Dorothy Tangney

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Dame Dorothy Tangney
DBE
Dorothy Tangney 1940s.jpg
Senator for Western Australia
In office
21 August 1943 – 30 June 1968
Personal details
Born (1911-03-13)13 March 1911
Died 1 June 1985(1985-06-01) (aged 74)
Nationality Australian
Political party Australian Labor Party

Dame Dorothy Margaret Tangney DBE (13 March 1911 – 1 June 1985) was an Australian politician and the first woman member of the Australian Senate.[1][2][3]

Dorothy Tangney started her career as a school teacher in Western Australia. In 1940 she stood as a federal Senate candidate for the Australian Labor Party in Western Australia, and again in 1943, when she was the first woman elected to the Senate. She served in the Senate from 21 August 1943 to 30 June 1968. Her 25 years of service made her the longest-serving woman parliamentarian. Her record has since been surpassed by Kathy Sullivan.[4]

Senator Tangney was committed to an agenda of social reform, which included extending federal powers over social services and instituting Commonwealth assistance in education. Senate committees on which Senator Tangney served included the Standing Committee on Regulations and Ordinances and the Select Committee on the Development of Canberra, supporting the development of the Australian National University, and the Parliamentary Joint Committee on Social Security.[citation needed]

In 1968 Tangney was the first woman born in Western Australia to be appointed a Dame Commander of the Order of the British Empire.[5] Her award was for her services to the Australian Parliament.[6]

Legacies[edit]

  • In 1999 a street in Canberra, formerly known as Administration Place, was changed to Dorothy Tangney Place.
  • In 2013 the Norfolk Hotel in Fremantle, Western Australia was decorated with a wall sculpture of Tangney. It was carved by the Portuguese artist VHILS (aka Alexander Farto) and his assistants.[7]

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