In 2015, RAC celebrates its 110th  anniversary. While much has changed over this time, the essence of our club and our unwavering commitment to our members remains the same. The small group of WA car enthusiasts, which gathered in 1905 to form what would become the RAC, were motivated by far more than the need to form a social club.

From its beginnings, there was a great energy at the core of the club that saw it evolve into an organisation devoted not just to its members but to providing a public service. 

There was a sense of civic duty that drove club members to signpost the state, to lobby for better roads and for greater protection for all road users – work that benefited the entire community.

It took great courage and commitment for those members tasked with mapping and signposting to venture into an often harsh landscape and survey remote roadways in our vast state in order to produce detailed maps and trusted information for motorists.

A desire to extend and improve WA’s road network was balanced by a need to preserve the environment around which those roads were slowly expanding. In 1920, the club was responsible for an area around the Nannup-Warren road being declared a National Park.

The RAC has always been an advocate for Western Australians. In the 1930s the RAC joined the new WA Safety First Council. Throughout the 1960s and ‘70s we campaigned for the compulsory use of seatbelts.

During the 1970s we again campaigned heavily to raise awareness of the dangers of drink-driving.

The 1980s saw the RAC lobby the Federal Government for increased road funding. The Australasian New Car Assessment Program was formed in the 1990s with the backing of the RAC and other state motoring clubs to test and rate the safety of vehicles.

At the turn of the century we developed new public campaigns that sought feedback from WA road users about unsafe roads and used the results to lobby for improvements.

The safety of road users, greater and fairer access to transport and a desire to promote, enjoy and preserve WA’s scenic wonders have been part of the essence of the RAC for 110 years.

In 2015, as we reflect on the club’s achievements over the past 11 decades, we realise that while so much has changed, our enduring commitment to WA, where our journey began and has continued for 110 years, in many ways remains exactly the same.

Esme Bowen

RAC President