About NCWA

Representing the voices of women in Australia

Key Priority | History & Purpose | NCWA Constitution 

Equity and security for all in Australia.

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 commenced 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.
Photo: NCWA Delegates at 2022 ICW-CIF Conference in Avignon, France.

Our key priority

NCWA is focused on the National Plan to End Violence against Women and Children 2022-2032. Our commitment to ending all forms of gender-based violence.

NCWA's key priority - National Plan to End Violence against Women and Children 2022-2032
NCWA Priority

National Plan to End Violence against Women and Children 2022-2032 [Key NCWA Priority]

This document drafts NCWA’s commitment to ending all forms of gender-based violence. “Everyone has the right to safety. Addressing all forms of gender-based violence, including domestic, family and sexual violence, must be a priority for all Australians to achieve our shared vision of a community free of violence against women and children.” – Summit Delegates’ Statement, September 2021

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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

NCWA Presidents Period
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 – 2021
2021 –

History and Purpose

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

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.

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.

NCWA Constitution

NCWA Objects:

  • Work for the empowerment and the advancement of women and families
  • Link the Constituent Councils of Women in Australia
  • Develop national policies and responses on behalf of women on an Australia-wide basis
  • Act as a voice on issues and concerns of women and families at National and International levels
  • LED Maintain an affiliation with the International Council of Women and work for the implementation of its plans of action and policies
  • Work for peaceful settlement of disputes by diplomacy, facilitation, mediation, conciliation and arbitration


Download NCWA Constitution