Maria Doolan

BPW Australia President

1988-1992      BPW NSW State President

Committee Member BPWI Finance Committee

Occupation:  Banker

Clubs: BPW Woy Woy

International Conferences Attended:

1985 Australian Young Career Woman – IFBPW New Zealand

1989 Soviet Women’s Committee, Moscow

1989 Asian Pacific Forum, Tashkent

1993 United Nations Industrial Development Organisation, Regional Conference, Nepal

1995 Commission on the Status of Women, UN, New York, USA

1995 4th World Women’s Congress, Beijing, China

1996 BPW International Congress – Venice, Italy

1991 BPW International Congress, Nairobi

No of Clubs: 80 


At the 29th Federation Conference held in Hobart on 13th to 16th September 1996 President Maria Doolan reported on the matters during her Presidency:

  • The work that had taken place in setting up the operational foundations for the organisation
  • The work progressing to further improve communications with every State and Club
  • The need for the organisation to be financially independent and the work done in the last two years
  • The International Program over the last two years including the preparatory work for Beijing, the 4th World Women’s Conference in 1995 and the International Conference in Venice Italy
  • The need for every member to be able to clearly articulate our Vision
  • Preparing a 5 year Business Plan for the organisation
  • The continued work on mentoring programs, the near completion of the Mentoring book, the leadership seminars and the women in politics seminars that have been held and being run again in some areas.
  • A real achievement of the term in office was the Resource Kit which was designed and produced by Vice President Internal Policy, Susan Jones, to be something that can continually be updated. Something that can be passed on from one club executive to another and something that can even further developed over time to provide the tool the clubs need.
  • In her term of office the first series of seminars "Women in Politics" was held and there were 22 seminars held on the same day throughout Australia.


  • The National financial position was very poor and had to be corrected.
  • There were major issues at the International level, where BPW US had not paid fees, and was refusing to pay fees to the International body
  • Membership needed to be revitalised.
  • BPW at State level and National level  needed to increase its presence with Government

Issues at the time:

  • Pay Equity
  • Lack of representation on decision making bodies e.g. Boards
  • Breaking the glass ceiling – mentoring project was in response to this issue
  • Women’s financial independence

BPW Australia Board 1994 to 1996

President               Maria Doolan

Vice President External Policy Ella Keenan

Vice President Internal Policy Susan Jones

Vice President Communications Maureen Wright

Honorary Secretary     Jan Evans

Treasurer           Ann Dunn

Finance Officer Beverley Roberts

ACT Division President     Maura O’Brien

NSW Division President       Pamela Lawrence

NT Division President Susan Watt

QLD Division President                       Margaret Monteith

SA Division President                         Coralie Pridmore

TAS Division President                       Dianne Boss-Walker

VIC Division President            Judith van Unen

WA Division President            Maidie Brockman

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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