State and National Representatives
Eileen Dawson at the Australian Women's Golf Championships 1959
The Australian Amateur Women's Golf Championship, which began in 1894, was originally a competition between two Victorian clubs: Royal Melbourne and Geelong. By 1897 it had become an inter-colonial match between Victoria and New South Wales. With the Federation of states in 1901 it became a national competition, however it was not until 1935 that Western Australia was represented. Since forming twenty years earlier the Western Australian Ladies Golf Union (WALGU) had been disadvantaged by its isolation from the Eastern States where the Australian Championships were always held, resulting in a lack of opportunities for Western Australian players to improve their standards.
In 1929 Western Australia celebrated its Centenary with an array of events including sporting fixtures. The WALGU submitted a proposal to the ALGU seeking a visit from Eastern States clubs and even hosting the Australian Championships as part of the Centenary celebrations. However delegates from other states deemed a visit to Western Australia out of the question due to the distance and expense of the trip. Refusing to be totally ignored by their Eastern States counterparts, the Western Australians tried to negotiate a deal that they were prepared to contribute towards an international trust fund for an Australian team to visit London, on the proviso that the team stop in WA not less than three days. (Minutes 1931) Although this visit was shorter than hoped for, the Western Australians had other opportunities to take advantage of their strategic position on the shipping route between Britain and the east coast of Australia. In 1935 the Union hosted an English team, which stopped for one day on its way to the Eastern States. As time was short a match against the visitors was played at Royal Fremantle, the nearest golf course to the ship. The Western Australian team consisted of Nancy Negus, Rebecca McKissock, Flora McQualter, Sal (Alison) Saw (Emergency) Isla Taylor, Dorothy Royce and Dorothy Bennett (Captain).
The WALGU began a determined effort to raise the profile of their sporting activities. To ensure that the State Championship attract an audience, it was combined with a mixed foursomes event and a demonstration of professionals. WALGU Minutes 1931. Under the leadership of president Nancy Negus, competitions against professionals were organised. WALGU Minutes 1932. There was a new determination that one day Western Australia would not only be represented at the national level but the international level, particularly after the Tasman Cup against New Zealand was introduced in 1933. WALGU Minutes 1934