Our Modern-Day Story

Brisbane Women’s Club (BWC) was founded in 1908 by Margaret Ogg to make Brisbane a better place for women to live and work. Since 1908 the Club has been a champion for change in our community to support and improve the lives of local women.

Today, BWC continues to support Brisbane women by funding a range of organisations, projects and events that unite, uplift and uphold women to achieve their potential.

BWC run a series of both professional and fundraising events throughout the year as well as a charitable giving program, including our legacy of giving grants, donations and financial contributions to key Brisbane charities aligned with our values and charitable objectives.

Members of BWC join a passionate group of people wanting to support local women; and enjoy themselves along the way.  We love it when you bring your friends and share the power of our Club and what we can achieve together.

Our History

One of the oldest women’s clubs in Queensland, Brisbane Women’s Club was formed in 1908 under the sponsorship of the Queensland Women’s Electoral League. Originally called the Women’s Progressive Club, the name was changed to The Brisbane Women’s Club in May 1912 and shortened to Brisbane Women’s Club in 2008.  Brisbane Women’s Club was founded by Margaret Ogg, an extraordinary woman with a passion to improve the lives of Queensland women.

The founding objectives of the club were to provide a social centre for women workers in the cause of reform and to encourage free discussion on subjects of public importance, including social, political and municipal matters.  The club lobbied the Brisbane City Council and the State Government for the betterment of the community and supported the establishment of Women’s College at the University of Queensland. In an effort to improve the life of rural women, the club was instrumental in the establishment of the Queensland Country Women’s Association in 1922 and the Bush Book Club in 1921.

The club sponsored such reforms as:

  • waiting sheds for tram passengers
  • numbering tram stops
  • name plates on trees in the Botanical Gardens
  • dating milk bottles
  • erecting a shelter shed on North Quay
  • installing traffic lights at busy intersections
  • the supply of milk for school children
  • zebra crossings outside schools
  • better street lighting
  • equal pay for women
  • the removal of the double standard in divorce laws
  • the right of women to sit on juries
  • the establishment of baby clinics
  • changes to laws that would allow women to be elected to local councils and to sit on governing boards
  • the introduction of domestic science for schoolgirls into the Queensland school curriculum

Brisbane Women’s Club celebrated its centenary in 2008 and continues to support and improve the lives of local Brisbane women today.

Our Patron

Her Excellency the Honourable Dr Jeannette Young AC PSM, Governor of Queensland accepted an invitation to act as Patron of Brisbane Women’s Club in early 2022, with such patronage remaining in place for the duration of Her Excellency’s term in office.

Her Excellency was sworn-in as the 27th Governor of Queensland on 1 November 2021, for more information, view her biography here.

Brisbane Women’s Club Chair Leah Gabriel said it was a great privilege to have the endorsement and support of Her Excellency as Patron of our Club.  “We thank Her Excellency for her leadership and profile in promoting women in Brisbane and more broadly Queensland; and that through this partnership we hope to assist, promote, encourage and recognise all Brisbane women to continue to make Brisbane a better place for women to live and work.”

Our Board

We are proud of the BWC Board of Directors, a group of like-minded women working towards making Brisbane the best it can be for women to live, work and prosper.

With a wide range of expertise, skills, and life experience, they lead the club in passionate pursuit of making a difference by uniting, uplifting, and upholding Brisbane women.

Each board member brings the necessary skills and experience to the BWC Board to run operations and oversight its governance requirements. Currently the Board holds a mixture of qualifications (including commerce, accounting, law, arts, governance) and diverse experience (including small business, government and private corporations, educational institutions and consulting across a variety of industries).

The Board oversees the management and investment of club funds that underpin BWC’s operations and philanthropic activities.

Leah Gabriel

Chair of BWC Board

My role is to keep bringing exciting opportunities for supporting Brisbane women to the BWC community; and to support individual Board members lead change according to our strategic goals.
I am excited about building the BWC legacy and creating a community where influential women of Brisbane can support other women for change.

Olga Chaourova

Director of BWC Charitable Giving Program

In my role, I ensure we support women by raising funds that are distributed to projects and organisations that benefit our community and the women of Brisbane that need our help the most.
I feel honoured to be the Charitable Grants Director, which allows me to support local women to my best ability, contribute to their well-being and a brighter future.

Jacqui Schultz

Director of Events

My role should be called Director of Fun! I organise amazing events that allow women to come together to celebrate, collaborate, network, fundraise and support those who need it most.
I love harnessing the power of the collective – where Brisbane women can come together and support other Brisbane women – socially, professionally, and personally.

Ursula South

Director of Finance

My role is to work with the Board to ensure we adhere to our financial governance requirements and to contribute to the decision making for event funding and the grant payments.
I am passionate about supporting women in their professional lives by sharing my experiences and learning from theirs. I am delighted to be in a club that supports women through awareness, events, grants and donations.

Rachael Pimm

Director of BWC Membership

My role is to support our wonderful members, to lead improvements and change that make our Club the one to join, as well as supporting the overall BWC goals and vision.
I’m passionate about making the Brisbane Women’s Club the best it can be, to support women and help them achieve their goals.

Liyan Tay

Director of Finance

I provide strategic and financial guidance and oversee the BWC's financial matters.
I am excited to be amongst other passionate board members who are committed to improving the lives of women.
Whether we serve, support, donate, become a member or attend events, together we can all play a part in making a great change.

Our Governance

Brisbane Women’s Club (BWC) is a public company limited by guarantee and registered with Australian Securities and Investment Commission (ASIC).

BWC is governed by a Constitution. Our Constitution guides BWC to achieve the following charitable objectives:

  • Exercise leadership around issues affecting women;
  • Support projects and organisations aimed at improving the lives of women;
  • Mentor and guide women to achieve equal participation in social, cultural, economic and political arenas of Australian life; and
  • Create events and activities which benefit women.

Our Constitution can be found here.

BWC is a registered charity with the Australian Charities and Not for Profits Commission (ACNC), proudly displaying our ‘charity tick’ of approval.

BWC is registered with the Queensland Office of Fair Trading, Department of Justice and Attorney General and holds a Certificate of Sanction for an Indefinite Term allowing BWC to conduct appeals for support ie collecting donations.

We produce an Annual Report which is lodged with ACNC and available to anyone via the ACNC website.  Our most recent Annual Reports can be found here:

  • FY2021
  • FY2020
  • FY2019 and
  • other past reports are available on the ACNC Charity Portal for public access.

The BWC Board endorses regular auditing of our financial accounts by an independent chartered accountant. The BWC financial year ends 30 June each year.

BWC maintains Association, Voluntary Workers and Public Liability insurance; which is renewed annually to reflect our activities, membership and volunteer participation.

BWC membership is open to all (including anyone who aligns with our values, supports our objectives and pays their membership fee).  Membership fees contribute to the BWC Charitable Giving Program and administration costs of running a membership organisation with a social events program.