Women's Groups 2013 - National Council of Women of Western Australia (previously known as West Australian National Council of Women and Western Australian National Council of Women)

National Council of Women of Western Australia (previously known as West Australian National Council of Women and Western Australian National Council of Women)

Purpose of the group

The National Council of Women of WA (NCWWA) is a non-party political, non-sectarian, voluntary organisation dedicated to the advancement of women, their families and society’s welfare. It is affiliated with the National Council of Women of Australia, which itself is affiliated with the International Council of Women. The international council has consultative status (Category 1) with the United Nations Economic and Social Council.

NCWWA is a peak body offering membership to a diverse range of affiliated women's organisations with similar or compatible aims and objectives. Each affiliate organisation may elect two voting members to the council.

Women’s organisations with strong links to NCWWA in the early days included the Women’s Service Guild, Woman’s Christian Temperance Union, Karrakatta Club, Trinity Church Women’s Guild, St Andrew’s Presbyterian Women’s Guild, Time and Talent Club, Young Women’s Association, Metropolitan Women Workers’ Union, WA Trained Nurses Association and Mothers’ Union.

NCWWA has the following objectives:

  • providing a link between the many and varied voluntary, not-for-profit and community organisations where matters of common interest arise
  • bringing together these voluntary organisations
  • encouraging women to recognise their responsibilities in the community and motivating them to participate in public life on local, national and international levels
  • increasing mutual understanding between women through national and international contacts
  • promoting recognition and respect for human rights and working to remove discrimination based on birth, race, gender, age, language or religion
  • developing national policies and responsibilities on behalf of women and their families.
  • supporting efforts to achieve peace through negotiation, arbitration and conciliation.
  • promoting equal rights and responsibilities for both women and men.

Time period

NCWWA was formed in 1911 and remains active. The first National Council of Women of Australia was formed in 1896 in New South Wales.

Key achievements

In the 1920s, NCWWA successfully lobbied for the closure of White City, a funfair and gambling venue on William Street in Perth. The organisation and many religious bodies considered White City unsightly and attracted disreputable people.

As early as 1928, NCWWA protested against smoking on the grounds of public health risks and economic waste. Concerns were raised with the Director of Education, Teachers’ Union, Parents and Citizens’ Association and the media.

NCWWA also played a leading role in lobbying for the passing of the Jury Act Amendment Bill. Before 1957, WA women were not entitled to the same rights as men to serve on juries.

More recently, the council has been providing ongoing support to a school in Popondetta, Papua New Guinea. Donations bought a freshwater tank to provide clean drinking water for the school children and provided accommodation for teachers not paid for their work. Three teachers were brought to Perth in 2012 for educational workshops, school visits and cultural enrichment.

A science and technology bursary is awarded each year for female students studying a relevant course at a WA tertiary institution.

Key people and positions in the group

  • Lady Edeline Strickland, inaugural president.
  • Lady Gwenfred James, Amelia Macdonald, and Etta Hooton were the first vice-presidents.
  • Edith Cowan was a committee member and second president.
  • Other presidents include Mrs C Manning, Mrs Trouchet, Lady James, Phoebe Holmes, Dr Roberta Jull, Ruby Pratt, Edna Bagot, Mrs C Rutherford, Stella Carmody, Jessie Robertson, Ada Smith, Joyce Cook, Mrs H Balmer, Kaye Lockhart, Ida Lloyd, Maisie Gudgeon, Mrs M Scurlock, Gwen Cameron, Gloria Reynolds, Gwen Roderick, Paddy Firstenberg and Joy Sands.
  • Dawn Butterworth is the current president (2012).


  • Website: http://www.ncwwa.org.au/main/page_home.html.
  • Sher, Noreen. The National Council of Women of WA Inc. (1999). The Spirit Lives On: 1911–1999. Available from the State Library of WA (call number 305.42 SHE).
  • Information provided by Elizabeth Re.

