Honouring Zelda D’Aprano

A Monument of One's Own co-conveners Kristine Ziwica and Professor Clare Wright, former Prime Minister Julia Gillard and sculptor Jennifer Mann posing together in front of the statue, a moment after the unveiling.

Honouring Zelda D’Aprano is a life-size bronze sculpture. It captures the spirit of the day when the women’s rights campaigner chained herself to a government building to protest against a ruling on equal pay for women.

Located in front of the Victorian Trades Hall in Lygon Street, the statue invites viewers to literally stand with Zelda as the battle for gender equality continues.

Sculptor Jennifer Mann created the sculpture from a historic photograph. It was cast by Fundere Fine Art Foundry in Sunshine.

The sculpture depicts Zelda’s first act of protest – holding the chain she used to chain herself to the court building and carrying a sign stating:

No more male and female rates. One rate only.

Around the base is a quote from Zelda that reads:

Today it was me, tomorrow there will be two of us, the next day there will be three and it will go on and on and there won’t be any stopping it.

That’s what happened – 10 days later two teachers on strike, Alva Geikie and Thelma Solomon, joined in the protest with Zelda. Together they went on to form the Women’s Action Committee, leading activists campaigning across Melbourne.

On trams they paid 75% of fares because women were paid just 75% of men’s wages. They did outdoor pub crawls because women weren’t allowed to drink in bars. And they helped organise the first pro-choice rally for access to abortion healthcare.

In 2001 the Victorian Honour Roll of Women inducted Zelda in recognition of her work. In 2004 Zelda was awarded an Officer of the Order of Australia.

Artist: Jennifer Mann

Location: Victorian Trades Hall, 54 Victoria St, Carlton.

All images provided by Victorian Trades Hall Council.

Photograph of Zelda D'Aprano chained to a courthouse. She is holding a sign that says

In studio, the photograph of Zelda is resting nearing the array of tools used by the sculptor Jennifer Mann.

Sculptor Jennifer Mann describes her work methodology to visitors from the Victorian Trades Hall

The clay sculpture of Zelda has a fierce, determined visage.

Cameron is wearing protective gear as he pour molten bronzed into a mould at the foundry.

A piece of the plaster mould, broken away after the bronze casting.

A leg and forearm lie on a bench in the foundry after being cast from their moulds.

The statue of Zelda holding a chain in her left hand.

Two workers in orange high vis vests communicate to the forklift driver that the statue is in place.

Sculptor Jennifer Mann and Cameron from the foundry with the bronze statue of Zelda D'Aprano in front of the Victorian Trades Hall.

The plaque on the base of Zelda's statue. It has her quote

The Women's Public Art Program complements the Victorian Honour Roll of Women, which celebrates women's outstanding leadership and contributions to life in Victoria.

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