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Statuesque: Push to honour more prominent women in Queensland

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Statues of men outnumber statues of women in Queensland, but a campaign led by a nine-year-old girl looks set to change that. The State Government has funding available.

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Malia Knox and her mother ran the #femalefaces4publicplaces campaign to push for women and girls to be better represented in public statues, plaques and honours.

Attorney-General Shannon Fentiman has now written to mayors to encourage them to promote more women and girls in public, with a follow-up letter highlighting the funding available for them to start addressing the gender imbalance.

The Gambling Community Benefit Fund currently provides grants of up to $35,000 for local projects, which can be nominated or supported by councils. From next February, the maximum grant amount will increase to $100,000.

“This fund would be a wonderful opportunity for them to increase diversity representation and celebrate more local women in their communities,” Fentiman said.

“We are committed to working with local organisations, community members and local governments to see more women and girls recognised in our public statues and monuments.”

Applications for the next round of grants close on Tuesday and will be assessed by an independent committee.

Knox had floated several possible names deserving of greater recognition, including adventurer Jessica Watson OAM, NASA astrobiologist Abigail Allwood, and former Governor-General Dame Quentin Bryce.

Clare Polkinghorne takes on American superstar Megan Rapinoe during a Matildas match at the Tokyo Olympics. (Reuters)

Separately, there is an open petition to parliament, with 555 signatures so far, calling for footballer Clare Polkinghorne to be afforded a statue outside Suncorp Stadium, where the five existing statues are all men.

A previous petition for former rugby league player Matt Bowen to be given a statue at the Townsville stadium, next to a statue of former teammate Johnathon Thurston, attracted 926 signatures.

Former netballer Laura Geitz has a statue, which was originally installed at the Brisbane Entertainment Centre in 2016 and then moved to Nissan Arena three years later.

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