The Hon. Cheryl Davenport AM was the driving force to ensure women and their medical practitioners in Western Australia were free of fear and prosecution if they chose to terminate their pregnancy. While in Opposition, Cheryl introduced a private members bill in the WA Parliament negotiating with sensitivity and respect to deliver the women of Western Australia safe and healthy reproductive choice.
Ms Davenport was born in Pinjarra Western Australia and educated at North Dandalup Parimary School and Pinjarra Senior High School. She joined the Labor party in 1968 and was Secretary of the Mandurah branch from 1971. In 1989 Cheryl was elected to the Western Australian Legislative Council as Labor member for South Metropolitan area. She was subsequently re-elected in 1993 & 1996 and has a substantial record of Standing Committee and party room service She was Shadow Minister for Seniors from 1997 to 2001 and with the late Victorian Premier Mrs Joan Kirner, was a founding members of EMILY’s List Australia.
More recently, Cheryl was Past Secretary to Norfolk Island Government, advising the Norfolk Government on all legislative and governance matters. It’s wonderful that Cheryl appeared in the film we just saw as she could not be with us this evening. Collecting her pin and certificate is Ms Patricia Tassell.
Mrs. Oriel Green OAM combines the wisdom of two great Aboriginal traditions. Born of Nyoongar parents, she lived, worked, married and reared six children in Yamatji country. She remains a leading Elder advocate for indigenous rights, participation, and reconciliation.
Oriel still contributes to committees such as the Wanneroo and Stirling reconciliation action group and was instrumental in developing the 2014-2016 Reconciliation Action Plan. She is currently co-chairperson of the City of Stirling Reconciliation Action Plan (RAP), and sits on advisory committees for local kindergartens and King Edward Memorial Hospital. All the while mentoring school and university students. Mrs Green was awarded Aboriginal of the Year in 1993 won the Reconciliation Award for the Year 2000. She also received the Aboriginal Education and Training Hall of Fame Award of Excellence for Outstanding Achievement in Education, and a Centenary Medal.
Reverend Pam Halbert was one of Western Australia’s first female Anglican deacons and priests. From her childhood in outback Queensland, through South Australia, Western Australia and the Far North, her pioneering spirit and perseverance have helped her through some of life’s greatest challenges.
She has also experienced the trauma of domestic violence. Pam is very active and well respected in the community, and many women see her as a role model, her strength in overcoming adversity from an early age, when women did not necessarily have a voice, or a choice, is very inspiring to all women.
She became President of the Save the Children Fund and is a member of Zonta International with the Zonta Club of Peel Inc. She is strongly committed to Zonta’s strategies to prevent violence against women and girls and plays a very active role with the Club.
Glenda Kickett, a strong Ballardong Wadjuk woman, is an inspiration to many. She was 2010 West Australian Social Worker of the Year and is a tireless community worker. A single parent, Glenda has a Bachelor of Social Work from the University of Western Australia (UWA) where she is also completing her PhD studies and lecturing at the School of Population Studies. Glenda was fostered out as a child and endured hardships as a result but this contributed to her resolve and passion for quality care for Aboriginal children today.
She can always be found behind the scenes at Aboriginal community events around Perth and she volunteers whatever time she has left. Glenda is also Manager for Aboriginal Therapeutic Services for the Australian Childhood Foundation and a Lecturer in Social Work at Population Health at UWA. In her capacity as the Chair of NAIDOC, she helped pioneer the Miss NAIDOC Perth program where participants’ benefit from a six-week long Empowerment and Leadership Program.
Annette Knight began her career as a newsreader and announcer with ABC regional radio for 27 years. She was also deputy chair of the WA Tourism Commission. In 1996, Annette was awarded Member of the Order of Australia for services to local government, particularly through the WA Municipal Association, the Country Urban Council’s Association and as mayor of Albany for 3 terms from 1998. She was WA citizen of the Year in 1997 and received for the Governor’s award for regional development.
Annette was also a government- appointed delegate to the 1998 Constitutional Convention. She has been a justice of the peace for 35 years and has a passion for life-long education. She holds the University of Western Australia vice-chancellor’s award for outstanding service to higher education; and was part of the working group to establish Great Southern Grammar School and the University of Western Australia Albany Centre. In her retirement Annette still promotes Albany whenever and wherever she can.