Article Index
Women's Groups 2013
Abortion Law Repeal Association/Association for the Legal Right to Abortion (ALRA)
American Women's Club of Perth (AWC)
Association of Civilian Widows of WA Inc
Australian College of Midwives WA Branch (ACM)
Australian Local Government Women’s Association (ALGWA)
Beta Sigma Phi
Business and Professional Women Western Australia (BPW)
Catholic Women’s League of Western Australia (Inc)
Chrysalis House Women's Refuge
Cine-Matrix: Women in Film and Television WA
Cockburn Women’s Peace Camp
Combined Equal Pay Committee/WA Council for Equal Pay and Opportunity
Community Midwifery WA
Country Women’s Association (CWA)
Domestic Violence Action Group (Geraldton)
Emily’s List
Equal Opportunity Law Reform Coalition
Fremantle Women’s Health Centre (FWHC)
Girl Guides WA
Graduate Women Western Australia (GWWA)/Australian Federation of University Women (AFUW) Western Australia
Grapevine/Perth Wimmin’s Collective
Gretel Club of Perth (Inc)
Harvest Guild
Incest Survivors Association (Inc.)
Inner Wheel Australia
Inside Out Project
Ishar Multicultural Women’s Health Centre
Kalgoorlie Auxiliary of the Australasian Institute of Mining and Metallurgy
Karrakatta Club
Labor Women’s Association
Lespar Library
Living Child Inc.—Safe Village Births
Lutheran Women WA
Marninwarntikura Fitzroy Women’s Resource Centre
Mining Mums
Modern Women's Club
Mothers’ Union Australia
Movement for the Ordination of Women
Muslim Women’s Support Centre of WA (Inc)
National Council of Women of Western Australia (previously known as West Australian National Council of Women and Western Australian National Council of Women)
National Council of Jewish Women of Australia—WA section (NCJWA)
Nintirri Centre
Older Women’s Network (OWN WA)
Penguin Club
Perth Ionian Club
Polyhymnia Reading Group
Rape Crisis Line
Rural Remote Regional Women’s Network (RRR)
Sexual Assault Resource Centre (SARC)
Sibyl/University of Western Australia Student Guild Women’s Collective
Society of Women Writers WA
Soroptimist International of Western Australia
Starick Services Inc
Status of Women Committee WA—Australian Labor Party
Tradeswomen on the Move
UN Women Australia (formerly UNIFEM Australia)—Perth Chapter Young UN Women Perth Chapter
Union of Australian Women—WA Branch
V.I.E.W. Western Australia
West Australian Women’s Society of Fine Arts and Crafts
War Widows’ Guild
Warrawee Women’s Refuge
Women’s Electoral Lobby (WEL)
West Australian Housewives’ Association (Inc)
Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom (WILPF)
Women in Media
Women’s Information Referral Exchange (WIRE)
Woman’s Christian Temperance Union (WCTU) of Western Australia
Women in Education Coalition
Women in Mining WA (WIMWA)
Women in Sailing (WIS)
Women in Sport Committee of the Western Australian Sports Council
Women in Technology WA (Inc) (WiTWA)
Women Lawyers of Western Australia (Inc) (WLWA)
Women with Disabilities WA Inc (WWDWA)
Women’s Action Alliance (WAA)
Women’s Advisory Council (WAC)
Women’s Broadcasting Cooperative
Women’s Committee of State School Teachers’ Union WA Executive
Women's Committee of the Waterside Workers Federation
Women’s Council for Domestic and Family Violence Services (WA)/Women’s Refuge Group of WA (WRG)
Women’s Health and Family Services/Women’s Health Care House/Perth Women’s Centre/Women’s Health Service
Women’s Information Service (WIS)
Women’s Interest Network
Women in Engineering WA (WIE WA)
Women’s International Zionist Organisation (WIZO)
Women’s Liberation
Women’s Service Guilds
Women’s Studies Group
Yanay Yanma
YWCA of Perth
Zonta International
Additional Groups
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