||This article's tone or style may not reflect the encyclopedic tone used on Wikipedia. (February 2011)|
BA JP MP
|Member of the South Australian Parliament
11 October 1997
|Preceded by||New District|
13 December 1954 |
Woodville, South Australia, Australia
Stephanie (Steph) Wendy Key (born 13 December 1954) served as South Australia's Minister for Social Justice, Minister for Employment, Training & Further Education, Minister for Youth, and Minister for the Status of Women in the first Rann Labor government. She currently represents the electorate of Ashford in the South Australian House of Assembly as a member of the Australian Labor Party. At the 2010 state election, Key retained the seat of Ashford with a margin of 4.8 percent, however, electoral redistribution in 2012 under the Fairness criterion, changed the margin to 1.5 percent.
Steph was born at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital. She attended Largs Bay Primary School, Port Adelaide Girls Technical High School and Marryatville Adult Education School. She attended Flinders University completing a Bachelor of Arts majoring in Politics and Sociology. During her time at Flinders University she was elected as the first woman General Secretary of the Flinders University Students Association. Prior to entering Parliament, Steph worked in a diverse range of positions, from cleaner and shop assistant to Industrial Officer with the Transport Workers Union (TWU), the Australian Council of Trades Unions (ACTU) and the United Trades and Labour Council of South Australia (UTLC). Steph also served for several years as the Director of the Working Women’s Centre and as a member of the South Australian Housing Trust's Board of Directors.
On being elected to the South Australian Parliament in 1997, for the electoral district of Hanson, she immediately assumed Shadow portfolio responsibilities for Industrial Affairs, Youth Affairs and assisting in Multicultural and Ethnic Affairs. Changes in the Shadow Cabinet during 2000 saw her portfolio responsibilities change to Housing & Urban Development, Employment and Training, Local Government and Youth Affairs.
The 2002 election saw Steph re-elected to the Parliament to represent Ashford, the renamed seat of Hanson. The seat of Ashford incorporates a narrow strip of the inner western suburbs, roughly extending, from Edwardstown in the south to Cowandilla and Hilton in the north and Goodwood Road in the east across to Marion Road in the west. With Labor assuming office as a minority government Steph became Australia’s first Minister for Social Justice, with portfolio responsibilities for Community and Disability Services and Ageing. She was also appointed as the Minister for Housing, Youth and the Status of Women.
Within two weeks of becoming the Minister for Social Justice she set about overhauling the state’s child protection system. In pursuit of this objective she commissioned the Layton Review which provided a comprehensive basis for Labor’s reform agenda in what had long been a neglected and chronically under resourced area of social policy. This initiative is now regarded as having provided a template for reform in child protection not only for South Australia but the rest of Australia as well.
In her capacity as Minister for the Status of Women she also took an active interest in promoting greater opportunities for aboriginal women, particularly those in regional and outback South Australia. This included the provision of regular regional meetings and forums to assist indigenous women in having greater input into government policies affecting their communities.
Following a mid-term Cabinet reshuffle in 2004 Steph became the Minister for Employment, Training & Further Education while also retaining the Youth and Status of Women portfolios. It was during this period that she headed a delegation to India to encourage increased enrolment by Indian students in Adelaide’s educational institutions and to promote closer educational and cultural cooperation between Indian and South Australian universities. The results included the signing of a series of Memoranda of Understanding and reinforced Adelaide’s reputation as a highly desirable destination for overseas students.
Throughout her time as a Minister, Steph sought to champion the rights of people who face discrimination in one form or another – whether at work or in the broader community – and was responsible for initiating the modernising and redrafting of South Australia’s anti discrimination legislation, the Equal Opportunity Act, as well as promoting rights for same sex couples and improvements for victims of abuse, sexual assault and rape.
Steph announced her intention to contest the seat again as the ALP candidate at the 2014 State Election.