Who is she?
Elizabeth Evatt is an Australian legal trailblazer who has done amazing work for women’s civil and human rights. She was the first Chief Judge of the Family Court and the first female judge of an Australian Federal Court.
In the 70s she chaired the Royal Commission on Human Relationships, which contained more than 500 recommendations relating to things like contraception access, abortion, domestic violence and rape, BUT they were deemed too controversial for the time and many weren’t acted upon. However the report brought previously taboo topics into the public sphere.
Why should we thank her?
For pushing the agenda on many issues that still are up for debate today, like abortion, but especially around family law and creating a fairer divorce system.
Elizabeth has the Elizabeth Evatt Community Legal Service named after her in the Blue Mountains and she’s been on an Australian stamp.
*Here’s an amazing speech about Elizabeth Evatt by President of the Australian Human Rights Commission, Gillian Triggs.