National Council of Women of Victoria

Past Events

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>> 60th Australia Day Pioneer Women’s Ceremony, 2021
>> May Forum 2020: Gender Equity in Workplaces
>> My Vote My Voice: Male and Female Youth as Future Voters 2019
>> My Vote My Voice: Diversity in Community Organisations 2018
>> 58th NCWV Australia Day Pioneer Women’s Ceremony 2019
>> End of Year Luncheon
>> My Vote My Voice
>> May Forum - 3 May 2018
>> May Forum - 4 May 2017
>> Troubled Youth Forum - 24 May 2017
>> Australia Day Pioneer Women's Day - 18th January 2018
>> Australia Day Pioneer Women's Day - 19th January 2017
>> Pioneer Women’s Day Ceremony 2016
>> Celebrating 100 Years of International Women's Day
>> Book Launch celebrates the Year of Women in Local Government 2010 in Goulburn Valley
>> Are We There Yet

>> Rural Women's Voice
>> Migrant Women's Voice
>> Going to a City Hospital ? A Guide for Country People
>> Youth Initiative
>> International Women's Day
>> Tribute to Merrell Browne


60th Australia Day Pioneer Women’s Ceremony, 2021

60th Australia Day Pioneer Women’s Ceremony, 2021 was held at the Women’s Peace Garden, Kensington, a beautiful garden created by women in the International Year of Peace in 1986. This annual event celebrates Victorian Pioneer Women, conducted by the National Council of Women of Victoria, to acknowledge past and present women pioneers and includes a colour party and flag raising by Girl Guides Victoria and the singing of the National Anthem.

This year, the focus was on Victorian Pioneer Women in Medical Research.

There have been many women working in medical research over the past 100+ years including: Fannie Eleanor Williams, the first female medical research scientist at the Walter and Eliza Institute, and the first bacteriologist and serologist. She was an expert in dysentery due to her research during WW1, and was awarded the Associate Royal Red Cross for her work. She co-founded the Red Cross Blood Bank. Dora Lush, an accomplished bacteriologist, was a close collaborator with Sir Macfarlane Burnet 1934-39 researching diseases including influenza, herpes infections and myxomatosis.

Guest Speaker, Professor Susan Sawyer, Chair of Adolescent Health, Department of Paediatrics at the University of Melbourne, research fellow at the Murdoch Children’s Research Institute, Director of the Centre for Adolescent Health, Royal Children’s Hospital, spoke on three themes:

Firstly, the importance of investing in medical research, and the value of evidence informed public health policies exemplified by reminding us of some of the highlights of our 2020 pandemic year.

The second theme was about the strong track record of Victorian women in medical research, sharing the achievements of two remarkable Victorian women pioneers of medical research, one, Vera Scantlebury Brown, in research and public policy from 100 years ago and the other in virology, Dr Ruth Bishop, from 50 years ago.

Thirdly, Susan shared her background in ground-breaking adolescent health and medicine.

>> Click here to read Professor Susan Sawyer, speech


May Forum 2020: Gender Equity in Workplaces

The National Council of Women of Victoria’s May Forum was cancelled due to COVID-19. The focus “Gender Equity in Workplaces”, instead became the topic for our May ZOOM Council Meeting.

One of the proposed forum panel members, Professor Beth Gaze spoke at this meeting. Beth teaches Equality and Discrimination Law and Administrative Law at Melbourne Uni Law School. Her research interests are in anti-discrimination and equality law, feminist legal thought, administrative law and socio-legal research. She has conducted research into the enforcement process under Australian anti-discrimination law, experiences of applicants in the social security appeal tribunals, and the operation of adverse action provisions of the Fair Work Act. Beth spoke about the new Victorian Government Gender Equality Act 2020.

