1952 Police Women addressed the PANSW Conference

In early 1952 six policewomen were admitted membership of the Association and while it was decided that they were adequately represented in their branches and therefore no special branch be established, the executive agreed that one of the women should address the coming conference.

Grace Hopkins of Traffic brought the concerns of policewomen before conference speaking of the deplorable arrangements which existed or failed to exist, ‘During the years when policewomen visited Manly on duty they have had to use a toilet which is adjacent to the men’s latrine. The procedure is to ask one of the men to clear the toilet and stand guard until it has been vacated by one of our members. This is the usual procedure at held the police stations in the areas where our members work”.

Another policewoman, Norma Cox also raised three areas of concern; those being that

  1. Policemen in the School Lecturing section were paid one shilling a day lecturer’s wage but policewomen in the same situation were not.
  2. Policewomen attached to the section were required to take their leave in school holiday periods and not at other times which may shave suited them better, although men were not.
  3. Uniforms had been worn by policewomen for the past three and a half years but only two uniforms had been issued to policewomen in that period of time, many of which were now shabby.

Conference carefully considered all the matters raised by the policewomen, agreeing to include the concerns about uniforms in a similar motion for men that was already under consideration, and to make representation to the department on the other issues.

First group of uniformed Policewomen circa 1949
First group of uniformed Policewomen circa 1949