Establishment of the Standing Committee on Regulations and Ordinances
First woman to chair a Senate committee
In January 1955, while serving as Second Clerk-Assistant in the Senate department, Odgers commenced a three-month trip to the United States to study the US Senate and its committee system. Odgers was impressed by the ‘watchdog’ role of the congressional committees in monitoring government activities and improving legislation. Furthermore, he argued that committees informed the public and committee members on public affairs and provided a training ground for aspiring ministers.
His report, tabled in the Senate in May 1956 by the President of the Senate, argued for ‘a standing committee system on the American model’. Odgers would need to wait another 15 years until his vision for an expanded committee system for the Senate would be realised.