Social currency (Eva Cox)
, 1999

by Kim Spooner

encaustic on canvas (160.0 x 180.0 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 social issues, particularly feminism. She completed her sociology degree at the University of NSW, co-founding the feminist magazine Refractory Girl in 1973 and contributing to Oz magazine. She soon became a vociferous spokesperson on a range of social issues including feminism, superannuation, childcare, social security and public health. In the late 1970s she directed the New South Wales Council for Social Services; later she helped to found the Women’s Economic Think Tank. From 1994 to 2007 she lectured at the University of Technology, Sydney. In 1995 she gave the ABC Boyer Lectures, on the theme of ‘A Truly Civil Society’. She was named the Council of Australian Humanist Societies’ Humanist of the Year in 1998. Cox is now a regular contributor to online social justice, social policy and political forums.

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