Pri Adilbert is a volunteer and friend to many people, originally from Mauritius. Three years ago, she co-founded an African charity, African Education Society, which helps street youth with AIDS in Tanzania. She is also a volunteer at the Red Cross, the Cancer Council Western Australia, Starlight Foundation, the Fred Hollows Foundation and the WA African community.
Lesley Akora came to Australia in 1991 as a Ugandan refugee. She was widowed with three children, but did a double major in politics and sociology at Curtin University while also editing a quarterly WA newsletter, the African Voice. She was the first female president of the African Community of WA. She also created the African Youth tutoring and annual graduation program. She assists new refugees by finding them accommodation and employment. She now works as a family relationships adviser.
Beryl Allen has been a volunteer with the Council on the Ageing in WA for 14 years. She has been a volunteer/receptionist two days a week. She was also a long-term secretary of the Gerbera Society of WA.
Dr Anne Aly is a senior lecturer and researcher at the School of Computer and Security Science at Edith Cowan University. She has worked as a senior policy officer in the WA Office of Multicultural Interests and manager of community education and training at the WA Equal Opportunity Commission. She researches terrorism and international security, the fear of terrorism and radicalism and teaches.
Professor Lyn Beazley AC is a professor of zoology at the University of WA. Her research career spans 30 years and includes studies of regeneration after neurotrauma and colour vision in Australian native animals. Her research has also changed clinical practice in the treatment of infants at risk of pre-term delivery. Professor Beazley has built up an internationally renowned research team focusing on recovery from brain damage. She was a member of an international panel assessing research performance for the Swedish Research Council and is a member of the education committee of the International Brain Research Organisation. She served as a trustee of the WA Museum from 1999 to 2007.
The Honourable Julie Bishop MP is Deputy Leader of the Federal Opposition and WAs most senior female politician. She is the Liberal Party’s first female Deputy Leader. She has been the Federal member for Curtin since 1998. She was the first Perth woman to be made a managing partner in a law firm. She also was chairman of the Town Planning Appeal Tribunal of WA, a Senate member of Murdoch University, a director of SBS and a director and fellow of the Australian Institute of Management. She has also served on the council of governors of the Lions Ear and Hearing Institute.
Estelle Blackburn spent six years researching and writing the 1998 book Broken Lives, which led to the exoneration of two men, John Button in 2002 and Darryl Beamish in 2005. The men had been convicted of Perth killings in the 1960s. During her journalism career, she worked with The West Australian, the ABC and the Government Media Office. She has won her an array of awards, including an Order of Australia Medal, the Walkley Award for journalism, and the Perth Press Club Award. She was WAs Woman of the Year in 2005 and WA Citizen of the Year for arts, culture and entertainment in 2010. She was awarded a Churchill Fellowship in 2007 to study innocence projects overseas.
Danielle Blain, businesswoman, political and community volunteer is director of the Schaffer Corporation Ltd, a former member of the Premiers Treasury Advisory Group and a former Pro-Chancellor of Edith Cowan University. She is the founding patron of the University of WA Centenary Trust for Women, and also works with Anglicare, the WA Association for the Blind and St Hildas Anglican School for Girls. She was the first woman president of the WA Liberal party, is the current Federal vice-president and established the Leaders Forum of WA.
Dr Abigail Bray is a postdoctoral research fellow researching the politics of child sexual abuse and is based in the School of Social and Cultural Studies at the University of WA. Her research on the intersection between post-structuralist theories of embodiment, psychiatric knowledge and eating disorders is taught at undergraduate and postgraduate level courses in Australia, the UK and US. Body Talk: A Power Guide for Girls was written by Dr Bray with Elizabeth Reid Boyd as a mental health prevention/intervention and enabled her to translate feminist cultural studies theory into the practice of everyday language.
Rebecca Britten works with The Bali Peace Park Association is a non-profit organisation set up in 2008 in Perth to help victims of the 2002 and 2005 terrorist attacks in Kuta, their families and friends. As full-time project secretary, Rebecca has dedicated herself to a peaceful future through the creation of a Peace Park on the site of the former Sari Club in Bali, the site of one of the terrorist attacks.
Helen Cattalini has worked in the ethnic affairs and multicultural fields and is currently a director of her own social research company, a member of the WA Equal Opportunity Tribunal and the National Multicultural Advisory Committee. She is a strong advocate for women and established the Warrawee Womens Refuge. In 1971, she worked with the Fremantle City Council to establish new and innovative services for women and families. She is president of the Fremantle Multicultural Centre and was Commissioner of Multicultural and Ethnic Affairs in the 1980s. She helped start the Fremantle Womens Health Centre, was the founder of the Fremantle Migrant Resource Centre and, without funding, set up The Sisters Place to support women living on the street.
Priya Cooper was born with cerebral palsy and began swimming as therapy. At her first international competition, the 1992 Barcelona Paralympic Games, she won three gold and two silver medals, broke two world records and three Paralympic records, in the best performance by any Australian athlete at the Games. She was awarded an Order of Australia Medal and became an Australia Day Ambassador. At the Paralympic Games in Atlanta in 1996, she was female captain of the Australian team and won five gold, one silver and one bronze medal, set three world records and five Paralympic records. In 1999, Priya Cooper was named Young Australian of the Year for Sport. At the Sydney 2000 Paralympic Games, she won gold in the 400m freestyle and three bronze medals. In 2002, she completed a degree in health promotion and journalism and works as a media presenter and motivational speaker.
