Beverley Perel

BPW Australia President

BPW International:  
UNIFEM Representative

1982 -1985   BPW International - International Affairs Committee

1980 – 1982     BPW Australia Hon Treasurer

Occupation:    Executive Officer Institution of Surveyors
                Secretary St John’s College, University of Queensland

Clubs BPW Bathurst 1968 and BPW Brisbane 1969  
Positions:  President, Secretary, Treasurer, Finance Officer

No of Clubs:  120 


BPW Australia being invited, by the Prime Minister, to join the National Women’s Consultative Council, and the opportunities that opened to receiving accurate national information which was directed to Clubs. President Bev served two terms over four years.

  • Urged members to take on leadership positions, within BPW or in their personal workforce.
  • Past President Vera Eagle and President Bev Perel produced a History of Clubs in BPW Australia which was written to coincide with the end of the International Women’s Decade 1975 – 1985


  • Urging Clubs and members  to become interested in and involved in National issues, Child Care policies, higher  education options for girls, international aid issues. Domestic Violence was an emerging issue.  
  • As President, presented a paper at the Bob Hawke National Tax Summit. BPW Australia raised the issue of guaranteed superannuation for women.
  • Increasing BPW Club membership.

UNIFEM Australia (UN Business Women)

Beverley Perel was the founder of UNIFEM Australia in 1990.

In Brisbane in 1988, she hosted a number of functions at the UN Pavilion to showcase the various functions and work of different UN organisations. At one such event, Ms Bernice Lee, the guest speaker from the UN and the Commonwealth section of the Australian International Development Assistance Bureau (AIDAB), urged women at the gathering to consider establishing a national committee for UNIFEM in Australia.

In June 1990, Beverley Perel wrote to all national women’s organisations in Australia seeking their support for and commitment to the establishment of an Australian UNIFEM National Committee. With much deliberation and hard work, UNIFEM Australia was officially established in September 1990, following Norway, Belgium, Denmark, Sweden, United Kingdom and the United States.

What were the key issues of the day from a BPW perspective?

  • Always increasing membership   
  • Urging members to take on leadership positions
  • Working with the Federal Government to get women on Boards

International Conferences/Board Meetings attended

  • Board Meeting in Hong Kong, 1982
  • XVI Congress Washington 1983
  • Led  a delegation of members to Bangladesh 1984
  • Board Meeting in Nairobi,1995
Attended the End of Decade for Women Conference at the United Nations in New York in 2000

BPW Australia Board 1987 to 1990

President       Beverly Perel

Secretary     Mavis Wynne               (BPW Benalla)

Treasurer           Margaret Marchbank   (BPW Warracknabeal)

Vice President     Val Buswell       (BPW Ryde)

Vice President     Isabelle Jenner           (BPW Toowoomba)

Finance Officer   Mary Kyd                     (BPW Northern Rivers)

Past President     Vera Eagle                  (BPW North Sydney)

Thank you to the women behind the BPW Australia Past President History Project:
Project Leader, Past President Marilyn Forsythe (2007-2013), 
Past President Kay Morrison (2004-2007), Margaret Tipper, BPWA Executive Secretary (2016+), Robyn Duncan (BPWA Public Officer), Trish Clifford (BPW Central Coast) and Jean Murray (Immediate Past BPWA Executive Secretary) for their assistance and research.  The Past President History will continue to expand as information becomes available about the National Presidents since 1947.  

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