Women in Federal Parliament

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Occasional Lecture Series

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Rosemary Crowley, Amanda Vanstone and Laura Tingle

Main Committee Room
Parliament House

Friday18 October2013


2013 marks several important anniversaries for the representation of women in the federal parliament. Seventy years ago the first women were elected to the federal parliament with Dorothy Tangney elected as a senator for Western Australia and Enid Lyons elected as the Member for Darwin in Tasmania. This year is also the 110th anniversary of women winning the right to vote and the right to stand for election in Australia. To mark these anniversaries former senators Rosemary Crowley and Amanda Vanstone, and journalist Laura Tingle, will discuss how the representation of women in the federal parliament has evolved in recent decades and will highlight the impact that women parliamentarians have had on the nature, and outcomes, of political debate in Australia.

The Hon Dr Rosemary Crowley was the first female ALP senator for South Australia, serving from 1983 to 2002. During her time in the Senate, Senator Crowley drew on her experience as a medical practitioner to become involved in significant reforms to Medicare legislation and spoke strongly in support of the Sex Discrimination Bill 1983 and its subsequent amendments. She was the Minister for Family Services from 1993 to 1996.

The Hon Amanda Vanstone was a Liberal Party senator for South Australia from 1985 to 2007. Senator Vanstone became a member of the shadow ministry after only two years in the Senate. In 1996 she was appointed to the cabinet and she remains the longest serving female cabinet minister since Federation.

Laura Tingle is the political editor at the Australian Financial Review. She has covered politics, policy and economics from Canberra since 1986 for The Australian, The Age, The Sydney Morning Herald and the Australian Financial Review.

Admission free—bookings not required
Enquiries to Senate Procedure Office
Phone: (02) 6277 3072
Email: research.sen@aph.gov.au

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