Women in local government recognised

Acknowledged last week for their contribution to local government for the centenary of women’s involvement in local government were some of the 10 Mansfield women who have served as councillors for the Mansfield Shire, including (back, from left) Kammy Cordner-Hunt, Matt Mahoney representing his mother Lyn, and Tony Browne representing his mother Sheba; (front) Barb Jones, Marg Attley, Jessica Graves and Zaldah Kirley.

AT the Australia Day Awards ceremony last week, another ceremony was conducted.

Late last year, the Australian Local Government Women’s Association (ALGWA) acknowledged the centenary of women’s involvement in local government.

Prior to 1914, women were forbidden to take part thanks to an offensive clause of the Municipal Institutions Amendment Act (1863), which stated that “no female, no uncertified bankrupt or insolvent, no person attained of treason or convicted of felony or perjury or any infamous crime, no person of unsound mind and no person not qualified as herein required shall be capable of being or continuing a member of the council of any borough”.

In 1914, a law was passed that allowed women to take part in local government activities in Victoria.

Through these changes to the Local Government Act, women had the right to vote and the right to stand.

Over the century, Mansfield has had its share of women who have stood and been elected to our shire as councillors.

Since 1974 some 10 women have served the Mansfield Shire in this capacity.

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