Oral history as an analytical tool : Eve Mahlab and the Australian Trailblazing Women Law Project

Kim Rubenstein, Anne Isaac

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

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    Abstract

    This article adds to a growing body of literature that aims to correct the traditional lack of attention to the role of women lawyers who have exercised their power as active citizens by participating in legal reform and facilitating access to social justice for all Australians. The paper highlights the unique contribution to gender equality of one such woman, Eve Mahlab AO, through a close examination of her oral history, which was drawn from the pilot stage of a project that now comprises a corpus of over fifty interviews recorded with ‘trailblazing’ Australian women lawyers. The methodology adopted is innovative in combining a legal analysis and a discourse analysis of the interview with Eve Mahlab. This approach offers insights into those aspects of her personal and professional biography that most influenced and enabled her contributions in the public and private spheres, allowing us to publicly acknowledge and record them. The paper demonstrates how such use of oral history broadens and deepens our understanding of the diverse social and professional forces that shape political consciousness and motivate feminist engagement in civic activity.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)1-32
    Number of pages32
    JournalWomen's History Review
    DOIs
    Publication statusPublished - 8 Jun 2023

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