Margaret Timpson AM

1987-1990
BPW Australia President

Occupation:  Statistician, Australian Bureau of Statistics

'Under the leadership of Margaret Timpson, BPW Australia was very active in bringing to the attention of Government, business, unions and civil society the issues that affected women in the late 1980s.

In an address to the National Conference she stated that BPW Australia “speaks for the working women of Australia and that is all of them, no matter what class, what level of pay, what their profession is. We must also make sure that we are representing what is happening out there in the Community”


During the period 1987 to 1988 over 30 submissions were presented to the Federal Government that demonstrated that the views of BPW Australia were valued in the areas of employment, education and training, child abuse, women in business, women’s health, taxation and superannuation and small business, child care and ageing.

Press releases were issued on subjects such as:

  • Why Not a Woman for Cabinet
  • Loss of women to the Top Structure of the Commonwealth Services
  • BPW submission to the Fitzgerald Commission of Inquiry into possible Illegal activities and Associated Police Misconduct (Queensland)
  • Equal Pay

At the beginning of Margaret Timpson’s term of office a new structure was introduced for all three levels of BPW Australia at national, state and club. The structure created five roles of President, Vice Presidents for External Policy, Vice President Policy, Honorary Secretary and Honorary Treasurer. This structure was successful in having positions filled whereas the previous structure resulted in many positions being vacant.

BPW Australia Board 1987 to 1990

President                                       Margaret Timpson

Vice President Communications       Sharyn Cederman

Vice President, External Policy         Robyn Duncan

Vice President Internal Policy           Tessa Leedham

Honorary Secretary                         Pam Hahne

Honorary Treasurer                         Mary Callaway

Finance Officer                                 Leanne Screaigh

NSW Division President                     Coral Tame

VIC Division President                     Joan Heard

QLD Division President                     Joan Gowan

SA Division President                       Jenny Chillingworth

WA Division President                       Anne Walton

TAS Division President                     Carol Thomson

ACT Division President                     Elizabeth Grant


In 1994 a Park in Canberra was dedicated to Margaret Timpson's name in recognition of her contribution to the contemporary women's movement in Australia for many years.

Prior to her death in 1993, she was a statistician with the Australian Bureau of Statistics which is located near the park bearing her name. A plaque at the centre of the park records the official naming on 10 March 1994 by the then Chief Minister Rosemary Follett. 

Nearby is a boulder donated by the ACT Women's Consultative Council, on which is inscribed: "Margaret Timpson, AM (1941-1993), Inaugural ACT Woman of the Year 1990. An important inspiration to all women." 

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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