Marriage equality

Successful leaders, advocates and protesters know how to seize the perfect moment. In 2017, the time had finally come for marriage equality. 

From September to November 2017, a postal survey run by the Australian Bureau of Statistics asked everyone on the Australian electoral roll: 'Should the law be changed to allow same-sex couples to marry?'

A clear majority – 61.6 percent of respondents – replied 'Yes'. Those in favour had run one of the most colourful campaigns in Australian history, literally using every colour of the LGBTIQA+ Pride rainbow.

Sydney artist Eloise Murphy made an especially memorable statement when she 'yarn bombed' a bicycle and parked it outside the private residence of (then) Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull, and his wife, Lucy. 

'Random acts of crochet kindness': Eloise Murphy

Everyone is having their say but not many say it in crochet.

– Lucy Turnbull, October 2017

Sydney artist Eloise Murphy is not a noisy protestor. Her activism begins with a crochet hook and a ball of yarn.

Part street-artist, part 'craftivist', Eloise uses 'yarn bombing' as a technique to turn the ordinary – a pole, a fence, a bicycle – into something extraordinary. For her it's a way to cut through the relentless cynicism and negativity in our world. 

In the yarn-bombing community, Eloise is known as 'Treble Maker', a nod to her favourite crochet stitch.

During the COVID-19 pandemic Eloise and a friend crocheted hundreds of tiny 'love hearts' to attach to fences and letterboxes in their neighbourhood. 'Random acts of crochet kindness', she calls them. The aim is to bring a smile to people's faces. 

This story is featured in National Archives's exhibition Disrupt, persist, invent: Australians in an ever-changing world.