To put it simply. Melbourne IS art. 

They have world famous baristas creating art on coffees, markets becoming a hub for creatives to talk about and buy handmade art and valleys that are sprayed and stencilled in technicolour brilliance reflecting issues and controversies the world faces. Inspirational art is hidden everywhere in Melbourne, sometimes in the smallest corners of the city and at times right in front of your face, yet there is only one inspirational public art statue representing females.


Current Statues of Women in Melbourne

Fearless Girl

The world famous statue has made it to Melbourne! It is one of several replicas with a very strong message. The 50 inch girl with her fists clenched towards her hips, and body standing tall, the message behind this statue is “Know the power of women in leadership. SHE makes the difference”. She is about female empowerment. She sends the message that no dream is too big and no ceiling is too high. Although the statue, like most art, has come with many controversies, at the end of the day - the Fearless Girls message is that of equality. The juxtaposition of having the statue erected in the city with the most art and the least amount of female representation, is the irony of the century.  You can find the Fearless Girl statue by artist Kristen Visbal at Federation Square.

Mary MacKillop

Mary MacKillop (1842-1909) was the first Australian to be recognised as one of it’s saints. She founded Australia’s first order of nuns, and established St. Joseph’s School providing free education to children from the area. On 12 August 2012, Archbishop Denis Hart, unveiled a statue of St Mary of the Cross MacKillop on the grounds of St Patrick’s Cathedral, East Melbourne. The bronze cast statue by sculptor Louis Laumen explains, “The statue portrays a young and vibrant Mary descending a staircase, as if she had just been upstairs to put on her habit for the very first time.”

Great Australian Women – Statues of Inspiration

*IMPORTANT INFORMATION* Project Postponed due to COVID

More information coming soon!

Australia is a place filled with extreme environments, pulsing cities, and full of inspirational women. Fighting for social justice, making advancements in health care and science, blazing the sports fields, and making their mark in parliament, the list of amazing women and their achievements is vast. This is a thing of pride for Australia, a pride for the strong and talented women that fill the country. They are an inspiration for all and our leaders of the future.

Internationally renowned Australian public artists Gillie and Marc Schattner, want to create a celebration of some of the most inspirational Australian women of our time to be displayed for all to see. Having seen huge international success with their project of the same mind, Statues For Equality, in New York City, they want to bring the spotlight to the women of their own country with a celebration of inspirational Australians along Melbourne’s iconic river walk.

The Idea

Expertly crafted in everlasting bronze, larger than life statues of some of the most inspirational Australian women of our time will wind down the iconic river walk in the heart of Melbourne. A picturesque location that is immensely popular with both locals and tourists alike, the statues will be seen by millions, bringing the stories and achievements of these amazing women to the people and giving inspiration to all who see them as a beautiful artistic walk.

This walk is not just a public art exhibition, it is a celebration of all Australians. It is a celebration of the incredible women of this country, their achievements, and how they have shaped this country. But it is also a celebration for the rest of Australia, a time to be proud of the people that this country has raised and supported and the creativity, ingenuity, and perseverance that has changed the world. This exhibition is an opportunity to celebrate success and provide inspiration for future generations.

The statues will be exhibited on the river walk for 12 months before being relocated to a permanent home with their sponsors.

The Benefits

Public art brings huge benefits to the local community. Public artists for the past 30 years and creating monumental works all over the world, Gillie and Marc have seen the effects a statue can bring to the community. Through their work, they have raised thousands of dollars for animal conservation, been sent hundreds of messages thanking them for the inspiration their statues have brought, and given communities a visual slice of their history that they will be able to celebrate forever.

Public art brings huge numbers to visit them. With national coverage and an added point of interest, a destination can see an increase of visitor numbers by thousands, even millions, increasing the revenues for businesses, big and small, that surround them. After seeing their friends and families posting images on their social media profiles, the interest can reach a global scale very quickly.

They also bring inspiration and joy. Reading the stories and seeing the faces of real people of our day is a fantastic way for people to build real connections with that person, picking up ideas for how they can better themselves and make the world a better place in turn. It is the perfect way to show the world Australia’s greatest names, sending them away with awe of the incredible people that this country raises.

This project is also a wonderful way to elevate the amazing women in Australia and taking a tangible step towards gender equality. Only 3% of the public statues in Melbourne depict women. By adding more female faces, it sends a clear message that the acts of women are just as important and worth celebrating as men. It sends the message to little girls that they can achieve anything they set their minds to and shows little boys that a successful woman is something just as normal as a successful man. Creating equality is integral to the advancement of humanity. With the entire population being allowed to prove themselves and shine, rather than just half, there can be more innovation, creativity, advancement, and mental stability for all.

How It Works

Gillie and Marc will be asking companies, organisations, and individuals to sponsor a statue, nominating a woman that they believe deserves recognition on the walk of inspiration. Once a woman has been nominated, that woman’s approval will be asked before work will begin on crafting the finished product.

The statues will be exhibited to the public along Melbourne’s iconic river walk for 12 months before being given to their sponsor to be exhibited wherever they please.