She can distinctly remember how her hands trembled as she read a letter out loud for the first time, to a group of women who decided they wanted to have a voice.
Though many of them lacked confidence at first, Armadale Penguin Club gave them the opportunity to speak up and speak well, in an era when woman weren’t active in public life.
Originally founded in Sydney in 1937, The Penguin Club was one of the first organisations to give women an opportunity to develop communication skills.
The Armadale club has celebrated its 50th anniversary, bringing together past and present members from throughout Western Australia.
‘I can now get up in public and fly through a speech ” it helped me out so much,’ Mrs Avard said.
Through the skills she developed, Mrs Avard was able to come out from behind the scenes as foundation treasurer to become president of the Armadale club, many times over.
She also took on leadership roles at the Serpentine Red Cross and the Serpentine Country Woman’s Association.