Review Blog

Apr 28 2020

Trailblazers: 100 inspiring South Australian women by Carolyn Collins and Roy Eccleston

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Wakefield Press, 2019. ISBN: 9781743056905. 312pgs., hardcover.
Highly recommended. Did you know that South Australia was the first place in the world, that's right the world, where women won both the right to vote and the right to stand for parliament in Dec 1894? We had the first female prime minister, Julia Gillard. The first female to win an Archibald Prize for portraiture, Nora Heysen. First Australian saint, Mary Mackillop.
That's only one of many things I learnt reading Trailblazers. I never realised how many females we have had over our history in South Australia that were the first in Australia or the world to achieve a variety of things or just being remarkable. I didn't even realise some of them were South Australian.
Carolyn Collins and her husband Roy Eccleston have put together a fantastic book that highlights 100 South Australian trailblazing, very extraordinary women whose feats have inspired many and will inspire the next generation. I loved the layout of a whole page photo of the inspirational female followed by stories to tell us more about this person and their history, and what they have achieved. It was a great history lesson for me. It also wasn't an overload of information. A student would find reading the information easy to follow.
I truly believe that Trailblazers is a must in all South Australian schools, libraries and shelves. It is a great source of information for teachers and students on past and present South Australians.
I still can't believe that so many females are from South Australia have made such an impact in history or who have inspired all of us. Mentioned are women from all walks of life and different fields. There are teachers, politicians, musicians, sporting stars, scientists, our first nations people, suffragists and many, many more.
I am glad to see many First Nations females mentioned like Josie Aguis. Students will also recognise many modern females like singer/songwriter Sia, footballer/basketballer Erin Phillips and many more. And yes there are so many missing from this book. I did like reading about some females I grew up with and have worked with. It was great to see people I knew and was inspired with in this book.
See if you can find some.
Maria Komninos

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