Women of steel: the fight for the right to work at BHP

Women of Steel, a rousing story about the 1980-1994 campaign by Wollongong women for jobs in the BHP-AIS steel works is touring Australia for the first time in November 2020. The personal story of the campaign sustained by Robynne Murphy and hundreds of other local
women for the right to work at BHP is exciting, moving and often humourous.

The film will make its Union Premiere at the ACTU Activist Conference on Wednesday 18th November before travelling around the country.
Women of Steel is directed by 30-year career steelworker Robynne Murphy whose jobs at the Port Kembla plant included welder, crane driver, and hot strip mill operator.

It is an important and now sometimes forgotten episode in Australia’s history and Robynne left a promising career as a young filmmaker (she was selected for AFTRS’s very first intake) when she became caught up in the Jobs for Women Campaign.

Women of Steel has been awarded the History Council of NSW’s 2020 Macquarie PHA Applied History Award and was praised by the History Council judges for its informative, gritty, evocative and powerful presentation of history. Women of Steel was recently a finalist in the prestigious $10,000 Documentary Australia Foundation Award for Australian Documentary at the Sydney Film Festival among many of its prestigious accolades for its confronting account.


That Robynne could return to filmmaking so successfully after so many years is a testimony not only to her talents but also to the exciting nature of the events that took place in Wollongong during the 1980s.

Today, Robynne continues to work in a non-traditional job, albeit now as a volunteer. She drives the truck for her RFS brigade and was on the ground all through the 2019-2020 fires on the far south coast of NSW.

This fascinating account of the largely forgotten history of Australia’s Steel City was crafted over decades with support from local community volunteers and over 500 donors

Thursday 19 November at 7pm – includes Q&A after the film
Gala Twin Cinema

204 Cowper St, Warrawong, Port Kembla NSW

Virtual screening – Thursday 26 November at 7pm

Wednesday 25 November at 7pm
Village Cinemas Hobart

181 Collins Street, Hobart
Thursday 26 November at 7pm

Palace Cinemas Raine Square
Raine Square, 300 Murray Street, Perth
Friday 27 November at 7pm

Palace Cinemas Barracks
The Barracks Shopping Centre, 61 Petrie Terrace, Brisbane
Wednesday 2 December at 6pm

ARC CINEMA – NATIONAL FILM & SOUND ARCHIVE
20 McCoy Circuit, Acton, ACT
Monday 7 December at 7pm

Event Cinemas George Street
505 George Street, Sydney

Photo Credit: Pixabay

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