Ros Kelly

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The Honourable
Ros Kelly
Member of the Australian Parliament
for Canberra
In office
18 October 1980 – 30 January 1995
Preceded by John Haslem
Succeeded by Brendan Smyth
Personal details
Born Roslyn Joan Raw
(1948-01-25) 25 January 1948 (age 66)
Nationality Australian
Political party Australian Labor Party
Alma mater University of Sydney
Occupation Teacher

Roslyn Joan "Ros" Kelly AO (born 25 January 1948) was a member of the Australian House of Representatives for the Division of Canberra from 18 October 1980 to 30 January 1995. She was a minister in the governments of Bob Hawke and Paul Keating.

She was born Roslyn Joan Raw, the daughter of Michael and Patricia Raw.[1] She studied at the University of Sydney and received a degree in teaching in 1968 and worked as a secondary school teacher from 1969 until 1974.[2] Kelly was elected to the then advisory Australian Capital Territory Legislative Assembly in 1974. She was a member of the assembly until 1979. She was elected to the House of Representatives in 1980.

In 1983, Ros Kelly was the first Australian Federal MP to give birth while in office.[2] In 1987, she became the first female Labor minister from the House of Representatives, when she was appointed Minister for Defence Science and Personnel.[2] She subsequently held the portfolios of Communications and Aviation Support 1988–90; Arts, Sport, Environment, Tourism and Territories 1991–93; Environment, Sport and Territories 1993–94; and Arts, Sport, the Environment, Tourism and Territories 1994–95. She also served as Minister Assisting the Prime Minister on the Status of Women until 1994.[2]

She suffered considerable embarrassment as a result of the so-called 'sports rorts affair', when she revealed that funding for sporting bodies was arranged on the basis of a group discussion around a "great big whiteboard" in her office.[3] She resigned from the ministry on 28 February 1994 and from parliament 11 months later on 30 January 1995.[4] The resulting by-election on 25 March 1995 saw the loss of the Canberra electorate to the opposition Liberal Party.[4]

Since leaving politics, Kelly has worked as an environmental management executive and as a director of a number of non-profit organisations. She is currently chair of the board of trustees for the National Breast Cancer Foundation.

Kelly was made an Officer (AO) of the Order of Australia in 2004 for service to the community through promoting corporate environmental responsibility and fostering dialogue between business and conservation groups, to the Australian Parliament, and to women's health.[5]

She is married to David Morgan, the former CEO of Westpac.[6] She was formerly married to journalist Paul Kelly, whose surname she has retained.


  1. ^ Who's Who in Australia 2008; Kelly Hon (Ros) entry
  2. ^ a b c d "Kelly, Roslyn Joan (Ros) (1948 – )". The Australian Women's Register. 29 January 2009. 
  3. ^ Robert Milliken (1 March 1994). "Close Keating ally resigns in grants scandal". London: The Independent. 
  4. ^ a b "Canberra (ACT) By-Election (25 March 1995)". AEC. 1 Feb 2008. 
  5. ^ Emma MacDonald (26 Jan 2004). "Ros Kelly excels in life after politics". The Canberra Times. 
  6. ^ Andrew Hornery (9 March 2005). "Rose among the Thorns". The Sydney Morning Herald. 

External links[edit]

Political offices
New title Minister for Defence Science and Personnel
Succeeded by
David Simmons
Minister for Telecommunications
and Aviation Support

Title abolished
Preceded by
Graham Richardson
Minister for Arts, Sport, the Environment,
(Tourism) and Territories

Succeeded by
Graham Richardson
Minister for the Environment,
Sport and Territories

Preceded by
Wendy Fatin
Minister assisting the Prime Minister
for the Status of Women

Succeeded by
Carmen Lawrence
Parliament of Australia
Preceded by
John Haslem
Member for Canberra
Succeeded by
Brendan Smyth