Women's Groups 2013 - Combined Equal Pay Committee/WA Council for Equal Pay and Opportunity

Combined Equal Pay Committee/WA Council for Equal Pay and Opportunity

Purpose of the group

Originally known as the Combined Equal Pay Committee, the organisation later changed its name to the WA Council for Equal Pay and Opportunity. It was formed to lobby for equal pay for female workers and campaigned for 16 years for justice for women.

The effectiveness of the campaign can be attributed to the wide ranging representation of affiliated groups, which included women’s organisations, trade unions and representatives from across the political spectrum. The organisation dissolved in 1973 when discriminatory clauses were removed from State legislation and the Commonwealth Conciliation and Arbitration Commission decided in favour of equal pay.

The group had many affiliated organisations, including:

  • Royal Australian Nursing Federation
  • Civil Service Association of WA
  • Union of Australian Women
  • Hospital Salaried Officers’ Association Union of Workers
  • State School Teachers Union
  • Women’s Service Guild of WA
  • Business and Professional Women’s Club Perth
  • Soroptimists
  • State Women’s Council, Liberal and Country League
  • YWCA
  • Hotel Club Caterers' Tearoom and Restaurant Employees’ Union
  • Federated Clerical Public Service Assistants’ Association.

Time period

Founded in 1958 as the Combined Equal Pay Committee and renamed WA Council of Equal Pay and Opportunity in 1962. The group ceased in 1973.

Key achievements

After 16 years of campaigning, legislation was finally enacted to remove discriminatory clauses from State legislation and a climate favourable towards equal pay for female workers had developed.

Key people and positions in the group

  • Irene Greenwood
  • Joan Williams


  • Speed, Sally. 1982. Perth Women’s Liberation and WEL 1972–73. Available from State Library of WA (call number Q305.42 SPE).
  • Joan Williams Papers 1934–1999. Available from State Library of WA (call number ACC 5425A).

Article Index
Women's Groups 2013
Abortion Law Repeal Association/Association for the Legal Right to Abortion (ALRA)
American Women's Club of Perth (AWC)
Association of Civilian Widows of WA Inc
Australian College of Midwives WA Branch (ACM)
Australian Local Government Women’s Association (ALGWA)
Beta Sigma Phi
Business and Professional Women Western Australia (BPW)
Catholic Women’s League of Western Australia (Inc)
Chrysalis House Women's Refuge
Cine-Matrix: Women in Film and Television WA
Cockburn Women’s Peace Camp
Combined Equal Pay Committee/WA Council for Equal Pay and Opportunity
Community Midwifery WA
Country Women’s Association (CWA)
Domestic Violence Action Group (Geraldton)
Emily’s List
Equal Opportunity Law Reform Coalition
Fremantle Women’s Health Centre (FWHC)
Girl Guides WA
Graduate Women Western Australia (GWWA)/Australian Federation of University Women (AFUW) Western Australia
Grapevine/Perth Wimmin’s Collective
Gretel Club of Perth (Inc)
Harvest Guild
Incest Survivors Association (Inc.)
Inner Wheel Australia
Inside Out Project
Ishar Multicultural Women’s Health Centre
Kalgoorlie Auxiliary of the Australasian Institute of Mining and Metallurgy
Karrakatta Club
Labor Women’s Association
Lespar Library
Living Child Inc.—Safe Village Births
Lutheran Women WA
Marninwarntikura Fitzroy Women’s Resource Centre
Mining Mums
Modern Women's Club
Mothers’ Union Australia
Movement for the Ordination of Women
Muslim Women’s Support Centre of WA (Inc)
National Council of Women of Western Australia (previously known as West Australian National Council of Women and Western Australian National Council of Women)
National Council of Jewish Women of Australia—WA section (NCJWA)
Nintirri Centre
Older Women’s Network (OWN WA)
Penguin Club
Perth Ionian Club
Polyhymnia Reading Group
Rape Crisis Line
Rural Remote Regional Women’s Network (RRR)
Sexual Assault Resource Centre (SARC)
Sibyl/University of Western Australia Student Guild Women’s Collective
Society of Women Writers WA
Soroptimist International of Western Australia
Starick Services Inc
Status of Women Committee WA—Australian Labor Party
Tradeswomen on the Move
UN Women Australia (formerly UNIFEM Australia)—Perth Chapter Young UN Women Perth Chapter
Union of Australian Women—WA Branch
V.I.E.W. Western Australia
West Australian Women’s Society of Fine Arts and Crafts
War Widows’ Guild
Warrawee Women’s Refuge
Women’s Electoral Lobby (WEL)
West Australian Housewives’ Association (Inc)
Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom (WILPF)
Women in Media
Women’s Information Referral Exchange (WIRE)
Woman’s Christian Temperance Union (WCTU) of Western Australia
Women in Education Coalition
Women in Mining WA (WIMWA)
Women in Sailing (WIS)
Women in Sport Committee of the Western Australian Sports Council
Women in Technology WA (Inc) (WiTWA)
Women Lawyers of Western Australia (Inc) (WLWA)
Women with Disabilities WA Inc (WWDWA)
Women’s Action Alliance (WAA)
Women’s Advisory Council (WAC)
Women’s Broadcasting Cooperative
Women’s Committee of State School Teachers’ Union WA Executive
Women's Committee of the Waterside Workers Federation
Women’s Council for Domestic and Family Violence Services (WA)/Women’s Refuge Group of WA (WRG)
Women’s Health and Family Services/Women’s Health Care House/Perth Women’s Centre/Women’s Health Service
Women’s Information Service (WIS)
Women’s Interest Network
Women in Engineering WA (WIE WA)
Women’s International Zionist Organisation (WIZO)
Women’s Liberation
Women’s Service Guilds
Women’s Studies Group
Yanay Yanma
YWCA of Perth
Zonta International
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