Women at the Heart

This is the story of Women at the Heart - who became our women of the heart - those born here and those who came to the centre of this vast dry continent Australia, and stayed.

This is also a story of women with heart, when ‘heart’ is used to embrace not only courage, endurance, resilience and resourcefulness, but also companionship and compassion. 

Meet the Feminist Pioneers who helped shape Central Australia

Life in Central Australia is a tough, isolated existence, and for women in decades past confined by the gender roles of their era, the challenges were enormous. Bringing up children, trying to cook nutritious meals, and running households thousands of kilometres from family and friends meant these women had to make the most of what was available to them. The concept of feminism, as we know it today, was not one society recognised, but these tenacious and resilient pioneers certainly left their mark.

National Pioneer Women’s Hall of Fame has been working with local ABC radio on a series highlighting the achievements of some of these remarkable women. The series features radio interviews about,

Many thanks to Alice Moldovan from 783ABC for our work together on this series.

The Exhibition


Explore the stories of the women of Central Australia: the friendships, the joys and the hardships. They were women like us: mothers, aunties, sisters and daughters, with strengths, weaknesses, joys and fears. These are not the only stories that could be told, but they start to give an idea of our much-treasured heritage.


Our story on these panels has been taken to the 1940s, to show a period of time loosely accepted today as the “pioneering” era, when challenges were met and foundations built that are now taken for granted. Of course, the story never ends but continues to grow through individual stories, honoring those women well-known and those little-documented, who precede us: our Women at the Heart.