100 years of women in local government celebrated

  • McGowan Government acknowledges 100 years of women in local government
  • Councillor Elizabeth Clapham was the first woman elected to local government in Western Australia for the Town of Cottesloe in 1920
  • This year is significant for women in local government as it marks 100 years since the first woman was elected to a local government in Western Australia.

    In 1920, Councillor Elizabeth Clapham was elected to the Town of Cottesloe and served one term on the council from 1920 to 1922.

    Elizabeth Clapham paved the way for Edith Cowan, the first woman to be elected to an Australian Parliament (WA) a year after.

    The 2019 local government elections saw an increase of 22 per cent of women councillors, and the State Government wants to ensure this positive trend continues.

    A key priority for the State Government is women in leadership and increased rates of women in elected positions in State and local governments.

    Local Government Minister David Templeman spoke at an event organised by the Australian Local Government Women’s Association – Western Australian Branch in Cottesloe which marked the occasion.

    As stated by Local Government Minister David Templeman:

    “Councillor Elizabeth Clapham is considered a pioneer woman in government, being the first woman elected to any tier of local government in Western Australia.

    “As Minister, I am committed to having more women on council and in administration.

    “Local governments need to ensure gender inclusive approaches to work continue and councils should aim to be more gender balanced and representative of our community.

    “Elizabeth Clapham is a great role model for women in WA and it is wonderful that we can finally give her the recognition she deserves today.”

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