Skip to main content

Social currency (Eva Cox)
, 1999

by Kim Spooner

encaustic on canvas (180.0 x 160.0 cm)

Eva Cox AO (b.1938), academic and social activist, emigrated to Australia in 1948 after her Jewish family had reunited following separation during the war. As a student at the University of Sydney she became active in politics and the Push. In 1972, a single parent, she enrolled at the University of NSW, where she became deeply involved in feminism and one of the early members of the Women’s Electoral Lobby. She soon became a vociferous spokesperson on a range of social issues including feminism, superannuation, childcare and social security. From 1977 to 1981 she directed the New South Wales Council for Social Services; later, having held a number of government advisory and public service positions, she helped to found the Women’s Economic Think Tank. From 1994 to 2007 she lectured at the University of Technology, Sydney (UTS). In 1995 she gave the ABC Boyer Lectures, on the theme of ‘A Truly Civil Society’. Currently adjunct professor at Jumbunna Indigenous House of Learning at UTS, Cox is a regular contributor to social justice, social policy and political forums across a range of media.

Sydney artist Kim Spooner was awarded the 1999 Portia Geach Memorial Prize for this work.

Collection: National Portrait Gallery, Canberra
Gift of Eva Cox 2003
Donated through the Australian Government's Cultural Gifts Program
Accession number: 2003.04