Mrs Winifred Joan Tonkin, MBE, JP
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 a minimum of twenty years.
Mrs Tonkin held the title of WA Branch President from 1983 to 2013, 30 years. During the 50 plus years, she was involved with Society in Western Australia saw the organisation evolve from the humble beginnings of the Royal Empire Society Perth. Even after so many years, Mrs Tonkin believes the fundamental principles and messages of the modern Commonwealth, such as human rights and democracy, has never been more 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. Please refer to the section on 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.