In the recently elected ACT Legislative Assembly there are 14 women members and 11 men. Four years ago our Parliament became the first ever in Australia with a majority of women members. That is maintained, and improved by one, this time round. Well done, the ACT electors. It has not been an easy path. Vida Goldstein was the first women to stand for election to a national parliament in Australia and in what was then known as the British Empire. She stood for the Senate in Victoria and gathered more than 51,000 votes at the election in 1903 but fell far short of winning a place, 15th among eighteen candidates. She stood again in 1910. Though travelling widely throughout the state and speaking at public meetings by day and by night in both campaigns, she failed again. Goldstein stood for Kooyong in 1913 in the House of Representatives, where she had received a good Senate vote in 1910 but lost badly to the conservative (Sir) Robert Best. She stood again at the double-dissolution election of 1914 and was said to have an excellent chance as the electorate moved, with the nation, away from conservatism. But the war came and Goldstein, a pacifist, was swamped by imperial fervour. A fifth and last attempt, for the Senate in 1917, was doomed. This grim summary would seem that we have here a book about failure. But there was much more to Vida Goldstein than that. A feminist, activist, fighter for votes for women, Christian Scientist, international figure, passionate supporter of the Suffragettes, and a hated figure in Melbourne's mainstream press, Vida Goldstein's biography is a joy on every page. That is, if the reader enjoys the fight more than the victory. Vida returned to Australia in 1922 after three years abroad. She was 53 years of age and she ended her political and social activism, opting instead for work as a Christian Science practitioner. She devoted herself to her church for the remainder of her life, dying in 1949 aged 80. In some senses this is a sad book. Vida wanted so much for women and her country and, failing to gain political office, she felt her influence might have been negligible. But Jacqueline Kent ends her book with a survey of women in Australian politics now, commenting on the long, long journey that is far from over. Let's watch the new Assembly closely.