Media Release by Senator the Hon Kay Patterson

Suffrage fountain gets go ahead

Joint Media Release with:

  • Andrew Smith, Director of National Capital Projects for the National Capital Authority

Federal Parliament has approved work on the centenary of women’s suffrage commemorative fountain to be built in the Old Parliament House Rose Gardens, the Minister Assisting the Prime Minister for the Status of Women, Senator Kay Patterson, announced today.

“The suffrage fountain will be located at the entrance to the House of Representatives gardens, within a walkway linking Old Parliament House to Constitution Place,” Senator Patterson said today.

“The Australian Government has committed $365,000 in funding for this important public monument,” Senator Patterson said.

The fountain is a seven metre long and two and a half metre wide rectangular water feature.

Director of National Capital Projects for the National Capital Authority, Andrew Smith, says the design of the fountain complements both the surrounding garden and the women’s suffrage movement.

“The floor of the water feature will be lined with glass mosaic inspired by wisteria in the suffrage shades of green, white and purple, with water jets adding visual interest to the fountain,” said Mr Smith.

The border of the water feature will be etched with a passage of the Commonwealth Franchise Act 1902 and commemoration of the 1903 election, in which women voted and stood for Federal Parliament for the first time.

“The timeline will extend from the fountain along a wisteria covered pergola towards Constitution Place, featuring significant milestones for women in politics since 1902, such as the first woman in Federal Parliament, the first woman President of the Senate and the first female Cabinet Minister, among others,” Senator Patterson said today.

“The idea is to lead visitors along a time-line of women’s achievements in Federal Parliament made possible because of the suffrage movement and the passage of the Commonwealth Franchise Act in 1902.”

The suffrage fountain is funded by the Australian Government with design and construction to be managed by the National Capital Authority.

Work on the suffrage fountain is expected to be completed by December 2004.