National Council of Women Australia

Representing the voices of women in Australia

Encouraging the participation of all Australian women

Working for the advancement of women and girls

Advocating equality for all Australian women

Working for improved conditions for women and their families

Making a difference for over 125 years

NCWA is a national non-government umbrella organisation with broadly humanitarian and educational objectives, which seeks to raise the awareness of women and girls to their rights and responsibilities as citizens and to encourage the participation of women in all aspects of community life.

NCWA works with, and across all sectors, to identify and bring about change to ensure that there is equity and security for all in Australia.

For over 125 years National Council members have been making a difference in Australia. NCW New South Wales was started in 1896. With our roots in the anti-slavery movement, it wasn’t just about ‘getting the vote’ for women, it is about achieving equity and security across all endeavours that encompass life in Australia.

Alice Frances Mabel (May) Moss was the first elected President of the National Council of Women of Australia from 1931–36.
Source: Stirrers with Style


May Moss                                  1931 – 1936

Adelaide Miethke                  1936 – 1942

Ruby Board                               1942 -1944

Elsie Blyth                                1945 – 1948

Ivy Brookes                              1948 – 1952

Ruth Gibson                             1953 – 1956

Thelma Metcalfe                   1957 – 1960

Dorothy Edwards                  1960 – 1964

Anne Hamilton                       1964 – 1967

Ada Norris                                1967 – 1970

Jessie Scotford                        1970 -1973

 Joyce McConnell                    1973 – 1976

Margaret Davey                      1976 – 1979

Laurel Mcintosh                     1979 – 1982

Diane Alley                                1982 – 1985

Necia Mocatta                          1985 – 1988

Maureen Giddings                  1988 -1991

 Yvonne Bain                              1991 – 1994

 Gwen Roderick                         1994 – 1997

 Gracia Baylor                            1997 – 2000

Judith Parker                             2000 -2003

 Leonie Christopherson          2003-2006

 Hean Bee Wee                            2006 – 2009

Margaret Findlater-Smith  2009 – 2012

 Julie Morris                                2012 – 2015

 Barbara Baikie                          2015 – 2018

Robyn Nolan                              2018 –
































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































Our history & purpose

Australia was one of the earliest countries to join the International Council of Women (ICW-CIF), the world’s oldest international women’s organisation. NCWA is a member of the Asia Pacific Regional Council of ICW-CIF.

NCWA links National Council of Women groups across Australia, each with diverse affiliates, in a federal structure and provides a forum for considered debate on policy matters brought forward by the constituent Councils. NCWA also accept National Affiliates – subject to meeting eligibility criteria.

Singly, and in alliances, NCWA works for improved conditions for women and their families, especially the most vulnerable.

In the ACT, New South Wales, Queensland, South Australia, Tasmania, Victoria and Western Australia, members maintain an active program of seminars, conferences, consultations, submissions, publications, advocacy and activism.

NCWA tried to identify the structural impediments to equity and security and then work to address those issues.

Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world; indeed, it’s the only thing that ever has.
– Margaret Mead

What’s different about NCWA?

National Council of Women of Australia does not fund raise but it does advocate for policy changes to improve the lives of women at all levels – local, state, national and international.

NCWA writes submissions to government on issues affecting women, meets with Members of Parliament and participates in government working groups. At the international level it advocates through the International Council of women.

NCWA has appeared at the UN for the Convention of discrimination against all women (CEDAW) review and at the Commission on the Status of Women (CSW). This is the principal global intergovernmental body exclusively dedicated to the promotion of gender equality and the empowerment of women.

NCWA Delegates at conference.
Photo credit: Barbie Robinson, Writing with Light.

Contact the NCWA

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National office

For information about National activities or for general information about the National Council of Women you are welcome to contact the National office


Or write to us at:

NCWA Secretariat
PO Box 389

Visit our office

(by appointment only)

Victoria Street


No woman or girl, nor indeed any human being, is a ‘good’ or chattel of another human being and should never be denied their basic and fundamental human rights.