Councillor Nellie Ibbott MBE

Councillor Nellie Ibbott became Victoria's first woman mayor in 1943.

Honour Roll

Nellie Ibbott arrived in Australia in 1923, only four years before her election as a Councillor to the City of Heidelberg in 1927.

Her husband had received severe war injuries, and the family came to Australia seeking a warmer climate. She was horrified at the state of the roads. As a result of bumping along the rutted tracks in transit to her new home, her household goods had been damaged.

She went to a local JP to make a statutory declaration for an insurance claim. The JP, a councillor, became a mentor who later encouraged her to stand for election on precisely this issue of the condition of roads.

Born and bred in Scotland, Nellie took an active part in Victorian public affairs. She became a member of the local branch of the (then) United Australia Party, and this political base stood her in good stead when she stood for Council.