The Act seeks to promote and improve gender equality across the Victorian public sector, local councils and universities. It involves innovative powers and processes that have not previously been used in Australian law. It will commence on 31st March 2021. The government is working on developing the framework for its implementation, driven by the Minister for Women, the Hon Gabrielle Williams, with input from the public including a Citizen’s Jury. It aims to take necessary and proportionate action towards achieving gender equality in policies and programs and delivering public services. Organisations need to undertake workplace gender audits, to assess gender equality and inequality in the workplace. These must be based on gender-disaggregated data and, if available, data about Aboriginality, age, disability, race, ethnicity, gender identity, religion and sexual orientation. They need to develop and implement Gender Equality Action Plans in 2021, updated every four years, with Progress shown every two years against gender equality indicators. The Minister is also required to develop a State Gender Equality Action Plan every four years that will set a framework for taking coordinated action in Victoria to build behavioural, attitudinal, structural and normative change to improve gender equality, including a framework for progress on workplace gender equality, programs and services. The Office for Women is developing guidance documents to support organisations in doing the audit, action plan, assessment and progress reporting. The Act also provides for creating gender targets or quotas requiring these to be taken into account in gender audits with ‘reasonable and material progress’ to be made towards targets and quotas, a first in Australian equality law.

Dr Deborah Towns OAM then spoke on other Gender Equity issues. The private sector is covered nationally by the Workplace Gender Equality Act 2012. Commonwealth Government in 1984 introduced the Sex Discrimination Act. Other legislation at State and Federal level have passed, with Human Rights Commissioner and officer appointments.

Progress towards equal pay has a longer history. In 1903 equal pay for equal work was on the agenda at NCWV’s Congress. The industrial relations system endorsed this in 1969. However, there is still a gender wage gap today, with overall gender pay gap of 13.9% in Australia for full-time workers. When broken down into sectors it gets interesting, e.g., in finance and insurance where 1000s of women work the pay gap is 22%, also in professional, scientific and technical work; and 22.3% in health care and social services. In education and public administration (70% are women) the pay gap is 12%. Many women work in caring, cleaning, catering and retail, often not full-time, poorly paid, with little opportunity to adequately support themselves, or their families if they are sole parents, and save for their retirement through superannuation and in other ways.

The Male Champions of Change was established in 2010 to lead action on gender equality in workplaces, now with over 200 leaders of business, government, universities and military representing many different workplaces across Australia. They publish annual reports on progress and guidelines on how workplaces can change gender pay gap. Despite this there has been little to no change.

Australia Day Honours 2020

Elisabeth Margaret Newman has been made an honorary Member of the Order of Australia - in the General Division (AM), for significant service to women at the national and international level.

Elisabeth has been a member for over 40 years, she became a Committee member in 1981, then Vice President, Public Officer and Individual Member Representative. When Vice President in May 2017, she became Interim President and at the AGM was elected President. As Health Adviser she informed and educated members on PAP smears, Breast Screen Victoria, Why Women’s Health and more. She was NCWA National Health Adviser 1994-2000.

Elisabeth has regularly attended ICW-CIF General assemblies, becoming a Life Member in 1997. She served on ICW-CIF Board as Board Member and Vice President, and as Joint Coordinator Standing Committees. On retiring she was co-opted back onto the ICW-CIF Board.

Dr Judith Beryl Smart, Member of the Order of Australia - in the General Division (AM), for significant service to education, to social research and to women.

Dr Desiree Swei-Lien Yap, Member of the Order of Australia - in the General Division (AM), for significant service to women’s health and to medicine.


59th Australia Day Pioneer Women’s Ceremony, 20th January 2020, Women’s Peace Garden

This event was a great success with 50 members and quite a few guests. Girl Guides Victoria provided the Colour Party and all sang the National Anthem. The focus this year was on Pioneer Women in the Environment and Conservation. We were privileged to have Pam Robinson OAM as speaker, a founding member of Landcare.

Click to download the program

Pam said we can consider ‘Pioneer’ in the historical sense - relating to a person in a bygone time. It is important to recognise and respect past Pioneers, strides made by them that have brought us to where we are now, but also important for younger people to see that they can become a Pioneer in “their time’’ to be able to leave their legacy of endeavour. Pam acknowledged Indigenous people who have managed the land for millennia, quoting award winners, the Woka Walla Land Management Crew, who have been operating for seven years across northern Victoria where they have done cultural identification and protection, cultural burning, pest plant and animal control. The crew members have an unbroken link to the land through their families and have responsibility for Caring for Country which connects them to their ancestors.

