The Australian Local Government Women's Association was created in Canberra on October 15, 1951, at a meeting held in the hotel suite of Councillor Mrs Violet Lambert of Fern Tree Gully Shire Council, Victoria, by 16 local government women drawn from all States of Australia then attending the Jubilee Women's Convention in the Jubilee Year of the Commonwealth of Australia (19/01/1951). It was probably the only far reaching outcome of this great conference. A provisional committee was elected with representation from most States of Australia. A permanent national organisation took shape at the First National Conference in Canberra, October 19, 1966, attended by 53 people. Alderman Marjorie GE Propsting of Lane Cove, NSW was chosen as National President, a position she held until 1970.
The National Board
State Branches are federated through a common National Constitution with the National Board. The National Board represents the association at the National level. The National Board supports the State Branches and holds its Biennial AGM in conjunction with the State Conferences. The next Biennial Annual General meeting of the board will be in Adelaide in 2009.
The Association currently has six states as members and a Network in the Northern Territory, the Northern Territory is in the process of becoming a Branch in its own right.
ALGWA measures its success by the number of women encouraged to join Local Government. In 1951, when ALGWA was first organised, only 54 women had been elected. By December 1974 a total of 877 women had been elected in Australia, of whom 460 were then sitting members. While South Australia had the first woman in local government with Mrs Susan Grace Benny, JP, elected in 1919, NSW has been the most successful state. In 1974, 169 women were elected, the highest number elected up to that time in any one State, and the first woman Lord Mayor in Australia (Alderman Lilian M Fowler, MBE, MLA, JP, Newtown Municipal Council) was elected. At the 1995 elections 406 women were elected in NSW (22.5%). There were 27 women Mayors (15%) and 37 Deputy Mayors but there were still 12 Councils with no women at all.
Most States conduct an Annual Conference - the venue of which in NSW is decided by vote at the AGM two years in advance based on zones. Click here to view zone map. Conferences are open to ALL Councillors, Council staff and interested citizens.