Margaret Court is one of Australia’s greatest sportswomen, having won 62 grand slam tennis titles. In 1970, she became the second woman in history to win the Australian, French, US and Wimbledon titles in a calendar year. Winner of the ABC Sportsman of the Year Award in 1963 and 1970, Court was made an MBE in 1967 for service to sport and international relations. In 2003, Tennis Australia renamed Melbourne Parks Show Court One the Margaret Court Arena. She was the recipient of the 2003 Australia Post Australian Legends Award and featured on a special 50c stamp. In 2006, she was awarded the International Tennis Federations highest accolade, the Philippe Chatrier Award. A committed Christian, in 1992 she established Margaret Court Ministries Inc. and in 1995, the Victory Life Centre Inc., in which she is a minister.
Paddi Creevey spent 20 years as a social worker at the Mandurah Community Health Centre and 10 years supervising social work at Royal Perth Hospitals psychiatric unit. She also set up a social work service at Bunbury Regional Hospital and has worked with troubled youth. In 1994, she was elected to Mandurah City Council and in 2004, she became mayor. Last year, she was awarded a Medal of the Order of Australia. She heads the governing council of Challenger Institute of Technology, and is a member of the Peel Inlet Management Council, the Peel Region Planning Committee and an advisory group on higher education in regional Australia.
Ann Deanus is the chief executive of Women’s Health Services, which provides generalist health services to women in inner-city Perth and north metropolitan regions, and information/education services to women and health professionals throughout WA. She is the non-government sector representative on the National Drug Research Institute board and a member of the Women’s Advisory Council.
Nurse Wilma Dunne is president of the medical charity, Operation Rainbow Australia Ltd. In 1991, she joined a volunteer group of plastic surgeons, anaesthetists and nurses on a cleft lip and palate repair mission to the Philippines. Twenty years later and after more than 2000 reconstructive surgeries, she is still organising, raising funds and working for Operation Rainbow Australia. The organisation also works in Tanzania. She was awarded a Medal of the Order of Australia in 2004.
Vanessa Elliot is well-known for her contribution to the community of Halls Creek. She is the senior indigenous affairs adviser with Woodside for the Browse Liquid Natural Gas Development and has developed initiatives with Argyle Diamonds to expand work opportunities for her people. She was the 2001 Young Business Woman of the Year, the co-ordinator of the Youth Advisory Council, a member of the Reconciliation Council and the NAIDOC organising committee, and a choreographer for the Yirra Yaakin Youth Theatre her work winning many awards. She is also community development officer with the Shire of Halls Creek.
Dr Joan Eveline was a senior honorary research fellow and co-director of the Consortium for Diversity at Work in the University of WA Business School. She was engaged as an academic, researcher and consultant in gender and diversity in organisational studies. Her studies in gender, work, leadership and organisations encompassed Australian and overseas firms, as well as the public sector in Australia.
Ms Wendy Fatin became the member for Canning in 1983 and was the first woman from WA to be elected to the House of Representatives. Following an electoral redistribution, she won the new seat of Brand in 1984, which she held until her retirement in 1996. She was Minister for Local Government and Minister Assisting the Prime Minister for the Status of Women. In December 1991, she was appointed Minister for the Arts and Territories, remaining in that position until after the 1993 election.
Penny Flett has worked in a variety of positions. In 1974, she became the first woman in peacetime to hold a male rank in the Royal Australian Air Force and its first woman doctor. She is currently the chief executive of Brightwater Care Group, which provides services for elderly and young disabled people. She is chairwoman of the WA Aged Care Advisory Council. She oversaw the development of a State Aged Care Plan, a guide to the evolution of health and aged care services for the elderly.
Win Froude was a teacher, then a superintendent with the Education Department. She has worked as a volunteer with Girl Guides Australia for 45 years, through the Volunteers Taskforce has assisted people with disabilities and is a lifetime member of Native Animal Rescue. She has been involved with Catholic Women’s League, Muscular Dystrophy Association, Soroptimist International and has volunteered for 12 years at the Women and Infants Research Foundation. At the age of 93, she still drives herself to King Edward Memorial Hospital at 5.30am to work in the kitchen for the foundations gift shop and cafe.
Lois Gatley has become a campaigner for more help for carers. She is a social worker, providing training on family violence issues, as well as being her husband’s carer and doing research into issues surrounding carers. She has served on the Social Security Appeals Tribunal and she is currently the chairwoman of the WA Government Carers Advisory Council. She has been a long-time campaigner on domestic and family violence issues and was a member of the Women’s Refuge Movement in the 1970s and 1980s.
Kate George has been involved in Aboriginal affairs for more than 35 years and has held senior public service positions, including ministerial adviser at both State and Federal level, and worked in the private sector. In the early 1990s, she wrote the first Aboriginal training and employment strategies for companies in the resources industry and is currently working as a consultant creating economic opportunities for traditional owners in the Pilbara. She works closely with the Puntukurnu Aboriginal Medical Service in the East Pilbara. She was the first Aboriginal woman admitted to practise law in WA.
Pat Giles started work as a nurse but did an arts degree as a mature-age student and was an organiser with the Hospital Employees Union of WA from 1974 until 1981. She was then elected as an ALP senator for WA, a position she held for 12 years. She was directly involved in the United Nations Decade for Women meetings. She was a founding member and inaugural convener of the Women’s Electoral Lobby WA in 1973 and was the first woman on the executive of the WA Trades and Labor Council. She was a member, and later chairwoman, of the first Australian Council of Trade Unions Women’s Committee. In 2004, she completed her third and final term as president of the International Alliance for Women.
