• Entry type: Organisation
  • Entry ID: AWE1059

BPW Sydney Club

(From 1939 – )
  • Occupation Lobby group, Professional Association, Women's Rights Organisation


The Business and Professional Women’s Club of Sydney (later BPW Sydney Club) was founded in 1939 with Dr Constance D’Arcy as its first president. Its general aims were to promote the interests of business and professional women; to alert them to their responsibilities in their own country and in world affairs; and to raise or maintain standards of education for women.

Like other such clubs, it was explicitly founded to provide a space for (largely elite) women’s networking, and to work for their professional interests. It has also worked for equal pay and employment opportunities for women. The club continues to work to elevate the status of women generally, remove discrimination and to present the views of business and professional women to government. It still also operates to provide a space for women’s networking.


At its foundation, the Club had 102 members, and, while early activities were devoted to war work, particularly fundraising, meetings were still held regularly. The issue of equal pay was a key concern in the postwar years, and the Club also made representations to government concerning sex discrimination the appointment of women to public boards and other bodies. It also formed an Advisory panel to give advice careers advice to girls and encouraged women to nominate for public office. They also established a scholarship fund for ‘Aboriginal girls’.


Published resources

  • Book
    • The first 25 years, B.P.W. Australia: The History of the Australian Federation of Business and Professional Women's Clubs, Thoms, Patience R, comp, 1972
  • Edited Book
    • A history of the clubs of the Australian Federation of Business and Professional Women's Clubs, Eagle, Vera J., 1976
  • Newsletter
    • BPW NSW News, 1969-
  • Resource

Archival resources

  • Mitchell and Dixson Libraries Manuscripts Collection
    • Jean Fleming Arnot - personal and professional papers, 1890-1995
  • Noel Butlin Archives Centre, Australian National University
    • Australian Federation of Business and Professional Women Victorian Division deposit
    • Australian Federation of Business and Professional Women deposit
  • State Library of New South Wales
    • Business and Professional Women's Club of Sydney records, 1939-1977

Related entries

  • Affiliated
    • BPW Australia (1947 - )
  • Membership
    • Littlejohn, Emma Linda Palmer (1883 - 1949)
    • Brown, Jocelyn (1898 - 1971)
  • President
    • Arnot, Jean Fleming (1903 - 1995)