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MELBOURNE, 14 JULY. Nominations are now open for the Victorian Honour Roll of Women, which recognises the achievements and contributions of the state’s most remarkable women.

Minister for Women Gabrielle Williams this week opened nominations for the 20th annual Victorian Honour Roll of Women and marked the award’s 20-year milestone with a gathering of alumni at the Parliament of Victoria.

More than 600 women whose achievements have helped shape our state and country have been inducted into the Honour Roll since it began in 2001.

The late Hon Joan Kirner AC, Victoria’s only female Premier, created the Honour Roll to formally acknowledge women for their achievements and to encourage others to follow in their footsteps.

In the Honour Roll’s first year, 250 women were inducted including contemporary and historical figures such as:

• Edith Cowan, OBE – the first Australian women to serve as a member of Parliament Australia’s most famous operatic diva

• Evonne Goolagong Cawley AC, MBE – the first Aboriginal Australian to represent Australia in world tennis, compete at Wimbledon and win.

Over the years women from all walks of life and across all sectors – from arts to politics, from science and technology to community activism – have been recognised as trailblazers and change agents.

The award helps address a gender imbalance in wider honours – in the recent Queen’s Birthday honours only 40 per cent of recipients were female while just over a third of Australia Day awards went to women.

As part of a related government initiative to support next generation leaders, many inductees have signed up as Honour Roll Ambassadors to be matched with young and emerging women leaders to mentor.

Highlighting Victorian women’s achievements is part of the Labor Government’s gender equality strategy Safe and Strong, which includes initiatives to promote women in leadership and decisionmaking roles.

Nominations are open from now until Sunday 18 August. For further information and to nominate, visit

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