Shirley McKerrow OAM

Shirley McKerrow's commitment to community organisations has spanned many years, covering many sporting, social, childcare and cultural activities.

Honour Roll

In her early years of community work she served as either president or executive secretary of many committees. At this time she lived in Sunbury (1960) and had a young family of four children and did not work outside the home.

Shirley believes that the fact that she owned a typewriter was probably also a factor in her election to these positions. The committees included the St Andrews Kindergarten Management Committee (Sunbury), Shire of Bulla Infant Welfare Centre Building Committee (the fundraising body to establish the first purpose-built baby health centre in the Shire), Sunbury Lawn Tennis Club, Sunbury Swimming Club, Sunbury Pony Club, Sunbury Library Committee (the lobby group to have the library established), Sunbury Girl Guides Association, Sunbury Boy Scouts Association, Sunbury Primary School Mothers' Club, and Sunbury Music and Drama Group.

Her most intensive involvement was during the years 1956 until the late 1970s. During this period the population of the township expanded from approximately 800 residents to over 13,000 residents. Most of the committees and associations above were formed to provide a growing number of amenities for the rapidly expanding population.

Shirley also served on the Gisborne Bush Nursing Hospital committee in its formative years. In 1968, Shirley jointed the Sunbury Branch of the Victorian Country Party in the State Electorate of Gisborne. From 1981-87, Shirley McKerrow was the Federal President of the National Party of Australia - the first female to be elected to such a position in a major political party in Australia.

She was the number one candidate for the National Party on their senate ticket in 1984, but was unsuccessful and has since moved to the Northern Territory where she remains active in the community in activities ranging from the Voluntary Euthanasia Society to the Darwin Sailing Club and Zonta International.