An all-female police crew staffed the north-west on Thursday to celebrate 100 years of women in policing.

More than 30 women were rostered on in police divisions 2 and 3, which cover Maribyrnong, Hobsons Bay, Brimbank, Melton and Wyndham.

Friday marked 100 years since Madge Connor and Elizabeth Beers became the first female “agents” with Victoria Police, although they had no arrest power and were paid half as much as men.

It would be another seven years before four women were sworn in with equal pay and 30 years before they got a uniform.

In 1951, Grace Brebner became Australia’s first female detective and in 1960 women took the first three places – dux, second and third – among graduate recruits.

Hobsons Bay Inspector Michelle Young, who was sworn in 32 years ago, was one of four women at her first police station.

One had to resign from operational duties when she got married – a practice only abolished in 1972.

“The glass ceilings that were very present in the past, and certainly in my early years, have shattered,” Inspector Young said.

“Females are either working or have worked in most areas, some of those historically confined to men, such as Search and Rescue, Water Police, Critical Incident Response Team, Special Operations Group, and in 2002 a female was appointed to a ‘one manner’ station.

“I would encourage young or older females in the community, looking for a fulfilling, rich, diverse career, to consider Victoria Police as an option, and particularly from our culturally and linguistically diverse communities – the more the merrier as far as I’m concerned.”

An exhibition celebrating 100 years of women in policing opened Monday at the Victoria Police Museum.