Presented by James Munro MP
Victoria’s constitution of 1855 did not give women the right to vote. In 1891, Premier James Munro said he would introduce a bill for women’s suffrage if it were demonstrated that ordinary women wanted this right.
The Victorian Christian Temperance Union and the Women’s Suffrage Society joined forces to organise a petition. Embarking on a doorknocking campaign across Victoria, they collected almost 30,000 signatures in six weeks. Among the significant signatories was Jane Munro, wife of the Premier.
The petition was called the ‘Monster Petition’ due to its size (approximately 260 metres long). Several attendants were required to carry it into Parliament.
Although women in Victoria did not gain the right to vote in state elections until 1908, this petition was instrumental in raising the profile of the women’s suffrage movement.