Women singled out for new award

Minister for Regional Development, Territories and Local Government, Dr John McVeigh, used the National Awards for Excellence in Local Government gala dinner to announce a new national award that will encourage more women in local government.

“The ‘Grace Benny Award’ will be added to the national local government awards from next year to coincide with the centenary of the first woman elected to any level of government in Australia—Grace Benny who was elected to the Brighton Council in South Australia in 1919,” Dr McVeigh said.

Dr McVeigh said he was delighted to announce the Grace Benny Award which had been proposed to him by the Australian Local Government Women’s Association (ALGWA).

“Meeting with ALGWA national president Coral Ross and ALGWA New South Wales  president Marianne Saliba, we agreed to announce this award to recognise and support councils in their efforts to get more women involved in local government,” Dr McVeigh said.

Cr Ross said this was a great step in encouraging more women to get involved in local government and recognise the great work being done by councils.

“We welcome the support of the Minister for this important award and look forward to seeing plenty of nominations next year in this new category.”

Dr McVeigh said the Grace Benny Award would be open to all councils that encouraged more female councillors and also more female staff in all areas of council services and operations.