The Christina Montgomery Oration 2016

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The inaugural Christina Montgomery Oration was given by Mac.Robertson Girls' High School Alumna, Dr Clare Wright on 13 October 2016 at The Mac.Robertson Girls' High School Hall.

Clare spoke about her work examining the hidden women of history, referencing Christina Montgomery as an example of voices that are not heard in Australian society.

Dr Clare Wright is an award-winning historian, author and public commentator who has worked in politics, academia and the media. Clare holds a PhD in Australian Studies from the University of Melbourne and an MA in Public History from Monash University and is currently an Associate Professor in History at La Trobe University. She is an internationally recognised scholar in the social history of alcohol and women’s political activism. Her expertise in Australian History covers the gold rush period, 19th and 20th century women’s history, democracy movements, mining history, bushrangers and the hotel industry.

 Mac.Rob Foundation Chair Debra Knight, Dr Clare Wright and Principal Dr Toni Meath with the portrait of Christina Montgomery in The Mac.Robertson Girls' High School Hall, 13 October 2016.

Mac.Rob Foundation Chair Debra Knight, Dr Clare Wright and Principal Dr Toni Meath with the portrait of Christina Montgomery in The Mac.Robertson Girls' High School Hall, 13 October 2016.

Her best-selling first book, Beyond the Ladies Lounge: Australia’s Female Publicans (MUP 2003, Text Publishing 2014) met with both critical and popular acclaim. In October 2013, Clare released her much-anticipated second book, The Forgotten Rebels of Eureka (Text Publishing), based on a decade of archival research into women’s role in the Eureka Stockade. The Forgotten Rebels of Eureka won the 2014 Stella Prize and was shortlisted for the Prime Minister’s Literary Awards, the NSW Premier’s History Awards, the WA Premier’s Literary Awards, the Victorian Community History Awards the Waverley NIB Awards and longlisted for a Walkely Award. We Are the Rebels, a Young Adult version of The Forgotten Rebels of Eureka, was published by Text in 2015 and has been shortlisted for the Australian Children’s Book Council Awards..

Clare has worked as a political speechwriter, university lecturer, historical consultant and as a broadcaster in both radio and television. She was the Executive Officer of the History Council of Victoria from 2003-2004, promoting the work of history teachers and practitioners in the state. She is a popular public speaker and has presented numerous keynote addresses and dinner talks at academic conferences, AGMs, Writers Festivals, book stores and community events. Clare has been a judge of three major literary awards and is a Director on the Board of the The Wheeler Centre for Books, Writing and Ideas.

The Christina Montgomery Oration is named in honour of the first principal of The Mac.Robertson Girls' High School and was created to celebrate the successes and achievements of identified women, while simultaneously supporting the current cohort of students.