Annie Goldflam studied psychology at the University of WA and then became an Australian Volunteer Abroad, working as a teacher in Papua New Guinea, then returned to teach in Perth before volunteering in Indonesia. On her return to Australia, she worked with gender issues, pursued community development projects, and organised training for a variety of women, including indigenous women, migrants and women living in isolated conditions in mining towns. She was the inaugural director of the Centre for Research for Women, a joint research centre of the four public universities of WA.
Denise Goldsworthy is responsible for more than 500 employees as managing director of two of Rio Tinto’s subsidiary companies, Dampier Salt (DSL) and HIsmelt, . At HIsmelt, she is responsible for the marketing of HIsmelt iron-making technology. At DSL, the world’s leading exporter of solar salt, she presided over a record return of US$129 million in 2009. Her innovative Sustainable Health and Safety program has also ensured significant improvement in all-injury rates. She was named the 2010 WA and Australian Business Woman of the Year and 2010 WA and Australian Hudson Private and Corporate Sector Business Woman of the Year.
Right Rev. Kay Goldsworthy became the first woman to be consecrated a bishop in Australia in 2008. She oversees about half the parishes of the Diocese of Perth and is on many of the key leadership boards of the Anglican Church, as well as chairing the national Anglican Women’s Commission and being on the boards of Anglican education and welfare organisations.
Sue Gordon was raised at Sister Kate’s Children’s Home in Queens Park. She has worked in various administrative positions around Australia and, in the early 1970s, began a long association with the Pilbara region. She was awarded the National Aboriginal Overseas Study Award to study employment programs with Native American communities in the US in 1977. She was appointed commissioner for Aboriginal planning in 1986, the first Aboriginal person to head a WA Government department, and in 1988 was appointed a magistrate in the Perth Children’s Court. She was the first full-time and first Aboriginal magistrate in the States history. She was also head of the Gordon inquiry into child abuse and family violence in Aboriginal communities. She received the Order of Australia in 1993.
Beryl Grant AO OBE trained as a nurse and was awarded an OBE in 1976 for her nursing work, particularly at what was then Ngala Mothercraft Home and Training Centre, where she was the first matron from 1959 to 1980. She also served as a magistrate with the Perth Children’s Court, was the WA Uniting Church’s first woman moderator and chaired a community panel on prostitution. In 2000, she was awarded an Order of Australia for her service to nursing and the community. Other achievements include the Florence Nightingale Scholarship in 1950, a Churchill Fellowship in 1968, the Queens Jubilee Medal in 1977 and the Advance Australia Award in 1993.
Mrs Doreen Green is a teacher in Halls Creek and a tireless campaigner to improve the health and lives of Aboriginal people. She is a Jaru woman, who despite having just five years of formal schooling, completed a teaching degree. She taught in the prison system and in Northern Territory communities before settling back in Halls Creek where she has been instrumental in getting alcohol restrictions imposed in the town.
Tina Gunter (Damasco) is a youth worker with the Esther Foundation. She has risen from being a heroin addict to being a role model for young women. She is both a case worker with the foundation and also speaks publicly about its work.
Kay Hallahan AO was the first woman to have sat in both houses of the WA Parliament. She was elected to the Legislative Council in 1983 and served until 1993, when she switched to the Legislative Assembly, remaining there 1996. She has been a catalyst for change both in Parliament, through leadership roles in community organisations, and as chairwoman and director of a number of not-for-profit boards. She was the first minister to introduce the Seniors Card, an initiative followed by all States and Territories. After retiring from politics, she was chairwoman of Save the Children Australia.
Carol Hanlon is the founding manager of the Belmont Business Enterprise Centre Inc., and also founder and manager of the Textile Clothing, Footwear Resource Centre Inc., both of which help with the development of WA small businesses. A single mother with an international fashion label, Hanlon uses her skills to teach, inspire and provide support to new business owners.
Angela Hartwig has worked for 23 years to protect women and children from domestic violence. She has been the executive officer of the Women’s Council for Domestic and Family Violence Services since 1995.
Janet Hayden is a respected Aboriginal elder who has advised a succession of WA governments on Aboriginal affairs. She and husband Aubrey had seven children but also provided temporary shelter to about 200 other children. She was chairwoman of the State Governments Aboriginal Advisory Council, helped establish the police aide scheme in Perth and the South West, and was chairwoman of the Southern Aboriginal Corporation in Albany. She continues to play a role in NAIDOC celebrations.
Yvonne Henderson was a founding member of the Women’s Electoral Lobby and advocated strongly in the 1970s for the minimum wage for women, maternity leave, domestic violence and sexual assault law reform. As a member of the WA Parliament and subsequently a minister, she introduced many reforms including the Equal Opportunity Bill, which became law in 1985. She was an MP for 14 years from 1983 and was the first woman Deputy Speaker in the Legislative Assembly. After leaving, she completed her legal studies, practised law and is currently the Commissioner for Equal Opportunity.
Carina Hoang was 16 when she fled Vietnam in 1979 with her two younger siblings. She spent 10 months in a refugee camp before being accepted in the US, where she gained a chemistry degree and a master of business administration, holding management positions in the semiconductor, biotechnology, manufacturing and healthcare industries in the US. In 2006, Hoang moved to WA and last year she released a book, Boat People: Personal Stories from the Vietnamese Exodus 1975-1996.