Drisana Levitzke-Gray, the fifth generation in her family to be born deaf, is dedicated to helping other deaf people and advocating their human rights and was the recipient of the 2015 Young Australian of the Year Award for her advocacy work. Born into a family with deaf parents, a deaf brother and a deaf extended family, Drisana cherishes her first language, Auslan. She promotes the deaf community as one without borders and one of rich language, culture, history and traditions.
A graduate of Shenton College in WA, and Frontrunners Deaf Youth Leadership program based in Scandinavia, Drisana has delivered community development and leadership workshops in many European countries, as well as in Samoa, NZ, and Australia.
In 2014, Drisana became the first deaf Auslan user to fulfill her civic duty as a juror. Drisana is the embodiment of the concept of ‘deaf gain’, not ‘hearing loss’, inspiring the deaf community, encouraging others to accept diversity and promoting a positive image of deafness which says loudly and proudly: “it is OK to be deaf”.
The Honourable Justice Carmel McLure AC, QC has reached the top of Western Australia’s legal profession in an environment heavily dominated by and prejudiced in favour of men. Prior to this appointment, she was a member of the Law Reform Commission of WA, the International Legal Service Advisory Council and Legal Practice Board WA.
Her Honour has served the wider community through membership of the Board of the WA Academy of Performing Arts, the Council of Edith Cowan University, the Board of St Catherine’s College University of WA and the Rhodes scholarship selection panel. Justice McLure recently announced her intention to retire from the bench in July. Her contribution to the law and the wider community over the last four decades will be long remembered.
Holly-ann Martin has taught thousands of children in WA, empowering them, for more than 27 years by giving them the tools to help keep them safe from childhood sexual abuse. In 2007 she resigned from the WA Education Department to pursue her passion to help protect children from abuse. She re-mortgaged her home to fund her new business and to also produce educational resources for parents and teachers to use, to help educate children.
Holly-ann’s contribution to WA and her greatest achievement has been her ability to successfully deliver a ‘whole of community’ approach to child abuse prevention education. There is no one more passionate about helping keep kids safe, than Holly-ann.
Emeritus Professor Margaret Seares AO a PhD from UWA in Music, with her specialty being keyboard music of the 18th century. She has served as Senior Deputy Vice Chancellor of the University of Western Australia, Chief Executive of the Western Australian Department for the Arts and Chairperson of the Australia Council.
Professor Seares was made an Officer of the Order of Australia in 2003 in recognition of her work for the arts and education. She was appointed Chairperson of the Perth International Arts Festival from 2012-5, is a non-executive director of Bond University, and is an Honorary Life Member of the Chamber of Arts and Culture. She also served as Deputy Chairman of the West Australian Symphony Orchestra.
Dr Erica Smyth AC, FTSE has almost forty years experience in the mineral and petroleum industries. She has worked in senior positions with BHP Minerals Minerals, BHP Petroleum and Woodside Petroleum. She has been a professional company director since 2005. Erica has a Bachelor of Science from University of Western Australia and an Applied Master of Science from McGill University in Montreal, Canada. In 2008 Dr Smyth was awarded an Honorary Doctor of Letters from the University of Western Australia and in 2012 was elected as a Fellow of the Australian Academy of Technological Sciences and Engineering.
She is currently the Non-Executive Chair of Toro Energy and also chairs the Diabetes Research Foundation of WA. She is also a director of the Royal Flying Doctor Service (Western Operations), and the Harry Perkins Institute of Medical Research. Erica has always encouraged others because she was often the first woman in many roles and recognised the pressure this brings. Among her impressive firsts are: the first woman to be BHPs Minerals’ Principal geoscientist (1982), the first woman State Manager for BHP Petroleum (1994-1996), and the first lady to chair the Pilbara Development Commission.
ROLL OF HONOUR
Robin Adamson (D. 2015). For many years, Robin Adamson was a much valued active member of, and leader in the Nedlands Uniting Church Refugee Group. As well as supporting the group financially, Robin regularly visited refugee families in their homes. She graciously accepted their hospitality and reciprocated by inviting them to her apartment in Nedlands. She had the gift of quietly relating to people from very different backgrounds.
