Dianne Manning

BPW Australia President

1990 – 1992    BPWA – Vice President Internal Policy                           

Occupation:   Small Business Proprietor/Operator (computing)

Executive Management within the Non-Government sector (CEO Deafness Forum; ED Family Planning Australia)
Advocacy and Lobbying on behalf of people with disabilities

Clubs: 1989 Rankin, ACT and 1991 Blundell, ACT

International Conferences attended:

1993     BPWI Congress Nagoya, Japan

1993 BPWNZ Federation Conference - May

1994     BPWI Regional Meeting, Bangkok, Thailand

Number of Clubs:   86 


Working to strengthen BPWA itself:   There was a strong desire throughout both my term as Vice President Internal Policy and as President, to build BPWA into a stronger and even more vibrant organisation that it already was.  

  • Membership recruitment programs flourished, and quite a number of new clubs were chartered in my term including: Alice Springs; Darwin; Northern Rivers; Orange; Grafton; Kalgoorlie.
  • Together with my Executive and various sub-committees, constitutional amendments were drafted and presented to conference introducing major changes which would allow the organisation to evolve with the times and better meet the needs of the working woman.  One such change which did succeed at Conference was the introduction of membership at large.

Focus of Activities:

Equity in the Paid Workforce
Workplace Bargaining was introduced in this time and BPWA under my guidance directed a lot of effort into ensuring that women would not be disadvantaged by it. 
The focus in two directions :

  • on reaching women in the workforce and through our networks to raise their awareness of the opportunities and pitfalls and support them to make the most of this opportunity.
  • Lobbying and working with government and the business sector to ensure that women were not subject to any discrimination or disadvantage.
“Snakes & Ladders” – Why women should play the workplace bargaining game which was launched in April 1993 by Quentin Bryce (then former Sex discrimination Commissioner) in Newcastle. 
The aim of the book, commissioned by BPWA, was to demystify and explain the process of fixing wages and setting conditions, to show women how to participate and to provide them with a list of additional resources and people from whom they can obtain further support.
The booklet was an enormous success with two additional print runs over the initial one, and was used in some schools and TAFE colleges as well as being widely distributed throughout the BPW Club networks nationally.

Small Business Forums and Councils
Creating a high profile and giving a voice to women in business.

  • BPWA formally affiliated with the Council of Small Business Organisations of Australia in 1993 and I represented our organisation as a sitting member of that Council. From this position BPWA had a loud and well heard voice and was able to positively influence many decisions of COSBOA and its recommendations to the federal government.
  • Throughout my term BPWA and I, as its principal advocate, was welcomed and often consulted directly by the Minister for Small Business as that sector went through some major changes in that time.
  • A closer to home direct outcome of BPWA’s work on behalf of women in the small business sector came about through the work of my own Club, Blundell when I was President (overlapping my term as Federation President).  In 1992 The Blundell Club received a grant of $2,500 to set up a register of women in small business in the ACT.  And from this resulted the establishment and creation of the ACT Chamber of Women in Business in June 1993.

CAPOW! (Coalition of Australian Participating Organisations of Women) in 1992
Working with other women’s organisations to give women a more united and powerful voice.   In partnership with Ann Wentworth (Women’s Electoral Lobby) this was established.  The following is an extract from the Australian Women’s register about CAPOW.  CAPOW was the stepping stone to the formation of the National Women’s Alliances in 2000.

CAPOW! helped coordinate NGO forums to facilitate submissions to the federal government and the United Nations World Conference on Women in Beijing, (September 1995). It has since worked to follow up the commitments made by the Government and NGOs at Beijing, and continues to encourage women’s' NGOs to make submissions to the government.   By 1996 the CAPOW network linked more than sixty national women's organisations and served to improve information flow and coordination of advocacy in international as well as domestic spheres.

BPW Australia Board 1992 to 1994

President                                       Dianne Manning

Vice President External Policy         Shirley Marven           

Vice President Internal Policy          Linda Hall

Vice President Communications   Helen Brodie

Secretary                                     Liz Prideaux

Treasurer                               Ann Dunn

Finance Officer                          Annette Varnam         

ACT Division President  Edna Salt

NSW Division President      Jean Price

VIC Division President            Meryl Sexton

SA – Adelaide                           Robyn Duncan     (no SA President)

SA – Port Lincoln               Monica Murphy

WA Division President          Maureen Wright

QLD Division President        Elizabeth Craig-Holmes

TAS Division President         Di Boss-Walker

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.  

Please submit further information and photos to secretary@bpw.com.au

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