Dame Roma Mitchell is depicted surrounded by her books looking relaxed and at home on North Terrace. The Statue is an acknowledgement of her many acheivements, including her time as Governor of South Australia. Dame Roma Mitchell was a much loved public figure, recognised for blazing a trail for women professionally, and for her human rights advocacy.

Dame Roma Mitchell

Born 2 October 1913 in Adelaide, Roma Mitchell was educated locally before pursuing a legal career. She became the first female Queen's Counsel (QC) in Australia (1962); the first female judge of a Supreme Court in Australia (1965); first Chair of the Human Rights Commission (1981); first female chancellor of an Australian University (1983); and the first female Governor of an Australian state (1991). Dame Roma Mitchell's biographers (Magarey & Round, 2007) christened her 'Roma the First' due to this long list of pioneering achievements.

The Sculpture

Sculptor Janette Moore chose to portray Dame Roma Mitchell sitting informally and reading. At the unveiling Sir William Deane described the impression given as '... just as if she were on the other side of the wall behind us in the gardens of Government House.' (Magarey, Susan ed, 2002)

The front inscription reads:

The Honourable Dame Roma Mitchell
Governor of South Australia 1991 - 1996
Chancellor of the University of Adelaide 1983 - 1990
Judge of the Supreme Court of South Australia 1965 - 1983

By Catherine Manning, History Trust of South Australia

Uploaded 30 October 2014

Add media
Image: A bronze statute of a middle-aged woman seated in a large chair. A stack of books is located next to the chair
Image: woman in front of sculpture of herself
Image: bronze statue of seated woman with books
Image: bronze plaque
Image: bronze statue of seated woman with books
Add story