Selina Anderson

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Selina Sarah Elizabeth Anderson (12 May 1878 – 30 November 1964) was an Australian trade unionist and the first woman to contest a seat in the Australian House of Representatives.

Born Selina Charters near Hill End in New South Wales, she changed her surname when her mother remarried in 1892. After finishing school she worked as an artist and photographic retoucher.

The 1903 federal election was the first election in which women were entitled to stand for parliament. Anderson decided to contest the Sydney seat of Dalley as an independent protectionist candidate. Although unsuccessful, she polled a respectable 18% of the vote.

The following year she was a member of the organising committee of the Labor Council of New South Wales and helped establish the Cardboard Box makers Union, of which she became secretary. By 1906, she was one of seven women on the state executive of the Australian Labor Party but unsuccessful in gaining Labor endorsement to contest a seat.

In 1908, she married Christopher Siggins and, as Selina Siggins, was one of the first two women to contest the South Australian Legislative Assembly. Running as an independent she polled just 2% of the vote.

In later life, she lived near Canterbury Race Course in Sydney and ran race horses. She died in 1964.

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