Women's History Month: Celebrating Australian female trailblazers

To mark Women’s History Month, where countries around the world, including Australia, pay tribute to the women who’ve changed the country and the world for the better Women on Boards is celebrating the lives of trailblazing Australian females, past and present, starting with CWA NSW founder Grace Munro.

This year NSW Country Women’s Association celebrates its centenary. To kick off our Women’s History Month series, WOB is paying tribute to its founder, women's activist Grace Munro (​1897-1964).

Grace trained as a sister of St John of Jerusalem and worked with the Red Cross during the First World War. After the war, Grace lectured for the St John order and organised first aid classes in country areas. She became the first woman to serve on a hospital board in rural New South Wales.

She became the CWA of NSW's first president in 1922 and believed a better life for country women could be provided ‘for women, through women and by women’ – now part of the CWA motto. She insisted the association was to be non-political with the aim of improving living conditions and amenities and health care facilities for women and children in rural areas. 

After her appointment, Grace travelled around NSW and Queensland mobilising an army of women and forming new branches of the association. 

“These women were initiators, fighters and lobbyists, who were passionate about making rural and regional NSW better for those who lived there,” says current CWA of NSW President, Stephanie Stanhope.

Read Grace's story in full HERE.

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