It is with great pleasure that we announce Cr. Karen Wheatland, and John Gevalis as our ‘Call for Nomination’ Champions for 2024.
Both our Champions are well versed to speak on the expansion of the STEM category to include ‘Technical Trades’ this year. It is hoped the extension of the STEM category will inspire more nominations of women working in traditionally male dominated industries, so that they may stand as a role model’s for younger women wanting to join that field of endeavour.
The WA Women’s Hall of Fame Committee welcome, and thank them both for their time, and support for our 2024 ‘Call for Nominations’.
Cr. Karen Wheatland
“It’s such an exciting moment to see the expansion of the STEM category to include Technical Trades in the WA Women Hall of Fame. I have known so many incredible women in my time in the maritime and blue-collar sectors go unnoticed. This is a wonderful opportunity to recognize women who have paved pathways in these and other technical and trade areas for decades. It will shine a light on industries that women are able to be a part of, encouraging other women to seek a pathway that is celebrated through these important and valued awards, so please nominate now”.
Karen Wheatland was a Seafarer with a 25+ year history of working in the maritime industry. She was the first woman employed as a crew member on the Fremantle Harbour tugboats, and went on to become a merchant seafarer, a master mariner, and a pearl diver. These experiences have inspired her to spend much of her career advocating to get more women into the maritime industry. She retired from the industry due to a work accident in 2018.
A City of Melville resident for over 24 years, Karen ran for, and was elected as a Councillor for the City of Melville Local Government in 2017. Her current term of office runs until 2025.
In 2021 she joined the WA Women’s Hall of Fame committee, volunteering as the photographer of the 2022, and 2023 Inductees for the annual ‘touring’ Photographic Exhibition’s.
Karen is committed to making a positive contribution to community, and as a woman who has worked in a predominately male field, she is especially passionate about breaking down barriers and creating opportunities for women and girls.
“I am extremely proud to be a ‘Champion’ for the WA Women’s Hall of Fame 2024 call for nominations.
Having lost my mother Maria Gelavis at the age of 50 to cervical cancer, I continue to reflect on how she and others like her were never recognised for what they did in their work, family, and community life. Both my parents worked in the building industry, which for many years has been dominated by men. Although for most of the small to medium businesses the unsung hero has been women whose tireless work managing and working in the business, whilst supporting the family help make it a success. I am pleased to say this is changing and we are starting to see more female trades, professionals and business leaders emerge, but more needs to be done. Like many women, Maria never craved recognition which is even more of a reason why the WA Women’s Hall of Fame is so important. In my work, sporting, and community life, I have seen so many outstanding women in a variety of roles never be recognised This is why I encourage you to think about nominating a woman you know and let’s celebrate their achievements in 2024 and beyond”.
John Gelavis has been involved in the Western Australian (WA) building and construction industry for over 35 years having worked for national organisations such as Bunnings, CSR, Laminex and as Executive Director of industry peak bodies Housing Industry Association of WA and Master Builders Association of WA.
During that time, John has championed gender diversity in the WA building and construction industry through the National Association of Women in Construction, and the Master Builders Women Building Australia program and their awards which recognise excellence in on-site, office-based, and consultant/professional roles.
“We are pleased to welcome The Honourable Kerry Sanderson AC CVO, and The Honourable Kim Beazley AC, as our ‘Call for Nomination’ Champions for 2023”.
Ms. Sanderson is a 2015 WA Women’s Hall of Fame Inductee and the first woman to hold the position as Governor of this State. A retired Australian public servant and business director, Ms. Sanderson’s myriad roles including her current position on the Board of the WA Cricket Association will motivate nominations, especially in the arena of women’s sports.
Mr. Beazley has a distinguished record of service to the public, leadership, and as a representative of Australia and was appointed the 33rd Governor of this State in 2018. In that role he has been, a long-term supporter of the WA Women’s Hall of Fame, and a strong voice for the acknowledgment of women’s achievements and the conversation of gender equality.
The WA Women’s Hall of Fame Committee thank them both for their support.
The Honourable Kerry Sanderson AC CVO
“Those admitted to the WA Women’s Hall of Fame can be proud that they have made a difference to our wonderful State or to others who live here. Often in the past their contribution would go unrecognised, but luckily the establishment of the WA Women’s Hall of Fame allows others to learn about the contribution of many women to Western Australia or to other Western Australians. For the individual there is also the sense of pride to know that their contribution has been acknowledged. Please take the time to nominate someone you believe should be entered into the Hall of Fame.”