Two Past Pioneers - women often referred to as the ‘Mothers of Landcare’ came from different backgrounds, but understood in the 1980s that if a new community program was to be established working with natural resources, enhancing environment, delivering sustainable farming practices, it needed to be a bipartisan approach. Joan Kirner AC and Heather Mitchell OBE AM - one a Labor Government Minister (later Premier), the other President of the conservative Victorian Farmers Federation, understood a bipartisan collaborative approach would achieve more – Landcare was born. The first Landcare Group was announced in 1986. Land Protection and other activities that people were undertaking continued in the Landcare theme. There are nearly 600 Landcare groups and 500 Friends of Groups in Victoria. The Australian Government introduced a National Landcare Program with a bipartisan approach. Also, there is Australian Landcare International, a non-profit organisation.

Landcare has no age barrier and Pam encouraged all to become involved with a local group. “We can go from sitting on the sidelines saying ‘THEY ORTA’ be doing this and that – we can decide that - We will take up the leadership position for the future of our environment and conservation by saying in a renewed bipartisan and collective voice ‘We Orta’ WE WILL and WE ARE’.”

Click here for the speech.



The Annual ‘My Vote My Voice’ Male and Female Youth as Future Voters 2019

The ‘My Vote My Voice’ 2019 event was held in the Legislative Council Chamber, Parliament of Victoria, on 19 August. This year’s theme was: Male and Female Youth as Future Voters, drawing on NCWV’s partnership with Australian Local Government Women’s Association, the Victorian Electoral Commission and the League of Women Voters’ Bessie Rischbieth Trust. Students were invited to make group presentations on this theme to an audience of students, community members, Parliamentarians and a panel of eminent people.

The event commenced in Queen’s Hall for welcome and photographs. We were welcomed by the Hon Gabrielle Williams, Minister for Women, Youth and Prevention of Domestic Violence. The Keynote speaker was Ms Amy Carpenter, Education Coordinator, Victorian Electoral Commission. She stated how annoyed she gets when hearing people say that young people are apathetic and not interested in what is going on beyond their world. There is passionate action occurring all around, but attitudes towards political processes is reducing.

>> Click here to read Ms Amy Carpenter's speech

We then had speakers from Ivanhoe Girls’ Grammar, Melbourne Girls’ College; Oberon HS; Al Siraat College; Fintona Girls’ School; Nth Geelong Sec College; Kingswood College; Westall Sec College; Genazzano College; Coburg HS and University HS. All speakers had researched peer attitudes and spoke confidently on the topic, with different perspectives taken by each school. There were personal anecdotes, passion and humour in the presentations. One common element was that there needs to be more ‘Civics and Citizenship’ content in the core curriculum. Schools also brought students as observers and some parents attended, as well as some Parliamentarians and many NCWV members and their guests.

An evaluation sheet was completed by panel members (and others). Panel members were Cr Coral Ross OAM, Mayor Boroondara and President of MAV; Cr Sandra Wilson, past Mayor of Hobsons Bay; Cr Trent McCarthy, Darebin Council, with Dr Deborah Towns OAM chairing. In addition to this feedback, we have audio of the event provided by the Hansard staff at the Parliament. The following schools have received awards:


>> Click here to view the printable version of the article

Pam Hammond, Hon Secretary, Convener NCWV Civics and Citizenship Program, and Education Adviser.


My Vote My Voice: Diversity in Community Organisations 2018

NCWV’s My Vote My Voice Friday 31 August was held in the Legislative Council Chamber, Parliament of Victoria, with the 2018 theme: Diversity in Community Organisations. There were 64 students from 13 schools, with 25 making three-minute presentations. The League of Women Voters of Victoria (LWVV) again funded student catering, for which we thank them. Schools attending were: Al Siraat College, Epping; Lowther Hall Girls; Fintona Girls; Geelong College; Oberon HS, Geelong; MLC; Mullauna Sec College, Nunawading; Ivanhoe Girls; Westall Sec College; Melbourne Girls College, Richmond; St Monica’s, Epping; University HS. Ms Tina Hosseini, Chair of Red Cross Youth Advisory Commission, addressed us in the Queen’s Hall. She was a past My Vote My Voice keynote speaker when she was Youth Commissioner for the Multicultural Commission. Ms Penny Scott, Adviser Workforce Branch Victorian Public Sector Commission spoke on her experiences as a Wiradjuri woman, researcher, and employment lawyer focused on workplace diversity. Both speakers provided insights into Diversity in Organisations through their own experiences. Student speakers presented on the theme using a variety of contexts – all extremely well! Evaluations were completed by panel members: Hon Samantha Dunn MLC; Barbara Abley AM, Geelong’s first woman mayor; Cr Cuc Lam, Mayor of Maribyrnong; with Dr Deborah Towns as Adjudicator. Deciding awards will be a very difficult task!

