Her Lit­tle Hill­man Imp

Life & Style Weekend - - READ - Want more in­for­ma­tion about The Telling Lives project or would like to get in­volved? Con­tact Dr Ali Black: [email protected] or 0413 12 11 33.

There is no one greater and no one lesser. This is the phi­los­o­phy Gail Crim­mins’ mum lived by and one that con­tin­ues to shape her own life.

Her story sees her delve into the mem­o­ries of her child­hood us­ing the sym­bol­ism of the two up two down homes her fam­ily lived in to con­sider how the ar­chi­tec­ture of­fered by im­por­tant peo­ple in her life has changed her.

“I am al­ways very in­ter­ested in women’s sto­ries,” she says. “We don’t cel­e­brate those women enough or we don’t let those sto­ries be known in a way in which we deal with male sto­ries.

“Be­cause women have tra­di­tion­ally been in­volved in a do­mes­tic set­ting, they were not al­ways known out of that fa­mil­ial set­ting, so shar­ing this in a pub­lic space is about re­po­si­tion­ing the no­tion of strength and strong women, what we con­trib­ute, how we con­trib­ute.

“My mother was not alone in her stead­fast be­lief of equal­ity and hard work and that ev­ery­one was as im­por­tant as each other so that we could each achieve any­thing we wanted to. I have just al­lowed her story be­come known.

“Ev­ery woman has a story and if we are go­ing to grow in un­der­stand­ing and com­pas­sion for our­selves and each other then th­ese sto­ries need to be told. They are a tex­ture of our cul­ture, of our time and who we are.”

Ex­tract from Gail’s story:

My mum wasn’t mid­dle class, wealthy or learned, she didn’t have a phys­i­cal space of her own in which to think, read or write, but both lit­er­ally and fig­u­ra­tively my mum’s car led her, and so all of us, to new places and spa­ces of work, learning, think­ing and be­ing. Her car was a room of her own. I learned ev­ery­thing I needed to know about the im­por­tance of courage, hard work and in­de­pen­dence from watch­ing my mum drive around in her lit­tle Hill­man Imp. I learned that you can­not just be a woman in your world, you have to be a woman in the world.


Gail Crim­mins’ mother’s Hill­man Imp. Gail is a con­trib­u­tor of the Telling Lives project.

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