Hilda Chandler 

1947 - 1950
BPW Australia Founder President

1950-1956     BPW International 1st Vice President

1960              First General Secretary of the Australia Federation

Hilda Chandler (dec.) had been President of the BPW Melbourne Club and became the Inaugural President of the Australian Federation. 

At the first National Conference held in Melbourne on 4-6 October 1947, Hilda Chandler proposed a resolution that passed for women to work for the rate for the job and not for the sex.


Under Hilda’s Presidency a number of resolutions passed at the first National BPW Conference in Melbourne:

Women as Delegates to the United Nations and UNESCO

That the Government be urged to appoint qualified women as delegates to the United Nations in order to ensure that those problems which are vital to women will be considered BY women, also to press for more women representatives on the Councils of the UN and UNESCO to which women can make a special contribution. To cooperate with the UN, wherever possible.

Food for Britain – larger shipments of food to help with the shortage post WW2

That representations should be made to the proper authorities requesting that reductions should be made in the postage payable on food parcels to Great Britain. That every effort should be made to ensure that larger shipments of essential foods be sent to Great Britain.

Appointment of Women at Australia House

That women be appointed to the Immigration Section of Australia House, London, and that they have an up-to-date knowledge of Immigration affairs and conditions in all States of Australia.

Women on Juries

That women should be eligible for service on juries in all States of the Commonwealth, and that their rates of pay should be equal to male jurors.

Associate Groups

(a)   Improved Conditions for Mothers – for working mothers with children

(b)   Australian Liaison Committee of Women’s Organisations





Hilda Chandler was elected 1st Vice President of the BPW International Federation from 1950 to 1956 and in 1960 Hilda became the first General Secretary of the BPW Australia Federation.

The First Board of BPW Australia 1947 to 1950

President                Hilda Chandler

Vice Presidents        Dr Edna Nelson replaced by Dr Nell MacMahon,

                             Lady Cilento replaced by Una Prentice,

                             Miss M Battye, Dr. C .Walch

Hon. Treasurer         Miss M. Chisholm

Hon. Secretary         Audrey Turner

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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