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Women leading change

Thursday, 08 March 2012

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The CEO of a local Perth council has used her speech at ECU on International Women’s Day to encourage women to support each other to change male-dominated industries.

The Shire of Peppermint Grove Chief Executive Officer, Anne Banks-McAllister, delivered the fifth annual Edith Cowan Memorial Lecture at the Mount Lawley Campus.

She referred to local government as a “boys club”, despite strong female representation from leaders such as Lord Mayor Lisa Scafidi. The world of local government was still very much a male dominated industry, she said.

“Although 30 per cent of our councillors are women, there is still very little done to change the entrenched values and culture," Mrs Banks-McAllister said.

Mrs Banks-McAllister shared stories of her life in local government from her time with both the City of Nedlands and the City of Melville.

She also urged women to be the masters of their own destiny and work to enforce change through helping each other.

“To quote Madeline Albright – there is a place in hell for women who don’t help other women,” she said.

Mrs Banks McAllister credited her own success to a lifelong commitment to education and encouraged other women to do the same.

“When you educate a boy you educate an individual, but when you educate a woman you educate an entire community,” she said.

Mrs Banks-McAllister established the Perth Chapter of UN Women in 2008 and has been its chair since that date and currently serves on the National Board of UN Women Australia.

In 2011 she chaired the state-wide celebrations for the WA Centenary of International Women’s Day which included the establishment of the WA Women’s Hall of Fame, of which ECU Pro -Vice-Chancellor (Equity and Indigenous) Professor Colleen Hayward was elected this morning.

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