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Former Premier’s papers now available at Curtin

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14 November 2008

Western Australians can now access some of former Premier Carmen Lawrence’s personal papers relating to her time in State Parliament.

The Carmen Lawrence Collection is a Curtin Library Collection that is housed in Curtin University of Technology’s John Curtin Prime Ministerial Library (JCPML).

The Collection includes newspaper clippings, media summaries, speeches, electorate correspondence, circulars to ministers, memorabilia and over 300 photographs.

Dr Lawrence’s papers add to the University’s growing collection of important political documents including those from former Premier Dr Geoff Gallop and former Prime Minister John Curtin.

Dr Lawrence — the first female Premier of an Australian State — was Premier of WA from 1990-93 and Federal Member of Parliament for Fremantle from 1994-2007.

At the official launch of the Collection last night (13/11/08) at Curtin’s Bentley Campus,
Dr Lawrence delivered a public lecture titled, ‘Why Inequality Matters’.

“People often ask me why on earth I ever went into politics,” Dr Lawrence said.

“While I have often responded that it was in a moment of weakness, the truth is, at least in part, that it was a result of one of my abiding preoccupations – inequality.

“The drive for equality has always seemed to me the most compelling motivation to be involved in public life, a project based not on the idea that everyone is equally clever or attractive or articulate, but that each person has equal worth and an equal right to develop his or her “distinctive gifts”.

“The fact is that inequality matters because of the harm it does to individuals and to societies.”

Many of the items are available for viewing online at and the speech will be available shortly.

JCPML opening hours: Monday to Friday 9-4pm – Curtin’s Bentley Campus.

Attention Editor/COS: Photographs are available on request.

Modified: 14 November 2008

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