Janet Holmes a Court AC worked as a science teacher before marrying entrepreneur Robert Holmes a Court in 1966. After the death of her husband, she took over management of Heytesbury Pty Ltd, which was considerably in debt, rescuing and expanding it. She was an advocate for the Australian Republican Movement at the 1998 Constitutional Convention, and is the chairwoman of the Australian Children’s Television Foundation and the WA Symphony Orchestra. She has also served on the board of the Reserve Bank of Australia. She was made an Officer in the Order of Australia in 1995 and promoted to a Companion of the Order in 2007. The National Trust of Australia has included her on its list of 100 Australian Living Treasures.
Dr Lekkie Hopkins has been the co-ordinator of the womens studies program in the School of Psychology and Social Science at Edith Cowan University since 1990. She has a long-term interest in the history of social protest and, with Lynn Roarty, wrote Among the Chosen, the biography of former senator Pat Giles. She has collaborated on research projects investigating services to people who experience interpersonal violence in WA, and workplace responses to domestic and family violence.
Dorothy Inman has been caring for Aboriginal children for the past 20 years. An orphan herself, she took over the care of her disabled niece and later became a foster carer to vulnerable children not able to remain with their families. She is a member of the Stolen Generation but is determined to look for positives in life.
Sharryn Jackson was elected to the House of Representatives 2001 but was defeated in the 2004 election. She was re-elected in 2007 but lost her seat again at the 2010 election. She was women’s officer of the WA Trades and Labor Council and later industrial officer and then assistant State secretary of the Miscellaneous Workers Union. She was elected as State president of the Australian Labor Party in 2005 and held the role until 2007.
Leonie Kershaw is founder and committee member of the Bunbury charitable organisation, the Chefs Long Table Lunch. Since its beginning in 2004, this event has raised more than $330,000 for South West community groups and families.
Wouterina Klein OAM JP was elected to the Bassendean Town Council in 1986 and retired in 2009 after serving four terms as deputy mayor and six years as mayor. She has served on and chaired many committees, including president of the Lions Ladies Auxiliary, chairwoman of WALGA East Metropolitan zone, inaugural treasurer of the WA Motor Neurone Association and Red Cross division deputy president. She was awarded an Order of Australia Medal last year.
Judith Killin lost her sight to cancer at the age of two. She completed her education then went to Europe to travel and to qualify as a Chartered Society physiotherapist in London. She returned to Australia to work as a physiotherapist for 30 years while raising her daughter and working with aid organisations in Africa. She has negotiated with airlines to allow guide dogs to travel in airline cabins; set up a charitable foundation in Ghana; speaks to large church congregations via an interpreter; and holds African drumming workshops. A breast cancer survivor, she now works as a motivational educator.
Kedy Kristal has worked to safeguard women and children through her work at Nardine Women’s Refuge in North Perth, the Young Single Women’s Refuge in Northbridge and the Patricia Giles Centre in Joondalup during more than 20 years, in paid and voluntary positions.
Kate Lamont is chief executive and managing partner in the Lamonts family business, an integrated food and wine business incorporating grape growing. She has written cookbooks, contributed to magazines and newspapers and is a regular guest presenter on ABC Radio. She has represented tourism and hospitality interests on the Skills Formation Taskforce, on the National Restaurant and Caterers Boards Industry Action Group and on the national Institute for Skills Excellence Board. The Restaurant and Caterers Institute of Western Australia made her a member of its hall of fame in 2007. Kate Lamont became chairwoman of Tourism Western Australias board of commissioners in 2006 and was appointed to the board of Tourism Australia in 2009. She is a director of the Committee for Perth and Chamber of Commerce and Industry WA and sits on the Winemakers Federations national Wine Tourism Alliance. She has chaired the Swan Valley Planning Committee for seven years and was Telstra WA Business Woman of the Year.
Patricia Lavater has been helping young people for many decades, first as a teenager assisting troubled youth in Midland and then as founder and director of the Esther Foundation, Australia’s biggest residential women’s program. The foundation has more than 10 residential premises in Perth housing up to 42 young women, mothers and teenagers and is opening a new facility in the South West. She was 2008 WA Citizen of the Year for community service. In 2007, she was named by Celebrate WA as one of WAs Local 100 Champions.
Carmen Lawrence became Australia’s first female State premier in 1990. She entered parliament by winning the seat of Subiaco for the ALP in 1986 and then moved to Federal Parliament as the member for Fremantle in 1994. She retired from Federal parliament at the 2007 election. She is a supporter of numerous organisations and is patron of the WA Netball Association and a foundation committee member of Emily’s List, a financial, political and personal support network for progressive Labor women candidates, helping them get elected to Parliament and in turn changing the lives of all women.
Jade Lewis was a successful student and athlete who succumbed to drug use at the age of 15, leading to heroin addiction and a criminal record. In 1999, she entered the Teen Challenge program and managed to turn her life around. With her husband Tristan, she has dedicated her life to teaching people of all ages the dangers of drugs, has written two books and has a program running in WA prisons.
Alannah MacTiernan, who has arts and law degrees began her career with the Federal Government, working in Aboriginal employment and training. She was a Perth City councillor from 1988 to 1994. In 1993, she was elected to the Legislative Council, moving to the Legislative Assembly as member for Armadale in 1996. She served as Minister for Planning and Infrastructure in the WA Labor Government from 2001 to 2008. During this period she oversaw the construction of the Mandurah railway, the extension of the Joondalup railway, the extension of the Mitchell Freeway and the Roe and Tonkin highways, as well as the linking of Kwinana Freeway and Forrest Highway. In early 2010, she resigned from the State Parliament to contest the Federal seat of Canning but was defeated. She was an inaugural member of the Heritage Council of WA.
Kathleen Mazzella is the founder of GAIN (Gynaecological Awareness Information Network), which she established to raise the profile of gynaecological and sexual health. Through GAIN she has influenced community and governments by lobbying, running events and establishing an international GYN Awareness Day.
