Australian Women's Register

An initiative of The National Foundation for Australian Women (NFAW) in conjunction with The University of Melbourne

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Women's Suffrage Petition (Monster Petition) (1891)



The Women's Suffrage Petition (or Monster Petition) is a collection of close to 30,000 signatures collected from Victorian women in 1891 in an effort to gain the right to vote. 260 metres long and 200 millimetres wide, it is made of paper pasted to a fabric backing and rolled onto a cardboard spindle. It takes three people three hours to unroll the petition from one spool to another.

The Monster Petition was addressed to the Speaker and Members of the Legislative Assembly of the Colony of Victoria, and was tabled in Parliament in September 1891 with the support of the then Premier, James Munro.

The petition contained the following statements:

That Government of the People by the People, and for the People should mean all the People, and not one half.

That Taxation and Representation should go together without regard to the sex of the Taxed.

That all Adult Persons should have a voice in Making the Laws which they are required to obey.

That, in short, Women should Vote on Equal Terms with Men.

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Archival resources

Public Record Office Victoria

  • Women's Suffrage Petition (Monster Petition), 1891, VPRS 3253/P0, Unit 851; Public Record Office Victoria. Details

Barbara Lemon

Site-wide information and acknowledgements

National Foundation for Australian Women The University of Melbourne, eScholarship Research Centre

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