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suffragettes to social media: waves of feminism

Panel: Barbara Caine, Anne Summers, Rebecca Walker and Nakkiah Lui

Over one hundred years ago, suffragettes were on the frontline of campaigning for women’s rights. A century later, we celebrate how far we’ve come, and look forward to an empowered future.

Chaired by Edwina Throsby.

In the Concert Hall, our largest venue | View Seat Map

“I would rather be a rebel than a slave.”

Emmeline Pankhurst

History's lessons for future feminism

While it’s hard to put a starting date on a complex social movement, modern western feminism has been around for about a hundred years. To celebrate, we are taking stock of what we’ve achieved, and looking at what’s left to fight for.

We're welcomed in the workplace, but women's work is often undervalued and underpaid. We have a measure of reproductive freedom but are still frighteningly vulnerable to sexual violence.

Each wave of feminism has faced extraordinary challenges. This panel will be a meeting of the generations as we look to an optimistic future: no feminist, aspiring or jaded, can afford to miss it.


Chaired by Edwina Throsby

Edwina Throsby is the Head of Talks and Ideas at Sydney Opera House. She was previously Head of Curation of TEDxSydney. Throsby founded and produced the ABC’s Big Ideas, hosted by Tony Jones. She has worked as a documentary filmmaker, garnering the Best Documentary award at Flickerfest (2008) and Best Documentary Short award at Melbourne International Film Festival (2008) for Dance Like Your Old Man. She has also worked on news and current affairs programs, including Four Corners, Media Watch and Q&A. Edwina recently completed her PhD in political science.

More about the speakers

Anne Summers
Anne Summers AO is a bestselling author who has had a long career in politics and the media.
Barbara Caine
Barbara Caine has made a significant contribution to women's history, biography and the history of feminism.
Rebecca Walker
The daughter of The Colour Purple author Alice Walker, Rebecca Walker is a child of the civil rights movement.
Nakkiah Lui
Nakkiah Lui is a writer/actor and Gamilaroi/Torres Strait Islander woman. She co-writes/stars in Black Comedy on ABC TV.

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