|Pru Goward at the NSW Country Liberals Annual Conference in Wagga Wagga.|
|Member of the New South Wales Parliament
24 March 2007
|Minister for Community Services and Women|
3 April 2011
|Preceded by||Linda Burney|
2 November 1952 |
Adelaide, South Australia
|Political party||Liberal Party of Australia|
|Spouse(s)||David Barnett (m. 1986)
Alastair Fischer (m. 1973; dis. 1983)
|Children||Kate Fischer, Penny Fischer, and Alice Barnett|
|Alma mater||Adelaide University (1974)|
Prudence Jane Goward MP (born 2 September 1952 in Adelaide), an Australian politician, is the Minister for Community Services and Women in the O'Farrell Liberal-National Coalition Government since 2011. Goward is a member of the New South Wales Legislative Assembly representing Goulburn for the Liberal Party of Australia since 2007. She has previously served as Australian Federal Sex Discrimination Commissioner and Commissioner Responsible for Age Discrimination with the Australian Human Rights and Equal Opportunity Commission.
Early life and personal background
Goward was born to Gerald Goward and Zipporah Riggs, and was raised in Adelaide. She attended Morphett Vale Primary School, Willunga High School and gained entrance to Woodlands Church of England Girls Grammar School on a half scholarship. She graduated with a Bachelor of Arts (Econ) (Hons) in 1974 from Adelaide University.
Goward married journalist, David Barnett in 1986. She is the mother of three daughters, former model and actor Kate Fischer, Penny Fischer, and Alice Barnett. She has two granddaughters. She was previously married from 1973 to 1983 to university lecturer Alastair Fischer, whom she met while studying at Adelaide University.
Goward and Barnett have maintained a close personal friendship with former Prime Minister John Howard for many years, and jointly authored a biography of Howard in 1997.
Goward joined ABC TV and Radio in 1980, firstly as a reporter with Nationwide, then as a political correspondent on the 7.30 Report, and later as host of the Morning Show and Daybreak on Radio National. She has also worked as a high school teacher, a university lecturer in economics, a broadcast journalism lecturer at University of Canberra, a media consultant and freelance writer.
She was Executive Director of the Office of the Status of Women in the Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet from 1997–1999. In this position, Goward criticised the business community for the "primitive attitudes" that kept women out of senior executive ranks and boardrooms. At the time of her appointment, she was criticised by Anne Summers, a previous Executive Director, and Carmen Lawrence, a prominent female politician, for her perceived inexperience and political connection to the Howard government. She was Federal spokeswoman for the Sydney Olympic Games from 1999–2000 and National director of the Australian Property Institute from 2000–2001.
Goward was the Sex Discrimination Commissioner at HREOC, a 5-year tenure she began in July 2001. In this role, she called for the introduction of paid maternity leave, a position rejected by the Howard government. John Howard extended her tenure for an additional 3 years in July 2006. However, she successfully ran for New South Wales state parliament in March 2007.
In 2006, Goward nominated for Liberal Party preselection for the New South Wales state parliament in seat of Epping in Sydney's north-west, but was defeated  by the former President of the Right to Life Association, Greg Smith. She was subsequently preselected unopposed for the seat of Goulburn, to replace retiring Liberal frontbencher Peta Seaton. Pru Goward was expected to win the seat, however an unexpectedly strong swing to Labor in the Southern Highlands area of the seat put her victory in doubt on election night. Her main contender, Independent Mayor of Goulburn Paul Stephenson, conceded defeat on 29 March 2007. Goward was quoted as saying that she "didn't expect to win it. I knew I was behind the whole time, even four days before the election we were told I was five points behind, so I'm just so grateful."
After being in Parliament a single day, Goward told a symposium of women in leadership in Sydney "I have never worked in any profession as male-dominated or as ruthlessly sexist as this. "I was quite shocked by it." These comments have not been supported by other female MPs from both sides of politics, who generally said Parliament had improved.
In May 2007, Goward was caught speeding in a school zone. This was her second driving offence for 2007. Goward said "It was extremely careless on my part and like thousands of other drivers I deeply regret it." 
- Thompson, Peter (13 November 2006). "Pru Goward". Talking Heads (Australian Broadcasting Corporation). Retrieved 27 April 2011.
- Bagwell, S. (4 September 1997). "Get Rid Of Primitive Attitude: Goward". Australian Financial Review.
- Humphries, D (23 September 2006). "Woman most likely". The Sydney Morning Herald.
- Mitchell, Alex (16 September 2006). "Goward sinks in Epping but resurfaces closer to home". The Sydney Morning Herald (Fairfax Media).
- Shanahan, D. (21 July 2006). "The trouble with talent in politics". The Australian (News Limited).
- "Goward wins Goulburn seat". The Sydney Morning Herald (Fairfax Media). AAP. 29 March 2006.
- "Bearpit sexist says new MP". The Sydney Morning Herald (Fairfax Media). 10 May 2007.
- . News Limited http://www.news.com.au/mercury/story/0,22884,21710645-421,00.html. Missing or empty
- "It was extremely careless: Goward". The Sydney Morning Herald (Fairfax Media). 18 May 2007.
- "Woman wants Goward's apology over advice". NineMSN Pty Limited.
- "Profile of Pru Goward". Former Commissioners. Human Rights and Equal Opportunity Commission. 15 September 2006.
- Profile of Pru Goward at the Human Rights and Equal Opportunity Commission
- Official Website of Pru Goward
- Barnett, David; Goward, Pru (1997). John Howard, Prime Minister. Viking. ISBN 0-670-87389-6.
- Goward, Pru (2001). A Business of Your Own: How Women Succeed in Business. Australia: Allen & Unwin. ISBN 1-86508-593-6.
|Parliament of New South Wales|
|New district||Member for Goulburn