What’s On

Sydney’s Invisible Women

Sydney’s Invisible Women

Date & Time

March 23, 2021 - 12:30 pm to 1:30 pm

Join Jo Henwood as she highlights some of the significant women of Sydney’s history as well as some amazing women still around today, celebrating their achievements by exploring their individual stories.





We are a COVID Safe organisation.

In line with NSW Health orders, visitors to our Theatre will be required to register their details with the Service NSW COVID Safe QR code.

Mask wearing is strongly encouraged. Please wear a mask during this event for the safety of all guests.

If you are feeling unwell with COVID-19 symptoms (however mild) or have visited a hotspot in the past 14 days, please do not come in. We encourage everyone to regularly check the list of hotspot locations and alerts on the NSW Health website and follow their advice.

The health of our members, visitors and staff remains our priority and we appreciate your cooperation and patience.

Image: The Womanhood Suffrage League of NSW by Freeman Bros Studio, 1892. State Library of NSW ON 219 96

Sydney’s Invisible Women – In person talk by Jo Henwood

When we look around a city for monuments acknowledging significant people and their achievements throughout history, women are often missed. There are currently only nine monuments of women in the Sydney CBD compared to over forty of men – and one of a cat.

We have statues of Cook and Macquarie, but where are the monuments for…

  • Australia’s first teacher of Aboriginal language, Patyegarang?
  • The women who ensured Australia was the second country in the world where (some) women could vote – people like Louisa Lawson, Maybanke Andersen, Mary Windeyer, Rose Scott and Dora Montefiore?
  • The first woman in NSW who actually voted, Elizabeth Cadman?
  • The first female university graduates Mary Elizabeth Brown and Isola Thompson?
  • The McDonagh sisters, the only all-woman female film production company?
  • The first practicing female solicitor in NSW, Marie Byles, who also wore the many hats of pacifist, mountaineer, explorer, feminist, author, conservationist and avid bush walker?
  • And the first female surfers, librarians, astronomers, teachers, doctors and police officers?

These women have been left invisible.

Their stories should be told, and with March being Women’s History Month and World Storytelling Day on 20 March, this is the perfect time for you to discover these hero tales that are all around us – but not seen.

Join Jo Henwood as she highlights some of the significant women of Sydney’s history as well as some amazing women still around today, celebrating their achievements by exploring their individual stories.

Event details

This event will be held in person at our newly renovated Henry Carmichael Theatre (formerly known as the Mitchell Theatre), Level 1, 280 Pitt Street Sydney.

Registration to attend this event is essential due to limited capacity (as per COVID-19 safety regulations).

This event is now sold out

Should NSW Health rules change in relation to reduced venue capacity, we reserve the right to cancel your registration and will contact you if this is the case.

About Jo Henwood

Jo Henwood has been a Tour Guide since 1998, working primarily as a site Guide and Education Officer in many heritage sites around Sydney, building a rich understanding of Sydney’s history and culture, particularly around the Harbour. Jo is passionate about sharing stories about Sydney’s history, leading her own Candlelit Tours in Windsor and delivering women’s history tours of Sydney for SheSaw.

Jo is an Accredited Storyteller with Australian Storytellers, an accredited Professional Guide with the Institute of Australian Tour Guides, and a member of Interpretation Australia and the Australian Folklore Network.  She is co-founder of the Australian Fairy Tale Society.

Jo’s qualifications include BA (Library Science), Tour Guiding Cert III, Grad Dip Museum Studies, Grad Cert Gifted Ed, and M. Cultural Heritage.


About SheSaw

There are many great stories of amazing women that deserve to be better known. SheSaw is a tour company which focuses on Australian women’s history and women’s presence in the world.

Using a combination of tech and tourism, SheSaw aims to put women’s stories on the map, to show people the world from a female perspective. Take a virtual tour from your armchair, take a self-guided walk to interact with AR virtual statues or come on an engaging in-person tour led by passionate and expert guides. SheSaw uncovers fascinating, inspiring stories and helps to increase the visibility and empowerment of women.


Past Event

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What’s On at SMSA

Date & Time

March 23, 2021 - 12:30 pm to 1:30 pm


Sydney Mechanics' School of Arts, Pitt Street, Sydney NSW, Australia

Henry Carmichael Theatre

280 Pitt Street Sydney NSW 2000

Level 1


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