Welcome to the website of the National Pioneer Women’s Hall of Fame, Australia’s first virtual Women’s Museum.
The National Pioneer Women’s Hall of Fame is dedicated to preserving the place of women in history for their special contribution to Australia’s heritage.
Founded by Molly Clark of Old Andado Station in 1993 the National Pioneer Women's Hall of Fame Inc is one of only three women’s museums in operation in Australia. The Pioneer Women’s Memorial Folk Museum near Brisbane and the Pioneer Women’s Hut at Tumbarumba, NSW are of a more local and rural nature.
It is one of approx 40 women’s museums worldwide, mainly in central Europe, Scandinavia and the USA, but there are also women’s museums in other far-flung places such as Senegal, Vietnam and Ecuador.
On International Women’s Day, 8 March 2007, The National Pioneer Women's Hall of Fame officially opened at its new permanent home, the Old Alice Springs Gaol, 2 Stuart Terrace, Alice Springs.
A women’s museum in a gaol? While some maybe concerned the focus on women has wavered, this location actually strengthens our future by increasing the appeal to visitors. The more visits, the closer we move to the goal of self sustainability and the ability to grow the women’s exhibition.
They are two distinct entities and are in no way is one commenting on the other. This said, the National Pioneer Women's Hall of Fame at the Old Alice Springs Gaol provides visitors with two interesting attractions to visit at the one location.
Internationally the idea of a women’s museum in a gaol is actually not such a bizarre or new concept. The popular Danish Women’s Museum in Aarhus is housed in the former town hall, police station, gaol and WW11 Gestapo Headquarters.
If you are unable to visit this unique museum of national importance in Central Australia, you can browse our exhibitions, Ordinary Women/Extraordinary Lives: Women First in their Field, Women at the Heart and Women’s Work is Never Done and discover that “Australian History is Her Story too …”
‘Pioneer Women’ is constantly building a collection of stories, photographs, artifacts and memorabilia relating to pioneering women, along with a reference library of books, video and audio cassettes relating to Australian women’s history. Our databases - Herstory Archive, now including approx 1,200 women, and the library catalogue - will be available online in the near future.
Our Collection Policy clarifies our definition of a ‘pioneer woman’. You can add to the collection by completing a Tell us Her Story form.
We welcome support through Membership or donations to assist in our ongoing work.
Apart from our collections, our main strength is the 35 or so volunteers who (wo)man the reception and shop daily. To volunteer to help research, ‘sit’ at reception, help our visitors, work in our shop or administration, or in any other way, please click here.
Incorporated as a non-profit organisation, the National Pioneer Women's Hall of Fame acknowledges the considerable and ongoing support received from the Northern Territory Government, the Federal Government, Tourism NT and many thousands of hours of work by dedicated volunteers.