Jan McDonagh became involved in the community when working in Pilbara and helped to establish a neighbourhood centre. On moving to Perth, she did a social work degree at Curtin University. Since graduation she has worked with a range of agencies and services providing support to families and children. She is a senior child protection worker, family and domestic violence, for the Department for Child Protection.
Krista McMeeken developed a keen interest in the law and human rights while at Esperance Senior High School and became involved in the Follow the Dream Program and Model United Nations debating, which allowed her to mentor fellow indigenous students and to develop leadership skills both interstate and in America. In 2008, she received the State and National NAIDOC Youth awards. She is a member of the Child Rights Taskforce, a non-government organisation which reports to the UN on Australia’s child rights development, a member of the Law Society’s Aboriginal Lawyers Committee and a co-founder of the Follow the Dream Alumni, which strives to provide employment and networking opportunities to academically engaged Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples. She was awarded the Law Council of Australia’s indigenous scholarship for 2010 and is in her final year of a law degree at the University of WA.
Julie Michael is married to Ken Michael, WAs outgoing governor, and while he has been in the vice-regal position she has worked tirelessly to support WAs leading charities, despite illness. She worked as a dental therapist and enjoyed community roles with the then Australian Administrative Staff and Wesley College and also worked in the fashion industry.
Sally Morgan, born Milroy, she understood from her mother that her ancestors were from India and it wasn’t until she was 15 that she learnt that she was of Aboriginal descent. Over the next decade she completed her university studies and in 1983, she travelled to the Pilbara, where her grandmother was born, to find out more. In 1987, she published her acclaimed book My Place, which tells the story of her self-discovery. Sally Morgan has held exhibitions, won prizes and sold paintings worldwide. She was director of the Centre for Indigenous History and the Arts at the University of WA, and now writes and illustrates children’s books.
Carmen Morris is a life member of the Maltese/Australian Association of WA. Since 1960, she has worked in every aspect of the association raising funds, visiting sick members, and fronting politicians and local government to promote the community’s needs. She has promoted appreciation of the Maltese culture through music, costume and food. Her determination helped the association get a grant of government land on which it has built a community centre.
Andrea Musulin has been a police officer for 24 years, specialising child protection and domestic violence. She was officer-in-charge of the WA Police Family Unit before developing the first shopfront policing facility in South Hedland. She was also instrumental in developing the Hedland Domestic Violence Action Group and started the Yellow Ribbon Youth Suicide Project. Andrea Musulin is now executive officer with Protective Behaviours WA and much of her work is in a voluntary capacity, seeking funding to provide child protection services free of charge. She also is volunteer chair of the Carnarvon Family Support Service and the Child Sexual Abuse Response Service. She has recently developed the first on-air child protection program with the support of the Carnarvon School of the Air.
Margaret Nadebaum has had a 30-year career in education, including roles as the chief executive of the WA Ministry of Education and principal of Methodist Ladies College. Starting out as a teacher, she also served as a deputy principal and regional director of education for the metropolitan south-west. She is a member of council at St Hilda’s Anglican School for Girls and has also been a board member of the Perth Zoo. In 2002, she took up a part-time role as a member on the Salaries and Allowances Tribunal.
Mary Nenke began farming yabbies at Kukerin in 1990 with her husband and six children, after spending 30 years in primary industry. Cambinata Yabbies started as a small affair but quickly developed into an export business. She is on the Regional Women’s Advisory Council.
Vicki ODonnell was born and lives in Derby, where she has been the chief executive for the Derby Aboriginal Health Service for eight years. She is chairwoman of the Aboriginal Health Council of WA and has worked with the WA Health Department and State Aboriginal Affairs Department. She established the DAHS dialysis unit and is a member of numerous committees and steering groups which advise on Aboriginal health issues.
June Oscar is a prominent community leader in the Kimberley. The holder of a business degree from Notre Dame University, she is a director of Bunuba Films, the chief executive officer of Marninwarntikura Women’s Resource Centre in Fitzroy Crossing, and the chairman of the Kimberley Language Resource Centre. She is also a leader in a long-term social reconstruction plan for the people of the Fitzroy Valley that involves restrictions on alcohol sales in Fitzroy.
Maureen Phillips developed an early interest in women’s health, particularly sexual health, mental wellbeing and multiculturalism. After working as a GP, she worked at the Sexual Assault Resource Centre in Perth where she has been the coordinator of the Medical and Forensic Service since 2003. She coordinates a team of doctors who provide an emergency service to women and men, adolescents and adults, after sexual assault. As a forensic clinician, she provides expert testimony to the courts. She has been a consultant on responses to sexual assault for Australian projects in both Cambodia and in the Pacific, and has also established a research collaboration with Curtin University.
Dame Judith Parker AM is president of the United Nations Australia Association, WA division, and has received the Premier’s Award for the City of Perth and Lions Club Exemplary Award for Human Rights. She was national president of the National Council of Women. She was also vice-president and board member of the International Council of Women from 2003 to 2009, the first WA woman to hold the position. Dame Judith represented the International Council of Women three times at the Commission on the Status of Women in New York. In 2004, she was made a member of the Order of Australia for her work in the community, particularly in the area of women’s rights.
Kaylene Poon has been a co-ordinator of the Chung Wah Association Historical Group since its inception in 1986. In her role she has helped to document the history of the Chinese in WA. She is an authority on Chinese migration to WA, speaking of the hardships faced by new migrants following the introduction of the White Australia policy. She also speaks about how the Chinese community has evolved in Perth over the years and regularly co-ordinates local Chinese New Year celebrations.
