National Council of Women of Australia

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The National Council of Women of Australia (NWA) is an Australian organisation founded in 1931. The council is an umbrella organisation with which are affiliated seven State and Territory National Councils of Women. It is non party political, non sectarian, volunteer organisation and open to all women.

The Constituent councils were formed in:

It first affiliated with the International Council of Women in 1896, through the New South Wales NCW.

The organisation encouraged the affiliation of all women's organisations, not just feminist organisations, to affiliate and also has individual members.

The Council celebrated the International Women's Year in 1975 and then continued on with its work, as many of the gains made for gender equality require constant monitoring and implementation across all sectors of Australian life.

It has published the following books:

  • Balancing Work and Life - A Guide for Employers and Employees 1999. To avoid confusion with current day legislation and practice this booklet is no longer available.
  • From a Camel to the Moon (ISBN 0-646-38702- 2) 1999 An Anthology for the International Year of Older Persons,
  • From the Heart (ISBN 0 9581638-0-4) 2002 - Women's experiences of the Australian Outback, to mark the Year of the Outback.
  • 45 years on: What now in Contraceptives? Published in 2006 - This booklet includes information about research at the time (2006), with articles by Professor Gab Kovacs, Dr Neisha Wratten, and a piece by Dr Terri Foran on the history of contraceptives.

A website has been created as a review of the NCWA President's 1906-2006 - Stirrers with Style. The Presidents' work, along with teams of outstanding women - many of whom are humble women who seek no individual recognition - to fight hard for Australia's women and girls to ensure equity and security for all. Australia has been a leader in achieving women's equality - but there is still more work to do!

The NCWs advocate, inform and educate women and girls as to their rights and responsibilities and hold celebrations to acknowledge women across all fields of endeavour.

The NCWA works on a Triennium basis and holds a conference every 18 months to encourage participation in its policy platform.

Its archives - pre the current Triennium - are held by the National Library of Australia for use by researchers.

Women associated with the Council include Diane Alley, Yvonne Bain, Gracia Baylor, Ruby Board, Ivy Brookes, Elsie Byth, Margaret Davey, Emily Dobson, Leonie Christopherson, Edith Cowan, Dorothy Edwards, Margaret Findlater-Smith, Maureen Giddings, Ruth Gibson, Vida Goldstein, Ann Hamilton, Irene Longman, Laurel Macintosh, Joyce McConnell, Margaret McIntyre, Thelma Metcalfe, Adelaide Miethke, Mabel Miller, Necia Mocatta, May Moss, Mildred Muscio, Ada Norris, Judith Parker, Audrey Reader, Gwen Roderick, Jessie Scotford, Lillias Skene,.

See also[edit]


  • "Stirrers with Style" - This electronic exhibition is a project of the National Council of Women of Australia, supported by the NCWA History Steering Committee. Work on this project was generously funded by Australian Research Council Linkage Grant LP088371, in collaboration with the University of Melbourne. This exhibition uses the Online Heritage Resource Manager, a tool developed by the eScholarship Research Centre, part of the University of Melbourne Library. Copyright © National Council of Women of Australia, 2013. Published by the Australian Women's Archives Project
  • Carey, Jane (10 September 2004). "National Council of Women of Australia". The Australian Women's Register. Retrieved 18 October 2010. 

Further reading[edit]

  • Quartly, Marian; Smart, Judith, 1950-, (author.); National Council of Women of Australia (issuing body.) (2015), Respectable radicals : a history of the National Council of Women Australia, 1896-2006, Clayton, Victoria Monash University Publishing in conjunction with the National Council of Women of Australia, ISBN 978-1-922235-94-7 

External links[edit]