- Professional Association, Lobby group and Women's Rights Organisation
- Alternative Names
- Business and Professional Women's Club of Melbourne
The Business and Professional Women's Club of Melbourne was founded in 1925 - the first such Club in Australia. Miss Nellie C Martyn, Managing Director of the Steel Company of Australia (later to become BHP Billiton) was elected Inaugural President. Membership was open to women holding a responsible position in professional, business, industrial or educational organisation, and to women giving distinguished service to the community. The initial purpose of the Club was to 'give business and professional women the opportunity to meet in a friendly way and discuss questions of general interest to the community. Its more specific aims were soon defined as:
a) to develop a wider acquaintance between members of the community and to facilitate the exchange of ideas
b) to secure the recognition of the value to the community of women's work and service
c) to obtain the active interest of women in the civic, social, political and moral welfare of the community.
It was explicitly founded to provide a space for (largely elite) women's networking, and to work for their professional interests.
Subsequently it devoted itself more specifically to issues relating to the status of women, particularly in employment.
The Club continues to work to elevate the status of women generally, remove discrimination and to present the views of business and professional women to government. It still also operates to provide a space for women's networking.