Gina Rinehart has transformed her family company, Hancock Prospecting, from a small prospecting company to a global mining company. She has contributed financially to a wide variety of causes, from swimming to health and medical research, including the Hancock Family Breast Cancer Foundation in 1993, Princess Margaret Hospital and the Bendat Family Comprehensive Cancer Centre. She has also worked with the Mannkal Economic Foundation, which mentors young West Australians, and has helped Pilbara women artists achieve their dreams. The Hope Educational Scholarship helps Cambodian women and she is a director of the South-East Asian Investigations into Social and Humanitarian Activities.
Dame Raigh Roe was a young farmers wife and just 18 when she joined the Country Women’s Association, later serving as branch president, WA president and national president. In 1977, she was elected world president of the Associated Country Women of the World. She took particular interest in the plight of Aboriginal women, introducing leadership and nutrition schools for Aboriginal girls in 1968. She was made a dame and named Australian of the Year in 1980.
Angela Ryder is chairwoman of the Langford Aboriginal Association and the manager of Aboriginal programs with Relationships Australia. She is a Nyoongar woman originally from Katanning but has lived and worked in Perth for 26 years. She works to ensure equitable access to services for all Aboriginal people.
Louise Sauvage is often regarded as the most renowned disabled sportswoman in Australia. She won two gold medals and a silver medal at the 2000 Sydney games. At the 2004 Olympic Games, she finished 3rd in the demonstration sport of Women’s 1500m wheelchair. She participated in the 2004 Summer Paralympics, where she took silver in both the 400 metre and 800 metre races. She has won four Boston Marathons, and holds world records in the 1500m, 5000m and 4x100m and 4x400m relays. She was Australian Female Athlete of the Year in 1999, and International Female Wheelchair Athlete of the Year in 1999 and 2000.
Lisa Scaffidi is Perth’s first woman Lord Mayor. Before being elected she served seven years as a Perth city councillor. She was also State director of the independent think tank the Committee for Economic Development of Australia for 10 years. As well as being a member of many committees and boards both locally and internationally, she is the WA public member of the Australian Press Council and president of the World Energy Cities Partnership.
Sabina Shugg first took up a job as an exploration field assistant, which eventually led to work on the Jubilee gold mine. In the early 90s, she juggled mine work and mining engineering studies at the WA School of Mines at Curtin University. At 29, she became the first woman in the State to gain the WA first-class mine managers certificate of competency. She has since gone on to complete a master of business administration at the University of WA. She also formed the WA Women in Mining Association in 2003 and last year, was named Chambers of Minerals and Energy WA Women in Resources Champion for 2010. She is the manager for mining at Momentum Partners.
Margaret Smith was senior lecturer in obstetrics and gynaecology at the University of WA for 15 years and in 1978, founded the first menopause clinic in WA. In 1987, she started a private practice called Caring for Women because she realised women needed information about themselves and their hormones. She has published 30 medical papers in the fields of menopause and osteoporosis. In 2010, she published Now & Then A Gynaecologists Journey, a personal memoir. She has also published two books on the midlife for women. She was among a group of professionals who founded the Centre for Attitudinal Healing.
Kate Sommerville is mine manager at BHP Billiton Iron Ores Mining Area C operations, in the Pilbara. She is a principal mining engineer with more than 18 years experience in the industry, working in underground and open-cut mine operations. Kate Sommerville is a director of the Australasian Institute of Mining and Metallurgy and is recognised for her contribution to the attraction and retention of women to the resources industry.
Josephine Spaull is still heavily involved in ballet and dance in Bridgetown, teaching and mentoring two young women to enable them to gain ballet teaching qualifications. She ran a dance school from the 1960s to the 80s, travelling long distances to give young people access to ballet and other forms of dance. She has been a member of Zonta International for 28 years.
Fiona Stanley is an epidemiologist and child health expert, founding director of the Telethon Institute for Child Health Research, inaugural chief executive of the Australian Research Alliance for Children and Youth and professor of paediatrics at the University of WA. She is one of Australia’s best regarded paediatricians and epidemiologists and a major force behind improving health conditions in Australia’s Aboriginal populations. Two of her most significant discoveries are that a maternal diet rich in folic acid can prevent spina bifida in babies and that cerebral palsy can be caused by factors other than birth trauma, including infections or blood incompatibilities. She was Australian of the Year in 2003.
Libby Stone is a pioneer for women in radio. She has been a member of the Women’s Advisory Council, the Perth Dental Hospital board, Heathcote Hospital Board of Visitors and the State International Youth Year co-ordinating committee. She has worked as an actress in television, film and theatre.
Shirley Strickland de la Hunty won seven Olympic sprinting and hurdling medals three gold, one silver and three bronze at the Olympic Games of 1948, 1952 and 1956. Refused admission to a university engineering course because the faculty had no women’s washroom, she turned to nuclear physics and gained an honours degree. After retiring from competition, she coached athletics. She was an ardent conservationist and a National Trust member.
Halina Szunejko has documented and published the history of Polish organisations, ethnic schools, clubs and artistic groups in WA from 1950 to 2005. She was involved with the Polish Ethnic School for 35 years, 25 of them as principal. She trained as a teacher and was principal at both Kwinana and Hampton senior high schools before retiring in 2000. She is president of the Polish Youth Association, committee member of the Polish Association in WA, founding member of the WA Association of Polish Women and founding member of the Polish Community Council of WA.
