Progress Associations - a precursor to Precinct Committees

This 1998 work by artist Merris Hillard, from the North Sydney Council's art collection, depicts Estelle Hillard, the first female alderman elected to North Sydney Council, who served from 1957 to 1962. The portrait was painted by her daughter. It was entered into the Doug Moran National Portrait Prize in 1998 and donated to Council in 2000.

In the 1950s, the nuisance of industrial development motivated the McMahons Point and Lavender Bay Progress Association (a precursor to Precinct Committees) to oppose the industrial zoning of the Berry's Bay and Lavender Bay foreshore - a classification which in large part simply recognised the long history of timber storage, boat building and wharfage there. Though the bays had long been an important part of the working harbour, a 1956 residents' petition argued McMahons Point was 'one of the beauty spots of Sydney' and should be given over exclusively to residential use. Estelle Hillard was one of the campaign's leaders which led to her election to Council. The campaign of rezoning was successful.

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