WLWA was founded in 1982 by a group of women, including our former patron, Antoinette (Toni) Kennedy AO, former Chief Judge of the District Court. The members of the inaugural WLWA committee were:

  • Vivien Payne (1st President);
  • Her Honour Antoinette (Toni) Kennedy AO (1st Vice President);
  • The Hon. Justice Diana Bryant SC (1st Secretary);
  • Anne Payne, daughter of Vivien Payne (1st Treasurer);
  • The Hon. Dr Christine Wheeler AO QC;
  • Rhonda Griffiths;
  • Kim Rooney; and
  • Becky Vidler.

Since then WLWA has actively lobbied for and achieved a number of changes in the legal profession, such as the introduction of flexible work practices, the inclusion of sexual harassment as a breach of the professional conduct rules, consultations with the State Government and the Chief Justice concerning appointments of Judges and Senior Counsel and the introduction of a model briefing policy to promote equal opportunities in briefing practices.

WLWA's current Patron is the Honourable Justice Janine Pritchard, of the Supreme Court of Western Australia.

WLWA inducted into WA Women's Hall of Fame

On Wednesday, 6 March 2013 Women Lawyers of Western Australia was acknowledged by the Western Australian Western Australian Women's Hall of Fame (along with 82 other women's groups) at a ceremony at Government House. At that same ceremony, a booklet "Women's Business: Mapping Women's Groups in Western Australia" was launched.

For an electronic copy of the booklet, which includes information about WLWA and many other women's groups, click HERE.

A copy of the certificate from the WA Women's Hall of Fame acknowledging our contribution to the Western Australian Community is available HERE.


Collating our History Project 

There is a rich history of women in the law in Western Australia. However, to date there are few resources available to people with an interest in the history of Western Australian women and the law.

WLWA hopes to go some way to rectifying this gap in knowledge by providing an opportunity to collect together, on this website, any written or other materials on the history of women and the law in Western Australia.

We intend the material we collect to be available to all those who have an interest in accessing it, including students. We hope to develop this site and the material available in the future to reflect the diverse experiences of women in the law in WA.

As a start we hope to shortly provide a bibliography of available material on women and the law in WA, as well as a brief overview of the history of WLWA itself.

Please contact us at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. if you have any comments or suggestions for material to be included.

You may also be interested in the Milestones working document working document setting out milestones in the history of women in law in WA. The purpose of this document is to record the 'firsts' for women in the legal profession in Western Australia and to capture all appointments as silk as well as to the intermediate and superior courts sitting in Western Australia (last updated 18 December 2013, we welcome your additional information). 


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