« February 2020 »

Upcoming Events

Welcome to the Western Australian Branch of ALGWA

From the President:

As we turn the page on another year in Local Government, and launch headlong into the 2020’s, it brings also an important milestone for Women in Local Government. This year we are to celebrate 100 years since the first woman was elected to Local Government, or to any tier of Local Government for that matter.

First Woman elected to Local Government

Councillor Elizabeth Clapham was the first woman elected to Local Government in 1920 and served one term at the Town of Cottesloe from 1920 – 1922. The amendment of the Municipal Corporations Act to remove the words ‘no female’ from the list of persons excluded from becoming municipal councilors allowed this to happen. Equally as important to mention that in 1926 she also became the first women Inspector of Factories; she was a delegate to the International Women’s Suffrage Alliance Congress in Rome in 1923 and represented the Women’s Service Guild at a conference of the British Commonwealth League in London in 1931.

Elizabeth returned to London after her husband’s death in 1926, after spending 20 active and important years in our state. Cr Clapham was the first woman elected to any tier of government, with Edith Cowan elected to state government, the year following, in 1921.


We ask that you stay tuned for our first event announcement to celebrate this achievement and we ask that you can save the date for March 20. Location and details will be out soon. We are hoping to celebrate often in 2020 and urge you all to come to an event. It would be wonderful of anyone would like to host a satellite networking event to celebrate this in her honor, in their city, town or shire also. Also, if anyone has any additional information regarding Cr Clapham, we would welcome it.

Local Government Election Results

Not long after our AGM saw the elections for local Government occur, which was a time where those on the committee were focused on their own campaigns and we also saw an increase in the number of female candidates step up. We have gained data from the Department of Local Government, Sport and Cultural Industries that of all the candidates at this recent election, 41% of them were women. After the election, WA saw an increase of 22% of women councilors and our state is currently ranked second overall for the ration of women to men Councilors. The Shire of Dundas have 5 out of 6 Councilors that are women.

National News

Nationally there is a lot going on. Our counterparts in the East Coast are all recovering from the horrific fires that have besieged them since November last year. It seems that fires have been playing havoc in every state and it’s important to support everyone affected however we can.

National President Marianne Saliba and Mayor of Shoalhaven, NSW had this to say,

‘It has been a very sobering festive season particularly in eastern NSW, and whilst the fires are mostly out councils are focusing on rebuilding and getting the work done to get people home. Our Councils truly love to see the amount of councils supporting those that have been affected.”

Local events

I’ll sign off for now with a mention of some satellite events that we have been conducting here in the Metro area. We have held 2 Satellite events since elections where we held informal brunches in metropolitan areas. Our aims here was to raise awareness of the Association, increase membership and meet with women. We successfully connected with about 8 women and it is our vision to do this regionally as well. If you want to hold an event please contact algwawa@outlook.com.au and let us know.

Stay safe, stay tuned and spread the word to other women. We want more women involved across the sector, not only elected members. 2020 is an important year for women in Local government and we want you to be a member so that you can share in some of the exciting things that are coming up.



      Cr Karen Wheatland
      President, ALGWA WA 2019






Upcoming Events:

ALGWA WA invites you to an International Womens Day Morning Tea at the City of Cockburn

Friday March 6th 


Register here: http://events.ticketbooth.com.au/event/iwd2020



Stay tuned for another ALGWA WA networking event coming soon!