Shelley Taylor-Smith is a world champion swimmer, performance coach and author, and the only woman in the history of any sport to hold the overall world top ranking for men and women. Behind her success as a marathon swimmer, however, has been a struggle to overcome adversity, including partial paralysis and life-threatening battles with chronic fatigue syndrome. As director and founder of Champion Mindset Consulting, she now teaches and mentors people.
Leah Umbagai works with youth at high risk of exposure to domestic violence and sexual abuse, inspiring indigenous people to address the tough issues from within their communities. She has developed health, education and youth programs that are being requested by indigenous communities around the East Kimberley. She is an advocate for reconciliation with a vision for safe and strong communities.
Jo Vallentine is a passionate campaigner at political and community level. She co-founded the People for Nuclear Disarmament, the Greens (WA) in 1990, the Alternatives to Violence Project and the Friends of Moore River. Originally a senator elected on the Nuclear Disarmament Party ticket in 1984, she later resigned from it, held her seat as an independent and then, in 1990, was elected as the inaugural Greens (WA) senator. She retired in 1992.
Diana Warnock was member for Perth in the WA Parliament from 1993 until 2001. She was also president of the State Parliamentary Labor Party. In 1996, Diana Warnock and Upper House MP Cheryl Davenport steered a controversial pro-choice Bill through Parliament which effectively decriminalised abortion. She was a newspaper and radio journalist for many years. In 1999 she was named the Australian Humanist of the Year by the Council of Australian Humanists. She has served on several boards and committees including the Australian Bicentennial Authority, National Australia Day Committee, WA Academy of Performing Arts, Alliance Francaise Perth, the WA Constitutional Convention and Perth Zoo.
Greens politician Giz Watson was elected to the Legislative Council for the North Metropolitan region in 1997. Before being elected, she was employed as the WA coordinator of the Marine & Coastal Community Network. Since her election she has introduced legislation to ban uranium mining and nuclear waste dumping but the legislation was defeated.
Kate Wilson is a children’s speech and drama teacher, writer and performance poet living in Bunbury. She is on the management committee of the South West Women’s Health and Information Centre. She advocates for women through her performance poetry.
Dr Fiona Wood AM is head of Royal Perth Hospital Burns Unit and director of the WA Burns Service. She is also co-founder of Clinical Cell Culture, a private company recognised in medical circles for its world-leading research and breakthroughs in the treatment of burns. Company royalties are used for further burns research. Dr Wood was thrust into the world media spotlight in 2002 when 28 victims of the Bali bombings were flown to Perth to receive emergency burns treatment. Her vision to plan for a large-scale disaster five years before the Bali tragedy brought global recognition to WA. She was Australian of the Year in 2005.
Ros Worthington is a social entrepreneur and philanthropist. She was the first volunteer for the Make-a-Wish Foundation in WA, and established the Breast Cancer Foundation of WA to promote awareness and early detection of the disease. In the past six years, she has raised more than $2 million and established a worldwide annual Purple Bra Day to raise awareness. She has also established the Love Angel Foundation to encourage Australian children to fundraise for disadvantaged children overseas.
ROLL OF HONOUR
Olive Anstey (1920-1983) started work at Royal Perth Hospital in 1941. She was appointed matron of the new Perth Chest Hospital in 1958. In 1963, it was renamed the Sir Charles Gairdner Hospital and began admitting general patients. She initiated, encouraged and supported innovative programs in areas of nursing practice, education and administration. In 1958, she was elected to the council of the State branch of the Australian Nursing Federation and later served as its president, helping to establish the Australian Nursing Journal. She was president (1977-81) of the International Council of Nurses.
Daisy Bates (1863-1951) migrated to Australia in 1884. After two unsuccessful marriages, she sailed for England where she was a journalist at London’s Review of Reviews. Back in Australia in 1899, she worked with Aboriginals at Beagle Bay and in 1904 was appointed by the WA Government to research the States Aboriginal tribes. She recorded data and wrote more than 270 newspaper articles about Aboriginal life. She continued to live among Aboriginal people and record tribal life. She was made a CBE in 1934 and published The Passing of the Aborigines in 1938.
Jean Beadle (1868-1942) had to work in a Melbourne clothing sweatshop when young, an experience which inspired many of her future activities. She joined the Women’s Suffrage Alliance and, from 1898, was prominent in the group, the Women’s Political and Social Crusade. In 1901, the family moved to WA and she was elected inaugural president at the first Labor Women’s Conference in Perth in October 1912, retaining the chair for 30 years. She was appointed special magistrate of the Children’s Court in 1919. She was an official visitor to the women’s section of Fremantle Prison and during the Depression was treasurer to the West Perth relief committee.
Gwen Chester (1915-2003) was outraged when WA athlete Decima Norman was prevented from going to the 1936 Berlin Olympics because she needed to be a member of the Womens Amateur Athletics Association of Australia and, in turn, a WA womens athletics club. She helped set up a WA branch of the athletics association and later was manager of the Australian womens teams at the Commonwealth Games in Christchurch (1974) and Edmonton (1978). She was made a life member of the womens association and won a 1977 Citizen of the Year award for service to sport. She spent nine years on South Perth City Council and helped save the open space of the foreshore. In the 1960s, there was a plan to build on the lawns.
Dame Rachel Cleland (1906-2002) became the only Western woman to be made a Dame of the British Empire by the Papua New Guinea government in 1980 for the volunteer work she did for many PNG organisations during her 27 years in the country. Her husband, Sir Donald Cleland, was administrator of New Guinea from 1952 to 1966, and she helped set up pre-schools and involved women in public affairs. Her husband was one of the founding members of the Australian Liberal Party and she was once considered its matriarch, though in her later years when back in Perth, she was vocal in her opposition to the logging of old-growth forests.