Although Robin was highly educated, refugees did not feel intimidated in her presence. Her manner was unassuming. Robin was kind and made time to accompany refugees when they had Centrelink or medical appointments, that often involved long waiting periods. Robin respected cultural differences and encouraged refugees as they endeavoured to adapt to a very different environment. She quietly assisted refugees for many years and despite disappointments, her non-judgmental and positive attitude was evident. The gift of discernment enabled Robin to encourage others assisting refugees. Her wise counsel was especially encouraging when feeling discouraged. Robin Adamson is greatly missed by refugees and those supporting them. Accepting her induction certificate is Mrs Wendy McCallum from Graduate Women WA.
Miss Ada Bromham (1880-1965), feminist and temperance worker, was born in 1880 in Victoria, on 20 December 1880, daughter of Frederick Bromham, blacksmith and miner, and his wife Charlotte. She arrived with her family in Western Australia in 1893 and later worked as a doctor’s receptionist and in a drapery shop. A keen motorist, excellent mechanic and competitor in hill-climbs, she had acquired an Oakland car in 1916 and crossed the Nullarbor Plain several times. By the early 1920s, she was able to pursue a growing interest in social issues. Frugal habits and a substantial return from the sale of her business interests in 1927 enabled her henceforth to work full time for her causes.
Her achievements included: leading the Australian delegation to the International Suffrage Alliance Congress in Paris, conducting Tasmanian & South Australian campaign for temperance and six o’clock closing, and joining a peace delegation to Peking with Dr John Burton and others deemed radicals. Miss Bromham had worked for the welfare of Indigenous families in both in South Australia and Victoria, and the last phase of her life in Perth was devoted almost entirely to this cause.
She became Australian representative for the world W.C.T.U. council for the advancement of Aboriginals and Torres Strait Islanders, and later divisional superintendent in Western Australia. She fought against State parliamentarians and the Commonwealth minister for territories for better conditions for these people.
Ruby Florence Hutchinson (1892-1974). Ruby was also a community activist who campaigned for the rights of women to serve on juries, for child welfare, education and housing.
Most notably she established the Australian Consumers Association, and the publishing of Choice magazine in 1960. She advocated over many years for women’s representation in parliament, full adult suffrage in the Upper House and people with disabilities (she was a member of the WA Epilepsy Association) and was active in many community organisations.
As a single mother of 7 children, Hutchison was a trailblazer for women in government and community activism. She did not comply with the mores of the time regarding women’s abilities and was only the second woman to be suspended from Parliament after refusing to withdraw her remark that she was ashamed to be a member of such an undemocratic chamber.
Sister Mary Martin Kelly (1930-1987) received an MBE in 1979 for her services to Wembley’s Catherine McAuley Centre. Under her guidance, the Centre adopted a family care model, which recognised that family breakdown could be detrimental to the psychological well being of children and teenagers–a concept not previously taken into consideration. Sister Kelly reformed the living conditions of children who were wards of the State, and others who were privately placed in care due to family breakdown or crisis. She ensured that siblings were able to remain together.
Sister Kelly also introduced help for children with special needs including occupational and speech therapy and psychological care. Sister Kelly also recognised the need to provide a specific type of care for homeless and at-risk teenagers, which included transition towards independent living.
Melvina Melvina Rowley (D. 2016) gave her life to the Aboriginal women of Western Australia, particularly when they were confined to reserves and not welcome in most white communities.
She learned and then wrote “primers” in one of the languages of our northwest then taught children and adults to read their own language. Her greatest achievements relate to her work with the Aboriginal people of W.A, including the Balga Aboriginal Evangelical Church.There is a short biography available from her family called “Guided and Provided” At least one aboriginal language has been written and taught to the people because this wonderful lady cared.
She has been a good role model because she lived with the aboriginal people; in the same areas and in similar conditions, showing them how to manage a changing social order and many of the children of the women she worked with have themselves become role models in their own communities.
Vida Jean Wright (1915 – 2005) studied Architecture and Town Planning in a time when women were not seen in these professions, she was the only woman in a class of males. She was appointed the Shire of Wanneroo Shire Planner in August 1969, making her the first female Shire Planner in Local Government in Australia. Planning for the City of Joondalup, Whitford’s precinct and many other sites originated during Vida’s term of office.
Her legacy is the beautiful City of Joondalup and it’s surrounds up and down the Coast. Vida was also one of the small group of women who became a founding member of the Joondalup Club of Soroptimist International, she was an outstanding Regional Co-ordinator for the Human Rights and Status of Women international program area.