In Queen’s Hall – what diversity!

Fintona Girls School

Oberon HS


Westall Sec College

Tina Hosseini & Diya John with Al Seraat speakers

58th NCWV Australia Day Pioneer Women’s Ceremony 2019

This event on Monday 21st January in the Women’s Peace Garden Kensington, was a great success with 55 members and friends attending including Paul Webster Chairman of the Australia Day Council Vic and Norman Kennedy past Chair. Girl Guides Victoria provided the Colour Party.

The Lord Mayor of Melbourne, the Right Honourable Sally Capp, guest of honour, was the speaker. She focussed on women who have been ‘first’, particularly in State and local government, including Joan Kirner and Lady Millie Peacock - the first woman elected to the Victorian Parliament, Leckie Ord and Winsome McCaughey, previous Lord Mayors and Patrons of NCWV. “These women campaigned publicly and paved the way for others through their example. These women broke through the hard, stony ground of politics to create the richer soil in which we are flourishing today. They had an enduring impact on Victorian public life. Their careers were often catalysts for reform and greater respect for women’s intellects and achievements. Times didn’t just change – they helped change the times.”

Sally also stated the need for women to stand up and take on leadership roles at all levels within their organisations and communities and support those willing to have a go. “Through this we will see a manifest change in how we shape our communities going forward.” She also acknowledged Barbara Abley, AM, who was the first female mayor of the City of Geelong in 2002 and Gracia Baylor, AM, who was one of the first two women elected to the Victorian Legislative Council in 1979. This was after she became Healesville Shire Council president in 1977 – the first female shire president in Victoria.

“The roll call of pioneering women is a proud one for Victoria, in so many fields, and I take heart from the achievements of women in our past, and the extraordinary opportunities that lie ahead of us. Today is also about looking to the future and anticipating the wonderful achievements of coming generations of women.”

Sally Capp with Elizabeth Newman, president NCW

Janet Park, Paul Webster, Sally Capp, Elisabeth Newman   NCWV Executive with Sally Capp

Speech by the Lord Mayor of Melbourne, the Right Honourable Sally Capp.

On behalf of the City of Melbourne, I would like to begin by acknowledging that we’re gathered on the traditional land of the Kulin Nation, and I pay my respects to elders past and present. I recognise and respect the continuing spiritual and cultural relationship our first peoples have with this land.

I’d also like to acknowledge: Paul Webster, Chairman, Australia Day Council, Victoria; Elisabeth Newman, President, National Council of Women Victoria; Janet Park, Vice-President, NCWV; Delegates and Members of NCWV and their guests; Past NCWV presidents and honorary life members; Future women pioneers. Welcome everyone.

Thank you for the opportunity to be part of today’s ceremony. How fortunate we are to be meeting in this tranquil place – a place for quiet reflection. It’s intimate, ornate and serene - the perfect backdrop for our event.More than 80 years ago, a group of Victorian women campaigned for civic recognition of the contribution of women – as part of the City of Melbourne's Centenary celebrations. And that’s what led to the creation of the Pioneer Women’s Memorial Garden in the Kings Domain – a garden that women and their families still enjoy today. It’s a wonderful legacy.

And this beautiful place has a story of its own. This garden was built in 1986 to commemorate the International Year of Peace. It was designed by a team of women. The plants were chosen to fit with the colours of the Women’s Movement — green, purple and white, and to symbolise remembrance — the peace rose, rosemary and olive trees. As well as a place of recognition and reflection, the Women’s Peace Garden is a place where women and families can join together. These gardens are now home to the National Council of Women of Victoria and the Australia Day Council’s Annual Australia Day Pioneer Women’s Ceremony.

And today, we continue the tradition of honouring the legacy of pioneering women, as well as celebrating the great city and state that their efforts have helped shape. The lives of women have changed significantly over the years. But some things never change – the admiration we feel for the pioneering women who contributed so much to early Victoria. As Lord Mayor, I’m a rare breed in Melbourne’s history. I’m one of only three women to have been elected Lord Mayor of Melbourne in 176 years, but I’m declaring the drought over. I’m confident there’ll be many more women to come, especially when I look around an occasion like this and see so many capable people who are making a contribution to our city – be it in business, community or civic life. In fact, the more voices we hear and stories we share about women making their mark across all spheres, the more leaders - and networks of leaders - we’ll see emerge across the board. We really need women to stand up and take on leadership roles within their organisations and communities. And to support those willing to have a go, we need to support other women to take on these roles at all levels.

