Norma Ford

1976 - 1978
BPW Australia President

1976 - 1978  BPWA President

Club: BPW Melbourne North West

Occupation: Lawyer and Barrister

Norma Ford joined the Bar in 1951 and was one of the first women barristers to practice in areas other than matrimonial law. 

Norma commented “Being at the Bar was a very pleasant and satisfying experience for me. It was period in my life. I felt quite included and accepted by barristers and judges”. 

As BPW National President Norma Ford was dedicated to achieving equal rights in all  aspects for women and girls and in particular education. As National President she served on numerous Victoria and National Education Boards and Commissions.

As a BPW Member and President, Norma was given the opportunity to represent BPW and women in general on many national committees, some of which are represented below:

  • Member of the Victorian Equal Opportunity Board
  • Member of the Premier's Advisory Committee on Equal Opportunity
  • Chair of Equal Opportunity Conference in the La Trobe Valley
  • Member Premier's Advisory Committee on Women's Affairs
  • Chairperson of the National Status of Women Committee  
  • Member of the Victorian Post-Secondary Education Commission and of the Tertiary Education Commission Advanced Education Council
  • Chairman of the Councils of two Colleges of Advanced Education
  • Chairperson of the Regional TAFE Board
  • Human Rights Commission spokesperson as the Conference on Human Rights at the University of New South Wales
  • Chaired committee of the Human Rights Commission which made the primary assessment of the second round of applications for the Community Education Grants offered by the Commission in 1985-86
  • Chairperson of the National Status of Women Committee


Norma was awarded the Victorian Supreme Court Prize.

Photo taken of Norma Ford being interviewed by Kim Rubenstein for the Trailblazing Women and the Law
Oral History Project (Photo by Kim Rubenstein)

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

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