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) is an Australian politician serving in the South Australian state parliament as a member of the Australian Labor Party. Key represents the inner western Adelaide electoral district of Ashford in the state's House of Assembly. She served in the state's Cabinet as Minister for Social Justice, Minister for Employment, Training & Further Education, Minister for Youth, and Minister for the Status of Women during the first term of Rann Labor government, from 2002 to 2006.
Key was born in Adelaide and attended Largs Bay Primary School, Port Adelaide Girls Technical High School and Marryatville Adult Education School. She completed a Bachelor of Arts majoring in Politics and Sociology at Flinders University, where she was elected as the first woman general secretary of the Flinders University Students Association. She subsequently worked with the Transport Workers Union (TWU), the Australian Council of Trades Unions (ACTU) and the United Trades and Labour Council of South Australia (UTLC), also serving as the director of the Working Women’s Centre and as a member of the South Australian Housing Trust's board of directors.
Key was elected as member for the electoral district of Hanson in 1997, and immediately assumed shadow ministerial responsibilities for industrial affairs, youth affairs and assisting in multicultural and ethnic affairs. Changes in the Shadow Cabinet during 2000 saw her responsibilities change to housing and urban development, employment and training, local government and youth affairs. She was re-elected to parliament at the 2002 election as member for Ashford, as the seat of Hanson had been re-named.
With the election of the Rann government in 2002, Key became Australia’s first Minister for Social Justice, with further portfolio responsibilities for community and disability services, ageing, housing, youth and the status of women. Following a mid-term Cabinet reshuffle in 2004, she became the Minister for Employment, Training and Further Education while also retaining the youth and status of women portfolios. Key oversaw an overhaul of the state's child protection system and the redrafting of South Australia’s anti-discrimination legislation and the Equal Opportunity Act.
Key retained the seat of Ashford at the 2010 state election by a margin of 4.8 per cent, but this was reduced to 1.5 per cent after an redistribution held under the state's electoral fairness criterion. Key has announced her intention to again contest the seat at the 2014 State Election.