THE Welsford 1 and 2 boardrooms at Greater Shepparton City Council offices have taken on new names in recognition of two significant women of the region, the first female councillor, Alice McLeod (dec) and the region’s first female town clerk (CEO), Patricia Smith (Gibson) OAM.
Aptly announced on International Women’s Day last week, the idea to rename the rooms came from council’s Gender Equity Strategy and Action Plan.
Patricia said, “I would like to thank council and the committee for this. To be recognised in this way is wonderful.
“I’d like to thank and pay tribute to those people who kept me going as town clerk.”
First born son of Alice, David McLeod said, “This is a very significant moment.
“On behalf of my family I’d like to say thank you. We value this greatly.
“This shows that we are progressing and it’s a good path to be on.”
Alice Bessie McLeod (1921-2001) became the first woman councillor in the 115-year history of the Shire of Shepparton in 1969, when she was elected to the Kialla Riding. This was at a time when women’s participation in the three levels of government was not representative of the population.
Patricia Margaret Smith (Gibson), OAM was the first woman in Victoria to hold the top position in local government. Pat was appointed town clerk (this would equate to the current position of chief executive officer) for the City of Shepparton in 1976, a position she held until 1981 when she retired.