Establishing the ALGWA National body
The Australian Local Government Women’s Association (ALGWA) was created in October 1951, during the Jubilee Year of the Commonwealth of Australia. At the meeting it was agreed that a non-party political association of Local Government Women be formed to support women's participation in local government, both as Councillors and officers.
After the first National Convention held in Canberra in October 1966 a National Board was elected and a constitution drawn up. Today Queensland, New South Wales, Tasmania, Victoria, South Australia and Western Australia all boast State Branches and together comprise the National Board.
In 2001 ALGWA commissioned a project to improve women's participation in local government, and build on the actions already being undertaken by some states and individual councils. In collaboration with the Commonwealth Department of Transport and Regional Services, the Commonwealth Office of the Status of Women and the Australian Local Government Association, a national strategy was launched.
The National Framework for Women in Local Government was produced following extensive consultation with Women in Local Government in November 2001 to ascertain the issues effecting women's participation in Local Government in Australia.
Establishment of the ALGWA Western Australia branch
During the 2002 International Women's Day, Cr Marion Blair hosted a seminar for women in local government at the City of Belmont. This led to a commitment to establishing the WA Branch of ALGWA - the first WAWAs. A steering committee was established comprising:
- Cr Marion Blair (City of Belmont)
- Cr. Janet Davidson (City of Perth)
- Anne Banks-McAllister (City of Nedlands)
- Wendy Fletcher (Shire of Kalamunda)
- Cr. Elizabeth Taylor (Shire of Kalamunda)
- Cr Pat Morris (City of Gosnells)
- Mog Piasecka (City of Joondalup)
- Cr. Val Oliver (City of Cockburn)
- Cr. Tina Klein (Town of Bassendean)
Marion Blair was the Association's inaugural Chairperson and 1st President. The State Association was launched during Local Government Week in August 2002, and the Constitution was adopted in 2004.
Of those original WAWAs, Life Membership has been awarded to Marion Blair, Janet Davidson and Anne Banks-McAllister for their contribution to services for women in Western Australia.
The WAWAs continue to be represented on the National Body of ALGWA by President Karen Wheatland, who is the current Vice President. We are also a member of the National Council of Women WA and have had previous WAWA members inducted into the WA Women's Hall of Fame.