An Autobiography HTML version

regretted the fact that others who might gain equally from them were not there to hear
them. I would like to see among the young people a finer conception of the duties of
citizenship, which, if not finding expression in church attendance, may develop in some
way that will be noble and useful to society.
In the meantime the work of the Effective Voting League had been rather at a standstill.
Mrs. Young's illness had caused her resignation, and until she again took up the work
nothing further was done to help Mr. Coombe in his Parliamentary agitation. In 1908,
however, we began a vigorous campaign, and towards the close of the year the
propaganda work was being carried into all parts of the State. Although I was then 83, I
travelled to Petersburg to lecture to a good audience. On the same night Mrs. Young
addressed a fine gathering at Mount Gambier, and from that time the work has gone on
unceasingly. The last great effort was made through the newspaper ballot of September,
1909, when a public count of about 10,000 votes was completed with all explanations
during the evening. The difficulties that were supposed to stand in the way of a general
acceptance of effective voting have been entirely swept away. Tasmania and South
Africa have successfully demonstrated the practicability, no less than the justice, of the
system. Now we get to the bedrock of the objections raised to its adoption, and we find
that they exist only in the minds of the politicians themselves; but the people have faith in
effective voting, and I believe the time to he near when they will demand equitable
representation in every Legislature in the world. The movement has gone too far to be
checked, and the electoral unrest which is so common all over the world will eventually
find expression in the best of all electoral systems, which I claim to be effective voting.
Among the many friends I had made in the other States there was none I admired more
for her public spiritedness than Miss Vida Goldstein. I have been associated with her on
many platforms and in many branches of work. Her versatility is great, but there is little
doubt that her chief work lies in helping women and children. Her life is practically spent
in battling for her sex. Although I was the first woman in Australia to become a
Parliamentary candidate, Miss Goldstein has since exceeded my achievement by a second
candidature for the Senate. It was during her visit here last May-June as a delegate to the
State Children's Congress that she inaugurated the Women's Non-party Political
Association, which is apparently a growing force. In a general way the aims of the
society bear a strong resemblance to those of the social students' society, many of its
members having also belonged to the earlier association. It was a hopeful sign to me that
it included among its members people of all political views working chiefly in the
interests of women and children. Of this Society also I became the first President, and the
fact that on its platform was included proportional representation was an incentive for me
to work for it. The education of women on public and social questions, so that they will
be able to work side by side with the opposite sex for the public good will, I think, help in
the solution of social problems that are now obstacles in the path of progress. In addition
to other literary work for the year 1909 I was asked by Miss Alice Henry to revise my
book on State children in order to make it acceptable and applicable to American
conditions. It was a big undertaking, but I think successful. The book, as originally