Model of female reproductive system used for Women in Industry Contraception and Health (WICH) workplace-based family planning sessions in the 1970s (labelled LUPKIT). It is part of a collection of material obtained from individuals and organisations in the course of developing the 'Trailblazers: Migrant Women Activists' exhibition in the Immigration Museum's Community Gallery from March to July 2008.

Physical Description

Hinged black case that opens into 3-dimensional coloured plastic model. Pieces of the model can be lifted out for demonstration.


This collection comprises material obtained from individuals and organisations in the course of developing the 'Trailblazers: migrant women activists' (hereinafter referred to as the Trailblazers collection) exhibition which was presented in the Immigration Museum's Community Gallery from March to July 2008. The material is in a range of formats including documents, photographs, objects and oral history interviews. The material in the Trailblazers collection documents the earliest days of migrant women's activism in Victoria, pioneering activity that led to significant policy shifts in Australia and the advent of new, ethnic-specific social services. The collection particularly features individuals and organisations that lobbied for or were active in influencing the formation or reformation of government policies. The material is largely from the Italian, Greek and Turkish communities, in particular, but also reflects broader efforts supporting migrant women services generally, especially campaigns for improvements to domestic violence services, women's health and contraception, working conditions and childcare.

The material in this collection is quite rare, and the only collection in Victoria that is concerned exclusively with the activities of migrant women. It clearly would seem that these women rarely had time to document, review and reflect on their actions, let alone ponder how they would be remembered and celebrated in the future.

The history of migrant women is poorly represented in museum and archival collections, although little evidence can be found in the collection of broader feminist activities. Reference to individual 'Trailblazers' or migrant women's organisations can be found within the Victorian Women's Liberation and Lesbian Feminist Archive at the University of Melbourne as well as the Riley Collection of political ephemera at the State Library of Victoria.

The process of conducting research for the Trailblazers exhibition confirmed just how few records exist that record the history of migrant women activists, making the preservation of this material and further research investigation even more urgent. Accessioning this collection will help to redress the imbalances in the material culture record generally, and within the Museum's collection in particular.

Many items identified in the research were presented in the Community Gallery exhibition. The stories and efforts of the migrant women, many un-named, demonstrate the innovative ways in which they conducted their campaigns, spread information and raised consciousness about the particular issues facing migrant women in Victoria. The Trailblazers collection has major interpretive and research potential for further investigations into migrant women's activism and the history of multiculturalism in general.

The objects and documents in this collection have social significance as evidence of the tumultuous period in the 1970s which culminated in the landmark recommendations of the Galbally Report of 1978. The Trailblazers collection can help to foster a sense of pride and connectedness and better understanding of the past for migrant women in Victoria. As well, this material officially records the involvement and contribution that women NESB backgrounds and ethno-specific welfare organisations had in the establishment of support services for migrant women and the impact they made on policy making across the areas of health, welfare, legal, social and educational service provision.

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