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Writing Women into the history of the Queensland Irish Association

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The Commissariat Store Museum

115 William Street

Brisbane City, QLD 4000

Australia

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

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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

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.

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Date and Time

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The Commissariat Store Museum

115 William Street

Brisbane City, QLD 4000

Australia

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