Through this we will see a manifest change in how we shape our communities going forward. I’ve had quite a few conversations, post-election, with some outstanding women I know and my advice is simple: put your hand up and have a go. There will never be a right time if you wait for it. Seize the moment and make an impact on the imbalance. To have a go and fail, as I have many times in my career, is not failure. Just the action of having a go must be claimed as victory because it changes your personal trajectory and adds significant impetus to the momentum for change in our society. I recently had lunch with the two female former Lord Mayors before me - Leckie Ord and Winsome McCaughey – both of whom were NCWV patrons during their terms as Lord Mayor, and Leckie spoke at this same event back in 1988. It was only 30 years ago, but politics and public life were undoubtedly harsher and more hostile for them, not to mention Victoria’s first female state premier, the late Joan Kirner, and Lady Millie Peacock the first woman elected to Victorian Parliament before her. These women campaigned publicly and paved the way for others through their example. These women broke through the hard, stony ground of politics to create the richer soil in which we are flourishing today. They had an enduring impact on Victorian public life. Their careers were often catalysts for reform and greater respect for women’s intellects and achievements. Times didn’t just change – they helped change the times.

Among a multitude of grand portraits of male mayors which look down from the elegant walls of Melbourne’s historic Town Hall, the faces of Winsome and Lecki stand out - and we must celebrate their legacy. These women were leading council at a time – in the late 80s – when Melbourne needed proactive and strong leadership. Our city had a population deficit. Just 100 residents lived in the CBD. Compare that to today. Now we have some 37,341 residents in the CBD alone. They were leaders when a transformational vision for Melbourne was imagined. Postcode 3000 was launched to repopulate the central city. It set out the urban choreography of Melbourne’s makeup, steering it away from what was termed ‘a donut city’ to become a 24-hour metropolis – a place where people want to be. And these two women were part of its imagining, its design and its implementation. To be the first woman in any field today is still notable.

When I look around the faces here this morning, I can see Barbara Abley, AM, who became the first female mayor of the City of Geelong in 2002. Gracia Baylor, AM, was one of the first two women elected to the Victorian Legislative Council in 1979. This was after she became Healesville Shire Council president in 1977 – the first female shire president in Victoria – after having been elected as a councillor in 1966. We should celebrate firsts like this. When people talk about their example it helps role modelling and helps others not to be fearful, which encourages others to have a go. Female leadership in the numbers we are seeing now is a recent phenomenon in our national and indeed international experience. I am enjoying greater acceptance and legitimacy in my role than Leckie and Winsome did, and I suspect many of you are having the same experience. It’s very refreshing. So here we are, in 2019, the wind in our sails. Attitudes and workplaces are changing around us - and we are actively changing them. Women are seizing this moment. In the past couple of years, we have begun to see and feel a massive turning of the tide for women. And for me, I’m particularly conscious of how differently we are viewing and treating female leaders in public life. In a number of jobs I’ve had there hasn’t previously been a woman. People have to change their mindsets or environments and maybe think differently. Collingwood Football Club is an example of that, where I became the first female board member in 2004. And then in 2009, I became the first female Agent-General to represent Victoria overseas. During my election campaign last year, one thing that really stood out was how important role models are for me - and that I was also a role model for other women. In my case, my aunt has been a federal politician, I am good mates with former Queensland Premier Anna Bligh and have several girlfriends that are state politicians. They all provided great encouragement.

One of the standout role-models was Sue Morphet who will be known to some of you. Sue, who has many strings to her bow, is president of Chief Executive Women. She was wonderful because she campaigned to become deputy lord mayor in the last local government elections and failed in her bid. But she is still admired and respected for having a go which helped with my worst-case scenario planning! That’s why I took the election campaign on. I thought I’d get a lot out of it even if I didn’t win. And at the heart of it lies passion. I always have a go if it’s important to me. I am encouraged daily by the words of Edward Hale that remind me that an individual’s actions can be powerful: I am only one, but I am one. I cannot do everything, but I can do something. And I will not let what I cannot do interfere with what I can do. The roll call of pioneering women is a proud one for Victoria – in so many fields - and I take heart from the achievements of women in our past, and the extraordinary opportunities that lie ahead of us. Today is also about looking to the future and anticipating the wonderful achievements of coming generations of women. The City of Melbourne is very pleased to support the National Council of Women of Victoria, and it is a privilege to spend the morning with you. Thank you.


