The City of Ryde is celebrating 100 years of women in local government with the unveiling of an honour board which recognises every woman who has served on Council.
A total of 17 women have served as Councillors for the City of Ryde, with Edna Wilde OAM the only woman to have served as Mayor, a role she held on three separate occasions between 1980-1982, 1999-2000 and 2002-2004.
Mrs Wilde OAM was present at the unveiling as well as current serving councillors, Clr Edwina Clifton and Clr Penny Pedersen.
Former deputy mayors, Lyn Langtry and Gabrielle O’Donnell, and former councillors Nicole Campbell and Roslyn Lunsford were also present.
City of Ryde Mayor, Jerome Laxale, said the honour board was a fitting tribute to the 17 women who had served as councillors.
“Each of the women listed on the honour board are trailblazers in their own right and I hope that this recognition will encourage other women to follow in their path,” Mayor Laxale said.
“At a time when we need more female representation at local government level, this honour board also underscores how much work has to be done to make this happen. Of the 312 councillors who have served on the City of Ryde and Eastwood councils since 1870, only 17 of those were women.
“It is for this very reason that the City of Ryde recently joined the Australian Local Government Women’s Association NSW to run forums and training designed to encourage more women to run for Council.”
Status of Women Advisory Committee Chair, Clr Pedersen, brought the motion to Council to install the honours board.
“Not only is this honour board a fitting way to celebrate 100 years of women in local government but also recognises the service these female councillors undertook for the City of Ryde,” Clr Pedersen said.
“Just over half of our population is female and right now just two women out of 12 councillors is certainly not representative of our community. A lot needs to change of course, but I hope this small gesture will help inspire other women to nominate for Council and serve their community.”
Clr Clifton added: “Hopefully recognition like this honour board will encourage more women to run for preselection and put their names on the ballot paper for this year’s elections.”
The honour board is located at Council’s Chambers.