When Robynne Murphy was told she couldn't apply for a position at the Port Kembla steelworks because they had "no jobs for women" she took a stand.
It was 1980 and the Illawarra was experiencing high unemployment. Ms Murphy was not alone in wanting to work for industrial giant BHP, a company who employed 20,000 men at the time.
What began with a few dozen women protesting for the right to work in any industry they chose, ended nearly 15 years later with permanent change to Australian workplace law. It paved the way for equal rights and better pay conditions for generations to come.
Now Ms Murphy has made a movie about it.
"We knew women had worked in the steelworks during the war," she said.
"It was okay for the governments to provide jobs for women in industry like the steelworks and other heavy industries when men were at the war - and they even provided things like childcare, and assistance with laundry."
Currently in post-production, the documentary Women of Steel highlights an often forgotten part of the Illawarra's history and the history for women's rights, she said.
Ms Murphy is aiming to have it complete by year's end. Ideally she wants it released internationally because of the large number of migrant women who were part of the fight.
Initially BHP caved and allowed females on their workforce, but the battle against discrimination had only just begun.
Slobodanka Joncevska explained they had to prove they could "work just like a man" and suspected some job roles were "set ups" - such as sweeping the top of the blast furnace.
An anti-discrimination class action continued through the '80s and into the '90s but the fight was worth it.
"We won despite the odds, it was like a huge campaign," said Yasmin Rittau.
"It was against the most well resourced company in the country, despite all that [as] a small group of women we were able to change their employment practices."
Many young people - especially women - who are unfamiliar with the story are "pretty blown away", according to Ms Murphy.
"The fact that we had to fight so hard and so long over a very simple right to work, and a lot of them have come away quite inspired to work in non-traditional areas," she said.
"Young people can relate to what happened to us 40 years ago because some things have changed. No companies in Australia can discriminate but some things have remained the same, like sexual harassment."
A crowd-funding campaign is being run through Documentary Australia to enable the film to be finished, with another $50,000 needed. To donate, or for more information, CLICK HERE.