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6 March 2020

Recognising the important contribution women have made to Victoria’s thriving creative industries and inspired by International Women’s Day (March 8), below is a list of shows to watch, books to read, music to stream and things to do in honour of IWD and every day after.

L-R: Miss Fisher and the Crypt of Tears, The Merindas, Judy and Punch, K-Box

L-R: Miss Fisher and the Crypt of Tears, The Merindas, Judy and Punch, K-Box


Miss Fisher and the Crypt of Tears, the movie spin-off of the hit TV show, itself an adaptation of the beloved book series by local author Kerry Greenwood is a Victorian success story and in cinemas now.

The locally produced, feminist take on the classic puppet tale Judy and Punch or the Michelle Payne biopic Ride Like A Girl, directed by Rachel Griffiths with a screenplay by Elise McCredie are both available to rent online.

McCredie’s latest script, Stateless, streaming on ABC iView, stars Cate Blanchett and fellow Australian actress Yvonne Strahovski. Also streaming on iView is Art Bites: Third Culture Kids , a documentary series profiling six emerging Australian artists. Developed by previous Creative Victoria grant recipient and Melbourne journalist Santilla Changaipe, the series explores the concept of belonging.

For more recommendations, the experts from 2020 Melbourne Women In Film Festival’s Critics Lab share their top picks and ACMI’s CEO Katrina Sedgewick reveals her favourite rom-coms.


While Melbourne commuters are being treated to Australia’s finest female writers dropping free, signed copies of their books on public transport, everyone can enjoy reading their way through the Stella Longlist, the annual literary award for Australian women writers.

For regional Victoria, Beechworth residents are invited to a special IWD event ‘History and Beyond’, hosted by the Wheeler Centre. Featuring local leaders, historians and experts sharing the unacknowledged stories of the women who have shaped the region. While Clunes Booktown Festival will bring together some of the country’s most beloved female authors.


Programmed by Melbourne singer-songwriter and all-round industry superstar Emily UlmanBrunswick Music Festival features sets from rising star Imbi, the Creative Victoria supported Sui Zhen and the Merindas , alongside long-time favourites Seeker, Lover, Keeper and Dyson, Stronger, Cloher.

Featuring Alice Skye, Ecca Vandal and Banoffee, Music Victoria’s Spotify playlist is dedicated to Victorian female musicians and Gusher is the only music magazine created entirely by women and non-binary people.

Art and design

The National Gallery of Victoria is hosting Women in Art and Design, gathering guests from Melbourne’s arts community and celebrating the contributions women have made to the creative industries. Outside of Melbourne, Tarrawarra Museum of Art’s latest exhibition features the work of leading women artists held in their collection.

Melbourne Design Week’s program includes thought-provoking discussions about issues facing women at Reframe: Gender Sensitive & Safer Cities, a series of panels and workshops exploring the role design plays in making public spaces safe; BLAKitecture, an annual forum highlighting some of Australia’s most knowledgeable Indigenous women working in architecture and design; and a weaving bush sculptures workshop with acclaimed artist Aunty Bronwyn Razem. Whilst exhibitions include Gender In Our Cities: Reshaping Our World, highlighting everyday gender inequality, and Yhonnie Scarce’s spectacular Architecture Commission, In Absence.


Virgin Australia Melbourne Fashion Festival (VAMFF) celebrates female collaborations with Woven Song, a conversation between Short Black Opera’s Deborah Cheetham AO and Melbourne couturier Linda Britten about designing the gowns worn for the opera singer’s performances of ‘Woven Song’.

M Pavilion will host an all-female Indigenous Fashion Storytelling Session, bringing together some of the best Indigenous storytellers to share their favourite fashion items and explore the cultural elements of fashion and design.

Performing arts

Malthouse Theatre showcases young, female talent with the main stage debut of playwright Ra Chapman. K-Box is a surreal comedy, centred around Lucy, a 30-something Korean adoptee.

Part of Melbourne International Comedy Festival, Upfront is a one-night celebration of the queens of comedy including sets from Geraldine Hickey, Zoe Coombs Marr, Becky Lucas and more.


#SheHacks, the world’s longest running hackathon series for women and non-binary folk, travels to East Gippsland 13-15 March and Melbourne 3-5 April. Participants spend a weekend with experts and potential co-founders to develop and build their own product.

Stream Emperor’s New Woes, the 2019 Creative Exchange/Melbourne International Games Week event examining the effect of gender bias on character development - and fashion - in games and how women in the industry are helping change it.

Women-focused funding programs

Chambermade’s Orange House by the Sea Artist Residency is open to mid-career women and non-binary folk working in performance, sound and music.

The 2020 Ravenswood Australian Women’s Art Prize is open to women artists working in any medium and includes categories for professional, emerging and Indigenous artists.

Find more information on Creative Victoria’s funding programs at creative.vic.gov.au/grants.