Honouring Y Women

YWCA was founded in Australia 140 years ago on the volunteer efforts of women passionate about serving their communities. Throughout the decades since, YWCA has thrived and grown off the efforts of these generous women volunteering their time, skills and expertise to advance the rights of women, young women and girls in Australia.

YWCA Australia sends our congratulations to the following Y women who were recognised in the 2020 Australia Day Honours List. We recognise their contribution to the YWCA movement, and their dedication to our mission.

Maria Dimopoulos

For significant service to women, to cultural diversity, and to the prevention of domestic violence.

Maria was a member of the Board of Governors of YWCA Australia between 1992 and 2000. Maria is an internationally recognised expert of gender equality and violence against women.

Reverend Ann Drummond

For significant service to the Uniting Church in Australia, and to women

Ann is a current Life Member of YWCA Australia. She was the CEO of YWCA Victoria for seven years, a vice-president of YWCA Australia, and the Interim General Secretary of YWCA Fiji in 2012.

The late Juli Dugdale

For significant service to young women through leadership development organisations

Juli was a Life Member of YWCA Australia, and an integral part of the global YWCA movement for over 30 years as a member, staff member and volunteer. Juli was an unwavering advocate and champion for young women’s leadership, practicing what we all preach – intergenerational leadership founded on the principles of feminism, inclusion and equality. We honour and miss her.

Rosemary Hehir

For service to the community through social welfare organisations

Rosemary was the CEO of YWCA Victoria from 1999 to 2011. Her understanding of and commitment to safe, secure and affordable housing for women contributed to growing YWCA’s stock of affordable housing through our subsidiary Social Housing Victoria during those years.

Cathi Moore

For significant service to young women, and to the community

Cathi is a current Life Member of YWCA Australia, and a valued member of our CLASSY Feminist Local Action Group in Canberra. She has been a member since the 1970s, and has held board and committee positions with Canberra, Darwin and National YWCA since the 1980s.

Judith Sammut

For service to community health

Judith was the coordinator and instructor of YWCA Victoria’s Encore program for nearly 20 years.


The full list of Australia Day Honours includes the highest ever percentage of women recipients in the General Division of the Order of Australia – 41.6 percent. While there is some way to go, we support the work of the #HonourAWoman campaign in addressing gender inequality in honour lists.

YWCA Australia recognises that Australia Day is a day of mourning for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities. This land was never ceded, and the land on which we all live is, was and always will be Aboriginal land.

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