End of Year Luncheon- for report see December newsletter
My Vote, My Voice - for report click here
May Forum - 3 May 2018

The May Forum, “Families: Support for Children”, held on May 3rd 2018 at Ross House, was well attended by NCWV members. This was chaired by May Hu JP OAM, Coordinator NCWV Standing Committee, and moderated by Elida Brereton, Executive NCWV and Board member of the Hornbrook Academy.

Anne McLeish OAM, CEO Grandparents/Kindship Carers Victoria spoke on ‘Family Rights’ saying it’s important that grandparents have their voices heard and that in Victoria there is insufficient representation for children.

Dr Allison Cox, Berry St Director of Take 2 Program, which provides therapeutic services for traumatised children to achieve physical and emotional safety for them via work on attachment.

Liana Buchanan, Principal Commissioner for Children and Young People spoke on ‘Human Rights in the home: Children’s rights to safety, care and protection’. She has an oversight to children’s services, including enquiries about individual children and systemic issues

>> click here to download and view the full report.

Program from the 57th Annual Australia Day Pioneer Women's Ceremony

Held at the Women's Peace Garden, Epsom Rd., Kensington on January 18 2018.

Guest Speaker: Emma Page Campbell: A Tribute to Pioneer of Women and the Peace Movement

To view the program, click here

Celebrating 100 Years of International Women's Day
by Eva Court

On Monday 7 March 2011, the National Council of Women of Victoria, in conjunction with the League of Women Voters of Victoria, held a function in Parliament House to celebrate the centenary of International Women's Day (IWD) in Victoria. The event was called Young People Speak and it was opened by the Minister for Women's Affairs, Ms Mary Wooldridge MLA.

The participants in this event were students from suburban and regional high schools in Victoria who had competed in Vida's Voices and the Legacy national public speaking competitions. Vida's Voices is a public speaking and leadership opportunity for Year 10 Girls and is an initiative of the Victorian Women's Trust.

Vida Goldstein (1869-1949) was a feminist and campaigner for the rights of women and children. Her tireless efforts helped to win the right for women to vote in 1908. She believed in the power of educated and articulate women.

Each year Legacy also holds a national competition for students aged 12 -14 years. About 2000 students participate across Australia. The aim is to enhance public speaking skills and to help the participants appreciate the ideals of Legacy, such as voluntary service, caring, comradeship and remembrance.

The Commemorative Programme and Notes on Outstanding Women are informative, attractively presented and a credit to those who produced them. The beautiful,grand venue gave a real sense of occasion to the day. The majority of the students were girls, but there were a few boys who were made welcome by the audience. The topics of the speeches ranged widely, from the situation of indigenous soldiers willing to give their lives for Australia, who were still discriminated against on their return home, the role of women in the second World War, outreach programmes for Afghan girls, to aiding disabled girls to live fuller lives. The speeches had not originally been written to celebrate IWD, but most were quite suitable. The male winner of the National Legacy award spoke about his heroes, including Mahatma Gandhi.

Posters were made to commemorate outstanding women of the past and present, and students then explained the posters which we were able to look at. Very pleasant refreshments were enjoyed at mid-morning. To end the proceedings, we were entertained by a vocalist from Preston Girls Secondary College.

I am sure all who participated and those who attended, would agree that it was a very worthwhile event to celebrate the centenary of International Women's Day.

References: The Websites of the national Council of Women of Victoria Inc., Legacy and Victorian Women's Trust and The League of Women Voters.

Eva Court : Arts Letters and Music Adviser, Member of the NCWV Executive Committee

Book Launch Celebrates the Year of Women in Local Government 2010 in the Goulburn Valley

A book celebrating Greater Shepparton women's involvement in local government was launched recently.

The book, titled "A Woman's Place … in Local Government" profiles the experiences of the 14 female councillors and one town clerk who have been involved in local government in the Shepparton district since the 1960s.

The Goulburn Valley branch of the National Council of Women Victoria (NCWV), with support from Greater Shepparton City Council, co-ordinated the researching, writing and publishing of the book as part of the 2010 Year of Women in Local Government celebrations.

