Instead of only visitng the must-see lists of each city, one of the most amazing things about traveling is experiencing what you’re passionate about in a new environment.
For example, my experience living in Buenos Aires was enriched by taking taking folk dance classes and volunteered at a human rights organization. Just imagine what might be memorable: a visit to a statue that you don’t have any inherent connection to, or going to a discussion night at a local NGO about the genocide in Guatemala and sitting silently in the back until you couldn’t hold in your tears any longer. No matter where you are, either if you’re studying abroad for a semester or just passing through for a few days, taking an afternoon to participate in something you care about can have a great impact on your trip.
For me during the months I spent living in Melbourne on a working holiday visa, I survived the mundane repetition of working at a salad bar by participating in feminist activism events. If learning more about the feminist struggles is one of your passions, here are seven ideas for you to broaden your understanding of it in Australia. While this list is by no means exhaustive, it can give you a starting point to delve deeper.
The QVWC is a building in the Melbourne CBD which houses offices for several nonprofits relating to women’s welfare. It also hosts speakers and events. To celebrate International Women’s Day the QVWC held lectures throughout the week of March 8th- they even involved complimentary wine. Check out their library or subscribe to their newsletter for updates.
Radical Women is a grassroots leftist feminist organization that started in the United States in the 1960s. Today in Melbourne the organization is present at political rallies and even hosts events at their Brunswick located library, called the Solidarity Salon, including feminist book clubs and speakers.
While not inherently feminist, Melbourne Free University hosts lectures related to topics from technology to the FARC and gay rights movement in Colombia and often tackles the struggles of the global power imbalances including gender and women’s rights. The goal of the free uni is expand discussion and debate of important issues to all, and while lecturers often come from academia, participants come from all walks of life.
A coworking space for women entrepreneurs located in Southbank, One Roof also hosts networking events and professional development workshops for women usually relating to business and leadership.
Miscellaneous Activist Events
Local grassroots political activist organizations organize rallies, lectures and discussions related to a variety of topics, and most of them often intersect with the feminist cause. For example, I subscribed to the Green Leftist Weekly’s activist calendar, which advertises any number of events hosted by different organizations in different areas of the city, from the Socialist Alliance’s CBD office to Melbourne University.
MeetUp.com, which connects people with others who share similar interests, lists several local feminist groups in Melbourne. Use these socials to network and learn more about activism in the city.
EthicalJobs.com and Seek.com list open jobs and volunteering positions related to gender inequality (just make sure to use the right search terms). The possibility of volunteering is increased with the longer you might stay in Melbourne, especially when the work is regarding sensitive issues such as domestic violence.
Melbourne Feminist Action is Facebook group that helps organize feminist activists around pressing issues in the feminist movement. As of the time of writing this post, the page hasn’t been updated, but you never know when they might become active again.
Featured photo taken at Hosier Lane in Melbourne.
Not obsessed with the feminist cause? There’s still a lot to be discovered about Melbourne! Check out these five websites to tell you where.