Powering up Liberal women

• Michelle Sutherland

MICHELLE SUTHERLAND has been elected state president of the WA Liberal Women’s Council, further strengthening the Sutherland’s grip on the party.

As president Ms Sutherland will be on the Lib’s state executive, the highest decision-making body in the party, and the state council, which has the power to overturn the endorsement of an election candidate.

She will also have a seat on the federal women’s committee.

“I will push for issues that concern women such as child care, education and economic security,” says Ms Sutherland.

“I will also be advocating for women in country areas and women in small business.”

Ms Sutherland is already president of the Lib’s Yokine branch and a Bayswater councillor, but despite her busy schedule she was determined to become state president.

Economic narrative

“I was disappointed about [the party] not running candidates in the Fremantle and Perth by-elections earlier this year,” she said.

“I think it important to have a presence in all seats irrespective if they are safe or not.

“I want to contribute by getting our message out into the public.

“We have a good economic narrative.”

Ms Sutherland was elected unopposed as president of the women’s council on Saturday and she is keen to get more females, from all walks of life, wearing blue rosettes.

“The Liberal Party has endorsed the target of 50 per cent female candidates by 2025,” she says.

“We don’t have the luxury of drawing female candidates from the unions.

“The Labor party has numerous women in the parliament who are from the unions.

“As president I would like to work towards attracting women from all walks of life and increasing multi-cultural links to the party.

“I think we need to listen to our current members and continue to bring women’s issues to the front and centre.

“The women’s division has been influential in developing many of the Party’s policies for women since its beginnings in 1947.”

Michelle’s husband Michael, a former WA parliamentary speaker and Mt Lawley MP, recently became president of the Mt Lawley Liberal branch, leading insiders to dub them the new power couple of the party.

The Mt Lawley and Yokine Liberal branches will be involved in preselecting the Mt Lawley Liberal candidate for the next state election in 2021.

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