Goulburn Valley branch president Barbara Brown said the project was a wonderful celebration of the contribution made by women as elected councillors and paid personnel in local government.

Ms Brown said the profiles covered the period before amalgamation - when people in the Shepparton district were served by the shires of Shepparton and Rodney and the City of Shepparton – as well as the current council.  

"The district's first female councillor, Alice Mcleod, was elected to the Shire of Shepparton in 1969," Ms Brown said.

She said the state average for the proportion of female councillors on council was 30 per cent. 

Women have done better in becoming elected representatives than in attaining senior management positions," Ms Brown said.  Pat Gibson was the only woman to have held the top position in management, town clerk - now known as the CEO - in the City of Shepparton from 1976 until 1981. 

Ms Brown said the book was the culmination of months of research and writing.

 "It's been a terrific project for all involved," Ms Brown said.

"The women's stories are personal recollections with each woman telling her own story in her own way."  

Copies are available from the Goulburn Valley Branch, NCWV, PO Box 6258, Shepparton 3632 or the Greater Shepparton City Council - Ph. 58329700 or write to General Manager, Community Development, Locked Bag 1000, Shepparton 3630.

"Are We There Yet"

"Are We There Yet" a Commemoration a  Centenary of  Women's Franchise in Victoria in conjunction with the VCA Margaret Lawrence Gallery, Victorian College of the Arts, University of Melbourne. This event includes a major art exhibition, a keynote address, two curator and artists talks and a publication. It will be held at the VCA from mid June to mid July 2008.

Rural Women's Voice

This project was carried out through a Women's Community Leadership Grant with the support of a department for Victorian Communities, Office of Women's  Policy. The project consisted of a series of group and individual interviews from across Victoria over a 12 month period. Women were accessed through our regional branches and affiliates. Issues important to them were raised and discussed. A report was written with recommendations and submitted to government.

Migrant Women's Voice

This project was conducted with the assistance of a Victorian Multicultural Commission Strengthening Multicultural communities Grant. The project format was similar to the Rural Women's Voice however focused on the experience of migrant women.

Going to a City Hospital ? A Guide for Country People

This brochure was developed in conjunction with Barwon Health to assist women and families when faced with immediate transfer from a country hospital to the city. Advice was provided on what to bring, where to stay and so on. This has been successfully transferred to other states.

Youth Initiative

In conjunction with Carwatha Secondary College year 9 and 10 girl students and over a 4 year period, young women from a wide variety of backgrounds, nationalities and socio economic levels learned how to work together to bring an issue of importance to them to the attention to the relevant people. This included making a verbal submission to the to the "Family and Community Development Committee of Parliament Inquiry into Issues relating to the Development of Body Image Among Young People and Associated Effects on their Health and Wellbeing", setting up an Amnesty International group at the school, developing and running workshops on Animal Cruelty and Body Image.

International Women's Day

International Women's Day is marked on March 8 every year. It is a major day of global celebration for the economic, political and social achievements of women.

International Women’s Day 2013 was celebrated by NCWV on 4th March at Parliament House Melbourne.

On this day we celebrate and encourage our young people and promote “Empowerment, Leadership and Involvement”. NCWV are highlighting the students of “The Legacy Junior Public Speaking Award (LJPSA)” and YWCA’s “ASISTA” mentoring programme.

Sandie de Wolf AM, CEO of Berry Street will be lead speaker discussing Berry’s Street’s work with young people. This is followed by seven exceptional young people from the Victorian LJPSA who will present their winning speeches from 2012 award competition. The award is nationwide and is aimed at enhancing the oral communication and public speaking skills of secondary students aged 12 to 14 years, and helps young people appreciate the ideals of Legacy – voluntary service, caring, mateship and remembrance. Once again a Victorian won both the state and the national award in 2012.

Speeches by two of the talented young speakers winners in ‘The Legacy Junior Public Speaking Award’ are available now. 

Tiffany Shih’s speech “Looking Beyond the Lines” was the national winner of ‘The Legacy  Junior Public Speaking Award’.   
>> Click here to view Tiffany Shih's speech

Edmund Coleman was the runner-up of the state and national finals of the Award with his speech “The Southern Swastika”.
>> Click here to view Edmund Coleman's speech