Rename Barrack Road Park to Irene Longman Reserve

 The Proposed location of 'Irene Longman Reserve' in Cannon Hill, QLd

The Proposed location of 'Irene Longman Reserve' in Cannon Hill, QLd

As part of International Women's Day 2018, I am launching a petition calling on Brisbane City Council to rename Barrack Road Park in Cannon Hill to Irene Longman Reserve; in recognition of Queensland's first female parliamentarian.

With the 2017 Global Gender Gap Report telling us that gender parity is over 200 years away - there has never been a more important time to keep motivated and #PressforProgress.

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While it is important to #PressforProgress in 2018, it's equally important that we honour those women who have fought for gender equality through history.

Irene Longman is one of those women.

She was Queensland’s first female parliamentarian, winning the seat of Bulimba in 1929.

Born in Tasmania in 1877, Irene Longman attended school in Sydney before training as a kindergarten teacher in 1895.

During her term, she was instrumental in appointing the first female police in Queensland and creating a separate Children’s Court.

Whilst only in parliament for one term, she continued her work in the community for many years after.

Irene Longman passed away in 1964, following several decades spent helping others in Queensland.

She didn't live to see another woman elected to parliament in Queensland.

 

Though the federal Division of Longman is named after Irene, there is little local recognition of her achievements.

I believe it would be fitting to name the Council sports fields at Barrack Road, Cannon Hill, after Ms Longman.

These sports fields are used by local school students from Ms Longman's former electorate of Bulimba.

Ms Longman had a long history of working for the welfare of children, as both an educator in her earlier years, and later as an elected representative.

 Barrack Road Park (unnamed) at Cannon Hill

Barrack Road Park (unnamed) at Cannon Hill

Irene Maud Longman (1877-1964), politician and community worker, was the first woman to stand and be elected as a Member of the Queensland Legislative Assembly.

She was nominated in 1929 by the Queensland Women’s Electoral League as a candidate in the State election and she won Bulimba from Labor for the Country and Progressive National Party.

During her term in parliament Longman was responsible for the appointment of the first women police in Queensland, for changing the venue of the Children’s Court from its meeting place in the precinct of the Police Court, and for the appointment of an advisory panel difficult cases of juvenile delinquency.

An earnest, vivacious speaker with a pleasant contralto voice and sparkling repartee on the platform, she could handle a lively meeting with ease. She was an avid reader in the parliamentary library.

Her term, however, was short, for she lost her seat in the landslide which swept away the Moore government in 1932. It was a lasting disappointment to her that no woman succeeded in following her into State parliament during her lifetime.
— Australian Dictionary of Biography
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