Public Art – Women’s Right to Vote

Great Petition is a Public Art located in Burston Reserve, near the Victorian State Parliament Building, in Melbourne, Australia. The sculpture was commissioned by the State Government of Victoria and the City of Melbourne, designed by artists Susan Hewitt and Penelope Lee.

The Big Petition sculpture is a 20-metre-long scroll which goes on the ground and seems to reappear on the next pathway. It was unveiled on 3 December 2008 to commemorate the centenary of women’s suffrage in Victoria.

The sculpture refers to the “Monster Petition” calling for women to be granted the right to vote, which was signed by 30,000 Victorian women over a period of six weeks in 1891. The original petition, which consists of sheets of paper glued onto lengths of calico fabric, is 260 metres long and is held by the state’s Public Record Office. 


  1. It’s a really unusual (for me) sculpture, but with an excellent backstory which you did well to bring to light. Cheers Teresa!

    1. Teresa says:

      Yes, with the explanation, it is easier to understand where the sculpture is coming from.

  2. Debbie Smyth says:

    How interesting – what a wonderful interpretation of the petition. I’d love to see the original too.

    1. Teresa says:

      Sorry, didn’t think to post about the historical photos.

  3. Dan Antion says:

    That’s a beautiful sculpture, Teresa and your photos are wonderfully composed.

    1. Teresa says:

      Thanks Dan!

  4. Marsha says:

    I love this sculpture, Teresa. Fascinating, I took several pictures of it when I was in Melbourne. I love seeing it in the fall colors. The leaves add to the beauty. It has great meaning as well for all of us women. Thanks for sharing it.

    1. Teresa says:

      My pleasure Marsha! I agree the colour of the leaves add beauty. Thanks my dear!

      1. Marsha says:

        When I find my post, I’ll send you a link.

  5. Toonsarah says:

    I really like this – it looks elegant and tells a great story 🙂 Your photos with the fallen leaves in the foreground are very effective!

    1. Teresa says:

      Thanks, glad you liked it, Sarah!

  6. Brilliant placement and autumn setting.

    1. Teresa says:

      Thanks Manja! ❤️

  7. Beautiful art and very meaningful!

    1. Teresa says:

      Thanks Rebecca. ❤️

  8. Cee Neuner says:

    This is an interesting sculpture 😀

    1. Teresa says:

      Yes for sure, glad you found it interesting!

  9. restlessjo says:

    I wouldn’t have guessed what it relates to, but now you’ve explained it makes perfect sense, Teresa.

    1. Teresa says:

      It is easier to understand the sculpture from afar. I hope I explained it well.

      1. restlessjo says:

        You did.

  10. maristravels says:

    Your photographs of this sculpture are really great, Teresa, and thanks for bringing it to our attention. I guess a lot of people don’t know about this.

    1. Teresa says:

      I am guessing people just pass this sculpture without even knowing what it means. It is in the middle of the city near the train station so a lot of people are aware that it is there.

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