- Rotary was formed in 1905 in Chicago and soon spread to other countries. By 1914 there were eight Rotary Clubs in the British Isles. Before becoming a constituted organisation, the wives of the Liverpool Rotarians in England had assisted their menfolk during World War I with various projects and had become known as Rotary Ladies. They later called themselves The Service Club.
- Many similar Clubs under various names were formed to help Rotarian husbands. However, it was the Manchester Club which in 1924 provided the name and model rules upon which the Inner Wheel movement is based. Our Emblem is a small wheel contained within the Rotary Wheel, hence the name Inner Wheel.
- During 1931 the first Inner Wheel Club was chartered in Australia at Ballarat, Victoria. The Rotarian President at Ballarat, Mr. Maddern, had written to Mrs Oliver Golding asking for details about the Inner Wheel movement in Great Britain and Ireland. Margarette Golding was overjoyed at the enquiry. In fact she said “This is the first enquiry from the Colonies”.
- This was closely followed by the charter of an Inner Wheel Club at North Sydney in 1932. News of the formation of these Clubs interested other ladies and many enquiries were received from Rotary Clubs. From these small beginnings and the dedication of original members, Inner Wheel has grown in all States. There are now a total of 15 Districts, two in Queensland, seven in New South Wales, three in Victoria, one each in South Australia, Western Australia and Tasmania and a non districted club in Darwin. There are 4 500 members.
- In 1968, under the leadership of Mrs Kath Armstrong from Sydney Club, the Australian National Council was formed. The Council was represented at the International Inner Wheel Board meeting held in London in February 1969. In 1994 our current name change occurred – Inner Wheel Australia.
- The first International President from the Southern Hemisphere – in fact outside Europe – was Gwen Davies from Parramatta, NSW in 1975-76. Since that year, Gwen Bowman from Belmont, NSW in 1992-93, Lovise Richardson from Sutherland, NSW in 1998-99 and Carole Buchanan from Berwick, Victoria in 2001-02 have been International Presidents.
- Members have organised two International Conventions in Australia. The first in May 1976 was held at Willoughby Town Hall, N.S.W, and, the second, held at the Convention Centre, Darling Harbour, NSW in October 1993. Both these Conventions were a great success with support from all members.
- The National Conference is held annually in October, can be held in any State and is hosted by a District or Club. This year, 2007, it will be held in Leura, Blue Mountains, New South Wales.
- See http://www.innerwheelaustralia.org.au/ for more information.