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 was the senior lecturer and program director in social inquiry at the University of Technology, Sydney (UTS). In 1995 she gave the ABC Boyer Lectures, on the theme of ‘A Truly Civil Society’. Cox is a research fellow at Jumbunna Indigenous House of Learning at UTS and was featured on a stamp for the Australia Post Legends series, recognising her work for furthering the cause of gender equality. Cox is a regular contributor to social justice, social policy, and political forums across a range of media and continues to fight for equal rights for both women and Indigenous Australians.
Sydney artist Kim Spooner was awarded the 1999 Portia Geach Memorial Prize for this work.
Gift of Eva Cox 2003
Donated through the Australian Government's Cultural Gifts Program
Accession number: 2003.04
More about the artist and subject
Permanent collection catalogue
On one level The Companion talks about the most famous and frontline Australians, but on another it tells us about ourselves: who we read, who we watch, who we listen to, who we cheer for, who we aspire to be, and who we'll never forget. The Companion is available to buy online and in the Portrait Gallery Store.