Edith Cowan (1861-1932) became the first woman to be elected to an Australian parliament when she won the Legislative Assembly seat of West Perth in 1921. She was the founding secretary in 1894 and later president of the women’s Karrakatta Club, which campaigned for female suffrage. She helped set up the WA National Council of Women in 1911. She was a foundation member of the Children’s Protection Society in 1906 and the first woman to be appointed to the Childrens Court bench in 1915. She became a Justice of the Peace in 1920 and in the same year was awarded an OBE for her contribution to the WA division of the Red Cross Society, of which she was a founding member in 1914. The clock tower at the entrance to Kings Park was erected to her memory in 1934 and in 1995, her portrait was put on the Australian $50 note.
Rica Erikson (1908-2009) gained renown as a naturalist, botanical artist, historian, author and genealogist and has been awarded many honours, including having insects and plants named after her. In 1980, she was awarded an honorary degree of doctor of letters by the University of WA for her work in the fields of literature and botany, and in the same year was named WA Citizen of the Year for outstanding service to the arts, culture and entertainment. Her work was also strongly linked to the development of the collections at the J.S. Battye Library.
Irene Greenwood’s (1898-1992) career as a campaigner for social equality and political justice spanned 50 years. She worked in radio in Sydney from 1931 to 1935, then returned to Perth and ran regular programs on the ABC and commercial radio until 1955. During the 1960s and 1970s, she worked in the womens and the peace movement. Her many awards include an Order of Australia, being the first woman to receive an honorary doctorate from Murdoch University, recognition of her role as strategist behind the implementation of the Chair in Peace Studies at the university, the United Nations Association of Australia Silver Peace Medal and honorary life membership, the Queens Silver Jubilee Medal, appointment to the National Advisory Committee on Women’’s Affairs in 1974 and the naming of the flagship of the State shipping fleet, MV Irene Greenwood, in her honour.
May Holman (1893-1939) became the first Labor Party woman parliamentarian in Australia when she won the Legislative Assembly seat of Forrest in 1925. She helped formulate the Timber Industries Regulation Act in 1926 and held her seat through four elections. She was president of the Labor Womens Central Executive from 1927, secretary of the Parliamentary Labor Party from 1933 and member of the Royal Commission into sanitation and slum clearance in Perth in 1938. May Holman died in a car accident on the day that she was re-elected to Parliament in 1939.
Elizabeth Jolley (1923-2007) was one of Australia’s best-known writers and also won international acclaim. She began writing in her 20s but was 53 when her first book was published in 1976, a collection of short stories called Five Acre Virgin and Other Stories. She published 15 works, including an autobiographical trilogy, four short-story collections and three non-fiction books. She won the Miles Franklin Award in 1986 for her novel The Well. She received an Order of Australia in 1988 and was declared a National Living Treasure in 1997. She was also a pioneer of creative writing teaching in Australia.
Mary Raine (1877-1960) amassed a fortune in Perth in the 1920s through hard work and canny investment in real estate. Mary Raines philanthropy was inspired by her husband, Arnold (Joe)1943. In the 1950s the Raines made a donation to help launch a medical school at the University of WA and when her husband died in 1957, Mary signed a deed of trust to leave her estate to the university to fund medical research. The Arnold Yeldham and Mary Raine Medical Research Foundation has distributed almost $30 million for medical research.
Bessie Rischbieth (1874-1967) was a founding member of the Children’s Protection Society in 1906, and the inaugural vice-president and later president of the Women’s Service Guilds of WA. The guilds lobbying of the government led to the establishment of King Edward Memorial Hospital for Women in 1916. She was appointed to the Children’s Court in 1915 in an honorary capacity, was the inaugural secretary to the WA Women Justices Association in 1925, the first president of the Australian Federation of Women’s Societies from 1921-42 and co-founder of the British Commonwealth League of Women. She was awarded an OBE in 1935. In 1955, she was made a life member of the International Alliance of Women for Suffrage and Equal Citizenship.
Agnes Robertson (1882-1968) qualified as a teacher in about 1895 through the monitor system and when her husband died in 1912 she joined the Education Department and taught at Subiaco. She served on the executive of the WA Teachers Union and was a member of the Teachers Appeal Board when equal pay and pension rights were recurrent issues. In the mid-1940s she became WAs first Presbyterian woman lay preacher. When she retired from teaching, she accepted nomination from the Liberal and Country League for the Senate and in 1949 became the party’s first, and the States second, woman senator. Dropped from the party’s ticket because of her age, she switched her allegiance to the Country and Democratic League, which gave her first place on its Senate ticket. She went on to become the Country Party’s first woman senator. She retired in 1962.
Dame Dorothy Tangney (1911-1985) was a schoolteacher before becoming the first woman member of the Senate. She served from 1943 to 1968 and her 25 years of service made her the then longest-serving woman parliamentarian. She was committed to social reform, including extending Federal powers over social services and instituting Commonwealth assistance in education. In 1968, she became the first WA woman to be appointed a dame.
Georgiana Molloy (1805-1843) left England for the new colony in WA in 1829. She settled in Augusta, where her husband John was appointed resident magistrate. She was a keen gardener and became interested in the indigenous flowers of the area. She was invited to send seeds of WA plants to England and did so, accompanying them with written descriptions and with albums of pressed flowers. The seeds were given to various botanical gardens in England, and plants previously unknown were propagated and developed, and were scientifically classified.