Ready to go where no woman has gone before
BRISBANE solicitor Rachel Connors says she is looking forward to walking through the hallowed halls of the Tattersall's Club as an equal.
Ms Connors said a Supreme Court decision yesterday upholding a club vote to allow female members was a wonderful day for both women and the club.
Justice Glenn Martin dismissed an application by Tattersall's member Paul Damian Hogan against club CEO David Bark and president Stuart Fraser.
In December last year, women were granted the right to join the exclusive club by just 37 votes.
Mr Hogan challenged the ballot on the grounds that the procedure followed by the club was not "substantially consistent" with the rules for voting.
Justice Martin found the ballot complied with the rules of the club and dismissed the application to have the vote deemed invalid.
Outside court after the decision, Mr Hogan said the decision was "very disappointing".
But Ms Connors celebrated the win.
She said she had already applied to become a member after years of attending club functions with her husband, who has been a member for more than 20 years.
"I was married at the club and went to a book signing with (former Wallabies captain) Nick Farr-Jones where I was the only woman in a room with 500 men," Ms Connors said.
"In all my years attending various functions, I have never faced any discrimination so it seemed illogical they would have the rule barring women as members."
Ms Connors said it was doubtful the club would have survived being a male-only club, with law firms and other business groups declining to book functions there because of the gender policy.
"It is a wonderful day because now I can go to the club as an equal," she said, adding she knew of many other women who now planned to become members.
"I love the club, its setting and its heritage."
Mr Fraser said the appeal had led to delays processing more than 100 applications from members' daughters and partners.
"The club will promptly move to process these applications and apologises to all affected parties for the delay," he said.
Mr Fraser said the club looked forward to welcoming more than 200 new men and women to the club at new member nights in coming weeks.
Justice Martin ordered Mr Hogan to pay costs.