Women of Steel

Directed by Robynne Murphy, 2020 Australia 56 minutes
All Ages
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A rousing documentary, many years in the making, that follows a group of determined  local women in  their  14-year  fight for the right to work in  Wollongong’s steel industry.

Forty years ago, Wollongong’s Jobs for Women Campaign, with  director  Robynne  Murphy  among its leaders,  took  on  Australia’s most powerful  company BHP –  and won.  But when  the 1980s steel slump  devastated the  city’s  economy,  the women  were forced  into the courtroom.  Their struggle plays out against a background of societal changes:  from anti-discrimination legislation,  to the  shifting  roles  of women in the  home  and workforce  (particularly complex in Wollongong’s migrant,  non-English speaking households).  This fascinating  account of the largely forgotten history of Australia’s Steel City was crafted over decades with support from local community volunteers and  over 500  donors.   

Robynne  Murphy  was selected for AFTRS’s first intake.  As  other students moved into  feature films, Murphy  started  a thirty-year career  at  the  Port Kembla  steelworks before  beginning  this documentary.  

Program Strand
Documentary Australia Foundation Award,
All Ages
In English and Turkish with English subtitles
Premiere Status
World Premiere,
Robynne Murphy,
Robynne Murphy,
Phillip Crawford, Shaniece Igano,
Phillip Crawford, Rowena Crowe,
Women, Documentary, Human Rights, Discrimination, Law, Women Directors,
Company Credits
Film contact: Jobs for Women Film Producers Group,