Mrs Winifred Joan Tonkin, MBE, JP (deceased).
Mrs Joan Tonkin, MBE, JP is the first person to be appointed, by the WA Branch Council, to this prestigious position, which is only available to a long-standing member who has held the position of WA Branch President, for the presribed number of years. Having held the position for thirty years (1982 to 2012).
During the 50 plus years, she served the Society in Western Australia she saw the organisation evolve from the humble beginnings of the Royal Empire Society Perth. Mrs Tonkin always believed the fundamental principles and messages of the modern Commonwealth, such as human rights and democracy, were always relevant to young people living in an increasingly interconnected world.
Preparing youth for life experiences and providing young people with personal development opportunities is very important, and this why as President she retained a strong focus on youth and activities for youth within the Society and the former Sir Francis Burt Speech & Leadership Contest.
Mrs Tonkin was born in Western Australia and has retained a close working relationship with various organizations including Girl Guides WA, Australian Red Cross, Australia Day Council Committee, Scouts Australia WA Region, and Royal Flying Doctor Service.
Internationally, Mrs Tonkin was recognised by the RCS London with Honorary Status of Vice President of the Royal Commonwealth Council and was the WA Branch representative to the Royal Commonwealth Society London for thirty years.