‘Wonder Women’: Celebrating SA’s weird and wonderful women

Join us to hear from four writers and historians discuss their imaginative techniques to tell women’s stories. Without these stories our perception of the past is distorted and incomplete. Learn what the lives of South Australian women reveal about our state’s distinctive past. 

Date: Tuesday 19 September 2023
Time: 6.00pm – 8.00pm 
Free event: bookings via Eventbrite  

Refreshments will be offered upon arrival. This is an interactive event with a Q&A at the end. 

Bradley Forum H 5-02, Hawke Building, UniSA City West Campus, 55 North Terrace, Adelaide 5000

Bradley Forum is located on the fifth floor of the Hawke Building, enter via the foyer entrance on ground floor and take the lifts to level five.
City West Campus and Access Map
Parking is available at the Wilson City West Carpark. Book in advance for a cheaper rate. 


  • Why do women’s stories matter?  
  • If the lives of historical women are drawn from different sources than the official records often used to write the lives of men, do they require unique methods for studying and storying?  
  • Might the ends ever justify the means when it comes to using imaginative techniques to re-present the lives of those who would otherwise remain silenced in historic records?  
  • What do women’s lives tell us without which our perspective of the past would remain forever distorted?  
  • And what do the lives of South Australian women reveal about the state’s distinctive past? 

Panelists: Emerita Professor Margaret Allen in Gender Studies, University of Adelaide; Dr Alecia Simmonds, Senior Lecturer, Faculty of Law, University of Technology Sydney; Lainie Anderson, Writer and 2023 Emerging Historian of the Year; Leeza Peters, Artist and Writer.
Chair: Dr Kiera Lindsey, HTSA History Advocate

Professor Margaret Allen 
Bio: Margaret Allen has been researching in women’s history in Australia for many years. She has researched and published on a number of women writers including the Scottish born South Australian poet and novelist, Catherine Martin (nee Mackay) 1947-1937. 
Margaret is Professor Emerita in Gender Studies, University of Adelaide. 

Lainie Anderson
Bio: Lainie Anderson has been a columnist for Adelaide’s Sunday Mail since 2007, with her 35-year journalism and public relations career also including stints at Melbourne’s Herald Sun, London’s The Times, and the South Australian Tourism Commission. In 2016 she was awarded a Churchill Fellowship to gauge the international significance of the 1919 Air Race from England to Australia and the Vickers Vimy aircraft housed at Adelaide Airport. Her debut novel, Long Flight Home, was published in Australia and the UK. Lainie also co-produced a one-hour documentary on the air race, which was presented by astronaut Andy Thomas and premiered on SBS TV. Lainie is currently studying a PhD with UniSA Creative, exploring the life of South Australia’s Kate Cocks who in 1915 became the first policewoman in the British Empire employed with the same salary and arrest powers as men. Lainie is an ambassador with the Hutt Street Centre and sits on the SA Regional Selection Committee of the Winston Churchill Memorial Trust. She is a History Guardian for the South Australian History Trust, and earlier this year she was announced as the 2023 Emerging Historian of the Year by the History Council of South Australia. 

Leeza Peters
Bio: Leeza Peters was just 12 years old when her father Allan Peters (Author of No Monument of Stone and Dead Woman Walking), introduced Elizabeth Woolcock’s story to the family. Since then, she has worked tirelessly alongside her dad for over 40 years, researching the history of the case and pursuing a posthumous pardon. She strongly believes Elizabeth was a victim of a biased legal system, an obstinate government and was hanged an innocent woman. Leeza’s passion has led her to write, direct, and produce two stage productions, five short films, a manuscript and television scripts and create a sculptural monument to honour Elizabeth. When not obsessing about Elizabeth, Leeza is a Community Development Officer with the City of Onkaparinga and in her spare time creates artwork which sells locally, interstate and overseas. 

Dr Alecia Simmonds
Bio: Dr Alecia Simmonds is an inter-disciplinary scholar of law and history. She has published in national and international journals on the relationship between intimacy, imperialism, gender, race and law in Australia and the Pacific. She is a Chief Investigator on an ARC Discovery Project entitled, Women’s Century of Struggle: Juries, Justice and Citizenship and is the current recipient of a grant by the Francis Forbes Society which will enable her to research how defamation actions were used in the early-twentieth century to protest race-based harms. Dr Simmonds’ first book, Wild Man: A True Story of a Police Killing Mental Illness and the Law won the 2016 Davitt prize for best crime non-fiction. Her second book, Courting: An Intimate History of Love and Law will be released in November. She also writes articles for the popular press, including Fairfax Digital, Inside Story and the Australian Book Review. 

Chair: Dr Kiera Lindsey 
Bio: Dr Kiera Lindsey is South Australia’s History Advocate & the History Trust of SA’s principal public spokesperson on South Australian history. In this capacity, Kiera undertakes research, advocacy and outreach to historical organisations, individual practitioners and the broader community while also working with urban and regional communities & other groups to increase appreciation of our distinctive history. Kiera is also an award-winning historian who has been enthusiastically exploring historical ideas and deepening our interest in and understandings of the past, via books and articles, radio and podcasts, film, and television, teaching and talking. 

Talking History 2023 is a partnership between The History Trust of South Australia and The University of South Australia.