Leading WA women join Perth USAsia Centre Board

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Three prominent West Australian women have been appointed to the board of the Perth USAsia Centre, based at The University of Western Australia.

Former WA Minster for Education and now UWA Vice-Chancellor's Fellow Dr Liz Constable, Lord Mayor of the City of Perth Lisa Scaffidi, and CEO of the Chamber of Commerce and Industry WA Deidre Willmott join former federal foreign affairs and defence minister Stephen Smith, UWA Vice-Chancellor Paul Johnson; CEO of American Australian Association and former SA Premier John Olsen, American Australian Association Chair Malcolm Binks  and Bates Gill, CEO of United States Studies Centre, on the board.

Dr Constable, who gained a PhD from UWA, retired from politics last year as WA's longest-serving female State MP after serving almost 22 years in State Parliament, including as Education Minister from 2008 to 2012.  Dr Constable was awarded an Honorary Doctorate from UWA during its 2013 autumn graduations.  She is also the current Chair of Council at St Catherine's College at UWA.

Ms Willmott, a UWA Law graduate, has held many high-profile positions including chief of staff to current Premier Colin Barnett, as well as chief of staff to former premier Richard Court and senior roles with public relations firm Cannings Purple and mining company Fortescue Metals Group. 

Mrs Scaffidi became the first female Lord Mayor of Perth in 2007 after serving two terms as a councillor.  She worked in the hospitality industry in marketing and served more than 10 years as  WA state director of the Committee for Economic Development of Australia (CEDA). She has actively promoted links between the City of Perth and UWA and strongly supports the University's bid to align with the City of Perth.

UWA this week hosted a lunch with Lord Mayor Scaffidi and Houston Mayor Annise Parker to celebrate their sister city relationship, which began 30 years ago.  The appointment of Dr Constable, Ms Willmott and Lord Mayor Scaffidi was announced at the American Australian Association Benefit Dinner held this week at Winthrop Hall.

The Perth USAsia Centre aims to become a leading policy think tank on the Australia-Asia-US strategic and economic relationship, a teaching and research centre, and a conduit for a deeper understanding in Australia of US business, culture, history, politics and foreign policy.

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