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Dunedin hosts last suffrage celebration

Dunedin (Tuesday, 20 November 2018) – Dunedin women’s efforts to get the vote will be remembered and celebrated in the final official event held across the country to mark the 125th anniversary of women’s suffrage in New Zealand.

Toitū Otago Settlers Museum, in association with the Ministry for Women, is hosting KATE Talks – an event highlighting five inspiring Otago women who will deliver short talks in honour of famous suffragette Kate Sheppard.

KATE Talks and a reception for Suffrage 125 (which has marked the anniversary with 125 events held nationwide) will be held at Toitū on Wednesday, 28 November at 5.30pm. Registrations for this free event are required as numbers are limited.

The event commemorates the date on which women in New Zealand first voted – in the 1893 general election.

KATE Talks will end with a keynote speech by Dunedin City Council Chief Executive Sue Bidrose and a reception. The evening’s events link to Toitū’s feature exhibition Suffrage & Beyond: 1893-2018, which is on display in the temporary exhibitions gallery.

Museum Acting Director Cam McCracken says, “We’re delighted to host the final national event of these important commemorations.

“Dunedin is a fitting place for the celebration as more women signed the suffrage petition in Otago than anywhere else in New Zealand.”

Ministry for Women Communications Director Kirsty Anderson says, “KATE Talks will be a wonderful opportunity for us to acknowledge Dunedin’s special significance in our suffrage history. It will also encourage more conversation about how we can inspire New Zealand’s ‘new suffragists’ to champion further change for women and girls.”

The KATE Talks speakers and topics are:

Dr Helen Roberts – The gender pay gap in New Zealand

Dr Helen Roberts is a senior lecturer in the Department of Accountancy and Finance at the University of Otago. Her research projects include investigating executive pay levels and risk in New Zealand, the executive gender pay gap and careers for women in financial advising.

Laura Black - What’s wrong with housework (quite a bit)?

Laura Black is the Director of Methodist Mission Southern and has worked for 30 years in the public good sector. She is a specialist subject matter expert for the Social Investment Agency and other roles include being a member of the University of Otago’s Legal Issues Centre Advisory Board.

Miriama Ketu-McKenzie – Women’s health

Miriama Ketu is a clinical psychologist of Ngāti Tuwharetoa and Ngāti Raukawa descent. Her presentation will be based on her PhD research and will provide an overview of prominent health concerns affecting women today. She will discuss research that links many of those health issues to chronic stress exposure.

Ashleigh Smith – Bullying and youth

Ashleigh Smith is a leader and advocate for bullying prevention, gender equality and mental health. When she was 15 she was a founding member of Sticks ‘n Stones, a youth-led bullying prevention organisation based in Central Otago, and now chairs the group.

Deborah Manning – The journey of work; finding the right path

Deborah Manning is a lawyer, physiotherapist, social entrepreneur and the founder and CEO of KiwiHarvest, a New Zealand national food rescue organisation.


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