Women's Groups 2013 - Catholic Women’s League of Western Australia (Inc)

Catholic Women’s League of Western Australia (Inc)

Purpose of the group

The league was established to enable women to participate more effectively in working for and building the Kingdom of God. The aim is to promote the spiritual, cultural, intellectual and social development of women and to provide them with a forum to do this.

Other goals include:

  • Upholding the dignity of women and promoting their participation in social and public life
  • Promoting the specific role of lay-women in the church’s mission
  • Fostering and supporting the vocation of Christian marriage and family life
  • Promoting and supporting vocations to the priestly and religious life
  • Promoting the right, and facilitating the duty, of Catholic women to acquire knowledge of Christian teaching
  • Promoting the teaching of Christ and his church:
  • concerning the dignity and freedom of the human person and unity and stability of the family and its rights and duties
  • through the promotion of social justice and the ordering of temporal affairs according to God’s plan
  • Fostering ecumenism and inter-religious dialogue.

Time period

The first meeting of the Catholic Women’s League was held on 25 May 1937. It was registered as a corporate body on 23 August the same year. The organisation celebrated its 75th anniversary in 2012.

Key achievements

Charitable works with St Vincent de Paul, Legion of Mary, Red Cross, Catherine McAuley Child Care Centre, Ngala, Perth Public Hospital, Catholic Ball, Tardun Agricultural School and Wooroloo Sanitarium during the league’s early years.

Group members also took an interest in prison mission, the care of orphan girls and patients from institutes for the mentally ill and visiting the visually-impaired at Victoria Park, plus other hospitals.

Examples of material and financial support from branches over the past few years has been for pregnancy help in Perth and Bunbury, Ruah (toiletries and other essentials for women leaving prison), The Shopfront in Maylands to provide meals and other support for the homeless, winter clothes for refugees in Northam’s Yongah Hill Detention Immigration Centre, St Vincent de Paul back-to-school materials, Bandyup Prison Outcare (Christmas gifts for children of inmates), support for chaplains in State schools and ongoing support for Linda’s House of Hope, which helps women wanting to leave the world of prostitution.

During 2012, CWLWA’s 75th anniversary year, the organisation funded a scholarship for a female student from the University of Notre Dame Australia.

Key people and positions in the group

  • First elected office bearers: Mrs JP Maxwell (president), Mrs T. Ahern (vice-president), Miss E. Furse (secretary), Miss A. Coffey (press secretary), Mrs M.Eustace (minutes secretary), Mrs A. Davies (treasurer).
  • State presidents: Mrs JP Maxwell (1937–1952), Mrs K. Child (1953–1957), Mrs D. Ridge (1957–1958), Mrs E. Jolley (1958–1963), Mrs F. Balmer (1963–1968), Mrs C. Downey (1968–1973), Miss E. Palandri (1973–1975), Mrs C. Downey (1975–1980), Mrs M. Indemaur (1980–1983), Mrs A. Gee (1983–1989), Mrs J. Quinlan (1989–1994), Anne Power (1995–1997), Joan Quinlan (1998–2001), Dorothy Beyer (2002–2005), Karyn Kammann (2006–2007), Georgie Bruce-Smith (2008–2009), Jeanine Dowse (2009–2010), Karyn Kammann (2011–2013).


  • A History of the Catholic Women’s League of WA (Inc.) 1937–1987, 50 Years of Charity Work and Loyalty. (Sister) Mary Albertus Bain OP.
  • Information provided by Karyn Kammann.

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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