The Honourable Kerry Sanderson AC was Governor of Western Australia from 2014 to 2018, the first woman to serve in this role. Since retiring from that role and until December 2021 she served as Edith Cowan University’s fourth Chancellor. She continues to Chair St John of God Health Care, and the WA Parks Foundation as well as being patron of a number of charitable and community organisations.
She has held a range of senior positions in the public service and in business and was awarded the Centenary Medal in 2001 for her service to the maritime industry, was appointed as an Officer of the Order of Australia in 2004 for her service to the port and maritime industries and to public sector governance, and was appointed as a Companion of the Order of Australia in 2016 for her eminent service to the people of Western Australia and to a number of causes.
The Honourable Kim Beazley AC
“From the outset of settlement women have played a critical role in the creation of our society in all its aspects. Prior to that of course aboriginal society was largely matrilineal, women keeping the structure of the community in their supervision of relations. As a whole the community has been slow to recognise the outstanding leadership from WA women. The WA Women’s Hall of Fame redresses that gap in community understanding.”
The Honourable Kim Beazley AC, was elected to the Federal Parliament in 1980 and represented the electorates of Swan (1980-96) and Brand (1996-2007). In the Hawke and Keating Labor Governments (1983-1996) Mr Beazley held, various portfolios of Defence, Finance, Transport and Communications, Employment Education and Training, Aviation, and Special Minister of State.
He served as Deputy Prime Minister and Leader of the Australian Labor Party during 1995/96 and was Leader of the Opposition from 1996 to 2001, and 2005 to 2006. Mr Beazley served on parliamentary committees, including the Joint Intelligence Committee and the Joint Foreign Affairs, Defence and Trade Committee.
After his retirement from politics, he took up an appointment as Ambassador to the United States of America, serving from 2010 to 2016. The Honourable Kim Beazley AC was installed as the 33rd Governor of Western Australia in May 2018 and concluded his term on 30th June 2022.
“We are pleased to welcome Ms Janet Holmes à Court AC, and Peter Kennedy, as our ‘Call for Nomination’ Champions for 2022”.
As a 2011 inaugural WA Women’s Hall of Fame Inductee, and a woman known for her passion for the arts, we hope Ms Holmes à Court’s involvement will motivate more nominations from the arts sector. And Mr Kennedy, as a respected award-winning journalist, brings another voice to the acknowledgment of women’s achievements and the conversation of gender equality.
The WA Women’s Hall of Fame Committee thank them both for their support.
Ms Janet Holmes à Court AC
Janet Holmes à Court is owner of the Janet Holmes à Court Collection. She is Chair of the Australian Children’s Television Foundation (ACTF) and the Art Gallery of Western Australia (AGWA). She is a Board Member of the Australian National Academy of Music (ANAM) and the Australian Institute of Architects Foundation (AIAF). Janet is also a member of the Centenary Trust for Women Board of Advisors at the University of Western Australia, the State Buildings Advisory Board Western Australia and Commissioner for Australia for the Venice Architecture Biennale.
“As an inaugural inductee, I am very pleased to ‘Champion’ the WA Women’s Hall of Fame’s 2022 call for nominations. There are eight categories including the Arts, something about which I am passionate. Art in all its varied forms has the ability to influence society, to possibly change opinions, instil values, and connect communities. All elements exhibited through the 227 WA Women’s Hall of Fame inductees. It is important to recognise women’s achievements in all areas of community, so I encourage you to think about nominating a woman you know, particularly in the Arts. Let’s celebrate their achievements in 2022.”
Award winning political journalist Peter Kennedy has worked for The West Australian, The Sydney Morning Herald, as Chief of Staff at the Canberra Press gallery, and as Press Secretary to Deputy Premier Mal Bryce. He also presented the Morning and Drive Program’s on 720 6WF, before becoming the state political reporter for ABC TV, for 11years. Peter currently writes the Political Perspective column in Business News.
” Acknowledging the contribution that women have made throughout our vast State – whether in public life, the professions, service industries, sport, or less high-profile roles in isolated areas – is a vital function of the WA Women’s Hall of Fame. So is the example and inspiration that these women provide to others to also step up. When that happens, the community is the winner.”