Nola Barber OBE

Three times a parliamentary candidate herself, Nola Barber was for many years a councillor and encourager of women candidates for public office.

Honour Roll

Cr Nola Barber, JP, was born in 1901 in Woodend, Victoria. She was a co-founder of the Australian Local Government Women's Association. Trained as a secondary teacher, from 1962 she was active in a wide range of community organisations.

In 1948, she became the first woman councillor in Chelsea (now Bayside Municipality). From 1962-63 she was Mayor of Chelsea, the first woman mayor of that municipality. Her role in the establishment of many services for women and children, despite great opposition, has been widely acknowledged. She worked to establish the first Meals on Wheels on a voluntary basis, before its adoption by local government. The Aspendale kindergarten was named in her honour.

A notable campaign between 1948 and 1972 was Nola's effort to get a local library. She taught swimming and lifesaving, was a member of local school councils, and the Red Cross. Beyond the local area, Nola was a vigorous participant in a number of spheres, not only the ALGWA, but the League of Women Voters/AFWW, the Aborigines Advancement League, the Australian Labor Party as chair of its peak body for women and the Women's Central Organising Committee.

Always keenly interested in the cause of peace, during the period of the Vietnam War she became foundation President of the Save Our Sons organisation. Nola died in 1985.