Location: 77 Middle Road, Devonport, TAS
(5 January 1931- )
MLC Victoria 1979-92, Parliamentarian
(2 August 1861 – 9 June 1932)
Parliamentarian and community worker
Parliamentarian Continue reading
(29 April 1900 – 14 November 1979)
Party organiser and parliamentarian
The people to get to are the decision makers
On 14 July 1979 Gracia Baylor became the first woman Member of the Legislative Council of Victoria when she was sworn in shortly before Joan Coxsedge, who had also won a seat at the State election on 5 May. Although most Victorian women had won the right to stand for the Upper House 55 years before, in 1924, this was the first Victorian Upper House election to return a woman.
In her inaugural speech Gracia Baylor pointed out this day was also the 190th anniversary of the storming of the Bastille, the event that marked the start of the French Revolution in 1789. Continue reading
At 61, an age most people think of retirement, Margaret Edgeworth McIntyre made history as the first woman to win a seat in the Tasmanian Parliament. She was elected to the Legislative Council on 8 May 1948 as an Independent, representing the seat of Cornwall. Well known not only in her home city of Launceston, but throughout Tasmania, she had been awarded an OBE in the New Years Honours List that year.
When the Whitlam Government established the ACT’s first fully elected Legislative Assembly in December 1974, Ros Kelly, Susan Ryan and Maureen Worsley, became the ACT’s first women parliamentarians. Continue reading
National Archives of Australia: A6180, 14/9/84
Susan Ryan was appointed to the ACT Advisory Council by the Government of Gough Whitlam in 1974. When the Whitlam Government established the ACT’s first fully elected Legislative Assembly in December 1974, Susan Ryan was elected along with Ros Kelly, and Maureen Worsley. Continue reading
Jessie Cooper and Joyce Steele were the first women elected to South Australia’s parliament, Jessie Cooper winning a Legislative Council seat and Joyce Steele a seat in the Legislative Assembly at the elections on 7 March 1959.
South Australian women had been the first in Australia to win the right to vote and to stand for election, but it took 64 years before the first women entered the parliament. Continue reading
In 1955 Millie Best and Dame Mabel Miller became the first women elected to the Tasmanian House of Assembly – both were members of the new Liberal Party of Australia.
‘fair and just representation in both the halls of Legislature in this State’
Ruby Hutchison – known as ‘Red Ruby’ – was the first woman Member of the Legislative Council of Western Australia and the State’s fourth woman parliamentarian, after Edith Cowan (1921-24), May Holman (1925-39), and Florence Cardell-Oliver (1936-56). Ruby Hutchison remained the only woman MLC from the time she took her seat at the opening of parliament in May 1954, until her retirement in 1971.
In her 17 years as an Australian Labor Party member of the Legislative Council, Ruby Hutchison pursued issues including the right of women to serve on juries; child welfare; education; housing; and consumer protection. Her advocacy and research into consumer protection in the USA and the United Kingdom was instrumental in the founding of the Australian Consumers’ Association, formed in 1959 after she addressed a public meeting in Sydney Town Hall. Continue reading
Dorothy Tangney, Australia’s first woman Senator, held a Western Australian seat in the Senate from 1943 until 1968. She remains the longest serving woman member in an Australian Parliament, with a record 25 years and nine months.
When Dorothy Tangney and Enid Lyons (R) entered Parliament House in Canberra on 24 September 1943, they also stepped into history, as the first women in the Australian parliament.
In 1921, at the age of 60, Edith Cowan became Australia’s first woman parliamentarian. She won the Legislative Assembly seat of West Perth for the Nationalist Party, narrowly defeating the sitting member, the State’s Attorney-General TP Draper. An Act enabling Western Australian women to stand for their parliament had just become law on 3 November 1920; of the five women candidates at the election on 12 March, Edith Cowan was alone successful. She served only one term and was defeated at the next State election on 22 March 1924.
The election of Lady Peacock to the Legislative Assembly of Victoria in 1933 made her the first woman to sit in the Victorian parliament, and Australia’s sixth pioneering woman parliamentarian. She won the seat of Allandale in a by-election held on 11 November 1933, four weeks after the death of the sitting member, her husband Sir Alexander Peacock, who had held it since 1889.
‘I can still raise a smile’
Ellen Webster took her seat in the Legislative Council of New South Wales on 26 November 1931, two days after Catherine Green. Both very active members of the Australian Labor Party, the two women had been nominated by Labor Premier Jack Lang and were formally appointed by Governor Sir Philip Game on 23 November 1931. Until 1934, members of the Upper House of the New South Wales parliament were not elected, but appointed by the state governor on the advice of the ministry.
Catherine Green took her seat in the Legislative Council of New South Wales on 24 November 1931, followed two days later by Ellen Webster. Both women had been nominated by Labor Premier Jack Lang and were formally appointed by Governor Sir Philip Game on 23 November 1931. Until 1934, members of the Upper House of the New South Wales parliament were not elected, but appointed by the state governor on the advice of the ministry.
Queensland’s first woman parliamentarian, Irene Longman, defeated the sitting Labor member to take the seat of Bulimba for the Country and Progressive National Party on 11 May 1929.
Millicent Preston Stanley became the first woman member of the New South Wales parliament on 30 May 1925, when she won a seat in the Legislative Assembly for the Nationalist Party.
(8 October 1929- )