Hon Michelle Roberts BA DipEd MLA

Hon Michelle Roberts BA DipEd MLA

Minister for Police; Road Safety

    Pioneering women of policing in WA honoured

    1/12/2017 12:00 PM
    • ​Dugdale-Chipper Pavilion named in honour of pioneering policewomen
    • New $1.5 million state-of-the-art training facility for police recruits

    Police Minister Michelle Roberts today opened a new training facility at Joondalup Police Academy, naming it in honour of the first two women police officers in Western Australia.


    The newly constructed Dugdale-Chipper Pavilion is a state-of-the-art facility which will enable all-weather protection for training.


    In 1917, Constables Helen Dugdale and Laura Chipper were the very first female police officers appointed to the Western Australia Police Force.


    They were responsible for the moral welfare of women and children.


    Their duties included the patrol of parks, neighbourhoods, entertainment areas, and anywhere else women and children might be found.


    It was not until 1976 that serving women police officers went into uniform and were allocated to operational units.


    There are now more than 1,400 female police officers and more than 1,200 female staff employed across every area of the Force.


    Comments attributed to Police Minister Michelle Roberts:


    "Constables Helen Dugdale and Laura Chipper were formidable and tenacious pioneers.


    "It is fitting in this centenary year of Women in Policing that we recognise their achievements with the naming of this pavilion in their honour.


    "For many years, the roles, ranks and work of women police officers were strongly restricted and they were required to resign if they married.


    "There have been vast changes since those early days which have allowed women to thrive and make successful careers out of policing.


    "We have come a long way in 100 years but there is always more work to be done, if we are to continue to have equality in the WA Police Force.


    "I want to pay tribute to the achievements of all our women officers and staff in the WA Police Force."


    Minister's office - 6552 6900