Lady Mary Thomson OBE

1953 - 1955 
BPW Australia President

1951 BPW Brisbane Club President
1951-1953 BPW Australia Senior Vice President
1962-1965 Member of Employment Conditions Committee

Elected as Miss Mary Kennedy.  At the 6th National Conference held in Newcastle, NSW in1954, NSW Bessie Sweetland of Newcastle and Jean Arnot of Sydney, addressed the Conference on the present status of women, asking why Australian women in business, professional and political life appeared to have come so far and no further. 


The Conference urged the Commonwealth Government to hasten the ratification of the Convention on the Political Rights of Women and again was asked to introduce uniform divorce legislation without sex discrimination.

An important resolution passed at the Conference was that consideration be given to the establishment of a fare pool for Federation Representatives attending the Conference.

At the 1955 BPW Australian National Conference the decision was made that the case for equal pay for equal work be perused with renewed vigour, as well as part time work for people in advancing years.

Mary Thomson was a Delegate to the Australian Citizenship Convention in Canberra 25-28 January 1955.

Sir Evan and Lady Mary Thomson are honoured by having a number of facilities in Brisbane named after them.

1953 to 1955 BPW Australia Board

President           Mary Kennedy

Immediate Past President Jean Randall

Hon Secretary         Elizabeth Rae

Hon Treasurer Deva Levy

Vice Presidents Helen Kennedy, Miss L Prout, Elsie Brooks, Miss Morris-Miller, Marjorie Mulvey, Cora Nicholls

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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