islander heritage.
Lady Jessie Street
Until Aborigines enjoy equal rights, status and opportunity with other Australians, we cannot claim that Australia is a country in which all people enjoy freedom.
Lady Jessie Street Comments on Report from the Select Committee of Voting Rights of Aborigines, 1961.
An internationally respected peace campaigner and community activist, Jessie Street was determined to end racist practices affecting Australia's Indigenous peoples. With Faith Bandler, she played a vital role in establishing the Federal Council for the Advancement of Aborigines and Torres Strait Islanders (FCAATSI) and, in 1957, drafted a petition that inspired a crucial ten-year national campaign, culminating in the historic 1967 Referendum. Jessie Street's life and work remind us of the need to embrace both our common humanity and our differences in order to affect lasting social change.
The artwork patterning was designed by Violet Petyarre, who, like Jessie Street, is a community leader.
Dr Evelyn Scott AO
Reconciliation is not an isolated event but part of the fabric of this nation...We extend our hand to other Australians. Those Australians who take our hands are those that dare to dream of an Australia that could be
Dr Evelyn Scott Welcome Address at Corroboree 2000, 2000
For much of her life, Evelyn Scott has been a tireless advocate of social justice for Indigenous peoples across Australia. Scott has devoted herself to the cause of Reconciliation, believing that 'true Reconciliation is critical for this nation if it is to go into the future as a mature, harmonious society at peace with itself'.
Scott was actively involved in the Federal Council for the Advancement of Aborigines and Torres Strait Islanders (FCAATSI) and the landmark 'yes'; campaign for the 1967 Referendum. After serving in a variety of community and government positions, she was Chairperson of the Council for Aboriginal Reconciliation between 1997 and 2000.
The artwork patterning was designed by Thanakupi (Thancoupie Gloria Fletcher), a personal friend of Evelyn Scott.
Designers: Belinda Smith, Rob Tindal
Graphic designer: Jennifer Marchant
Images (by permission of)
Dr Faith Bandler AM sliver
Faith Bandler, Turramurra, 1998: Robert Pearce/ Fairfaxphotos.com: #6111713.
Advertisement published in the Australian, 30 October 1969: Masius, Wynne-Williams (Vic).
1967 Referendum celebration, Tranby College, Sydney, 1967: ACP Syndication.
L-R: Harold Blair, Mrs Faith Bandler, Gordon Bryant, Joe McGinness, FCAATSI conference 1971: Mervyn G. Bishop (photographer). Courtesy AIATSIS, Identity collection #N5718.21.
Dr Evelyn Scott AO sliver
Evelyn Scott: Uri Auerbach. Courtesy Evelyn Scott.
The Council for Aboriginal Reconciliation, Sydney, 1999: Karen Mork.
Evelyn and Allan Scott wedding, Innisfail, 1962: Sydney Balma. Courtesy Evelyn Scott.
Cover, Aboriginal Affairs Monthly, volume 1, number 3, October 1974: Mervyn G. Bishop. National Archives of Australia: A8739, A24/8/74/36.
Evelyn Scott and daughters, Townsville, 1974: Mervyn G. Bishop. Courtesy Evelyn Scott.
Lady Jessie Street sliver
Jessie Street Australian passport photo, 1945: Commonwealth of Australia. National Archives of Australia A6980, S202852.
Handwritten draft petition, 1957: Jessie Street. Papers of Jessie Street, National Library of Australia Manuscript Collection, MS2683/11/28.
Jessie Street and her family, Yulgilbar Station, Grafton, NSW, 1928: Photographer unknown. Courtesy the Street family.
Australian delegates, United Nations conference, San Francisco, 1945: photographer unknown. National Library of Australia: nla.pic-an23236247-V
Jessie Street, Charles Duguid and an elderly Indigenous man (not named), Point Pearce Mission, 1957: photographer unknown. Papers of Jessie Street, National Library of Australia Manuscript Collection, MS2683/11/30.
Dr Faith Bandler AM sliver, Gentle movement, Strong respect
Dr Evelyn Scott AO sliver, Waram (shark)
Artist: Thanakupi (Thancoupie Gloria Fletcher)
Lady Jessie Street sliver, Awelye (body painting)
Artist: Violet Petyarre
Dr Faith Bandler AM sliver: Dr Faith Bandler AM
Dr Evelyn Scott AO sliver: Dr Evelyn Scott AO
Lady Jessie Street sliver: The Honourable Sir Laurence Street, AC, KCMG, QC
Click here to learn more about Reconciliation Place and its artworks.
Acknowledgement of Country
Our work is on the land of the Ngunnawal People, Ngunnawal Country. We pay our respects to their Elders – past, present and emerging.