Fringe Review: Strut your Stuff

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Presented by Chooks SA
Reviewed 16 March 2018

I was part of a wonderful interactive womens’ history walking tour along North Terrace last night presented by Chooks SA. Their aim is to assist female entrepreneurs and women-led start ups through networking, mentoring and advocacy. As their website says: ‘We apply a gender lens not rose coloured glasses. [and]We build ourselves up without tearing anyone else down’.

First stop was Parliament House where we heard from Moira Deslandes, founder of Chooks SA. SA was the second place in the world to grant women the vote in 1894, beaten by NZ, but ironically the last state to elect a woman to parliament in 1959.

We moved on to Prince Henry Gardens on North Terrace to see the bust of Mary Lee – set up on the 100th anniversary of women’s suffrage – and to hear about her tireless campaigning for women’s rights. Sharon Ferrier spoke about Lee’s work on women’s voting rights, raising the age of consent and in trade unions. She also noted that women like Mary Lee had often been referred to as ‘battleaxes’ and encouraged us all to embrace our inner ‘battleaxe’ and follow Lee’s motto ‘Let’s be up and doing!’.

Our stop at the War Memorial was designed to re-energise the participants. Led by Zizi from Interplay, we stretched and shook ourselves. Having pushed some of us out of our comfort zones by making an exhibition of ourselves in public, Zizi reminded us that doing it in a group was just the first step and we should all try to be a little more daring and explore new possibilities in our lives.

Our stop at the Art Galley of  SA was enlivened by a great talk from Assistant Curator of Prints, Drawings & Photographs Alice Clanachan. She spoke about local artist Dorrit Black who brought Modernism and Cubism back to Australia, establishing the Modern Art Centre in Sydney in 1931. Alice shared examples of Barbara Hanrahan’s work which was centred on the roles and representation of women. We also saw and heard about the spectacular sculpture The Life of Stars by Lindy Lee.

Our final stop at the old RAH was the scene for some exciting announcements plus delicious chook shaped chocolate. Chooks SA, in collaboration with Harvestfair, GoGo Events, KIK Innovation and Renewal SA are establishing Collab4Good to create a co-working, learning, mentoring, retail space and a coffee shop. I’m sure all the Chooks who were there last night will welcome this new hub to boost women’s involvement and success in social enterprises.

Keep your eye on social media as the next Strut your Stuff is likely to be a First Friday event at the Art Gallery.

Reviewed by Jan Kershaw

Rating out of 5:  5

One night only – season ended

www.chookssa.com/

 

 

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