Our 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.

Over the last 114 years, the club has seen many successes, championing, and petitioning causes from zebra crossings outside schools, women’s rights to sit on juries to changing laws allowing women to be elected to local councils.

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 grants program.

The Grants Program takes submission from the community and awards grants to organisations striving to make the lives of Brisbane women better. In the past, these grants have been awarded to charitable organisations trying to support women who need a helping hand.

The Club relies heavily on the revenue from memberships and events to provide the necessary support Brisbane women need, particularly, for their grants program.

In 2022, BWC obtained their charitable organisational status that will allow the Club to help more women and continue the grow our legacy in Brisbane.

For a full history of the Club, click here.

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

Patron: Her Excellency the Honourable Dr Jeannette Young PSM, Governor of Queensland www.govhouse.qld.gov.au
We are privileged to have Her Excellency the Honourable Dr Jeannette Young PSM,
Governor of Queensland as our Patron. Through this partnership, we hope to assist,
promote, encourage and recognise Brisbane women with an aim to improve their
lives and help them reach their full potential.

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.

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.

Rachael Hockaday - Director

My role is to help the club facilitate supporting women to become the best they can be no matter what stage of life they are in.

Being able to make a difference for Brisbane women and supporting them through professional development, networking opportunities or funding grants to improve their lives is what it is all about.

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.

Our Legacy

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.