By combining the cross-section of disciplines (gender, oral history, biography, law, citizenship, social networks, cultural informatics, digital publishing and women’s history archiving) to build a national consciousness of women lawyers, the project will explode the detrimental and well-noted silence surrounding the first women of law in Australia. By recording and analysing these unheard narratives, the project aims not only to understand trailblazing and oral history methods further, but to tap and broadcast the wealth of experience possessed by living trailblazers to inspire young women to work towards an equality of citizenship in their professional and personal lives.

The Pilot Project

During 2010-11 CI Rubenstein, in collaboration with the NLA and AWL, undertook a pilot study of trailblazing women lawyers, aimed at testing the research focuses, scope and budget for the Trailblazing Project. Read more about the Pilot Project HERE.


We have identified and are recording interviews with 45 ‘trailblazing’ Australian women lawyers across regional, remote and metropolitan Australia, from diverse cultural, ethnic, social and religious backgrounds and across the breadth of the profession (including judges, barristers, solicitors, in-house counsel, government lawyers, parliamentary drafters, tribunal members and international legal advocates and advisors). Check the list of project interviews HERE.

Publications and Presentations

A list of our publications and presentations relating to the Trailblazing Project can be accessed HERE.

Also see the blog category PAPERS for further information.

Online Exhibition

Australian Women Lawyers as Active Citizens was launched in November 2016.