Women in the South Australian House of Assembly

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There have been 38 women in the South Australian House of Assembly since its establishment in 1857. Women have had the right to vote and the right to stand as candidates since 1894.

The first successful female candidate for the House of Assembly was Joyce Steele, who was elected as a Liberal and Country League member in 1959. Women have been continuously represented in the House since then. Steele wouuld also become the first female minister. Molly Byrne was the first Labor woman in the House in 1965; only two women have represented minor parties, these being Heather Southcott for the Democrats in 1982, and Karlene Maywald for the Nationals from 1997 to 2010. Isobel Redmond became the first woman to lead a political party in 2009, when she became Leader of the Opposition.

List of women in the South Australian House of Assembly[edit]

Names in bold indicate women who have been appointed as Ministers and Parliamentary Secretaries during their time in Parliament. Names in italics indicate women who were first elected at a by-election. An asterisk (*) indicates that the member also served in the Legislative Council.

Name Party Electoral Division Period of service
Joyce Steele LCL Burnside
Davenport
7 March 1959 – 9 March 1973 (defeated)
Molly Byrne Labor Barossa
Tea Tree Gully
Todd
6 March 1965 – 14 September 1979 (defeated)
Jennifer Cashmore Liberal Coles 17 September 1977 – 10 December 1993 (retired)
Heather Southcott Democrats Mitcham 8 May 1982 – 5 November 1982 (defeated)
June Appleby Labor Brighton
Hayward
6 November 1982 – 24 November 1989 (defeated)
Susan Lenehan Labor Mawson 6 November 1982 – 11 December 1993 (defeated)
Di Gayler Labor Newland 7 December 1985 – 24 November 1989 (defeated)
Colleen Hutchison Labor Stuart 25 November 1989 – 11 December 1993 (defeated)
Dorothy Kotz Liberal Newland 25 November 1989 – 17 March 2006 (retired)
Julie Greig Liberal Reynell 11 December 1993 – 11 October 1997 (defeated)
Joan Hall Liberal Coles
Morialta
11 December 1993 – 17 March 2006 (defeated)
Annette Hurley Labor Napier 11 December 1993 – 9 February 2002 (defeated)
Liz Penfold Liberal Flinders 11 December 1993 – 20 March 2010 (retired)
Lorraine Rosenberg Liberal Kaurna 11 December 1993 – 11 October 1997 (defeated)
Lea Stevens Labor Elizabeth
Little Para
9 April 1994 – 20 March 2010 (retired)
Robyn Geraghty Labor Torrens 7 May 1994 – 15 March 2014 (retired)
Trish White Labor Taylor 5 November 1994 – 20 March 2010 (retired)
Frances Bedford Labor Florey 11 October 1997 –
Lyn Breuer Labor Giles 11 October 1997 – 15 March 2014 (retired)
Vini Ciccarello Labor Norwood 11 October 1997 – 20 March 2010 (defeated)
Steph Key Labor Hanson
Ashford
11 October 1997 –
Karlene Maywald National Chaffey 11 October 1997 – 20 March 2010 (defeated)
Jennifer Rankine Labor Wright 11 October 1997 –
Gay Thompson Labor Reynell 11 October 1997 – 15 March 2014 (retired)
Vickie Chapman Liberal Bragg 9 February 2002 –
Jane Lomax-Smith Labor Adelaide 9 February 2002 – 20 March 2010 (defeated)
Isobel Redmond Liberal Heysen 9 February 2002 –
Chloë Fox Labor Bright 18 March 2006 – 15 March 2014 (defeated)
Grace Portolesi Labor Hartley 18 March 2006 – 15 March 2014 (defeated)
Lindsay Simmons Labor Morialta 18 March 2006 – 20 March 2010 (defeated)
Rachel Sanderson Liberal Adelaide 20 March 2010 –
Leesa Vlahos Labor Taylor 20 March 2010 –
Zoe Bettison Labor Ramsay 11 February 2012 –
Susan Close Labor Port Adelaide 11 February 2012 –
Annabel Digance Labor Elder 15 March 2014 –
Katrine Hildyard Labor Reynell 15 March 2014 –
Dana Wortley Labor Torrens 15 March 2014 –
Nat Cook Labor Fisher 6 December 2014 –

Timeline[edit]

Nat Cook Dana Wortley Katrine Hildyard Annabel Digance Susan Close Zoe Bettison Leesa Vlahos Rachel Sanderson Lindsay Simmons Grace Portolesi Chloë Fox Isobel Redmond Jane Lomax-Smith Vickie Chapman Gay Thompson Jennifer Rankine Karlene Maywald Steph Key Vini Ciccarello Lyn Breuer Frances Bedford Trish White Robyn Geraghty Lea Stevens Lorraine Rosenberg Liz Penfold Annette Hurley Joan Hall Julie Greig Dorothy Kotz Colleen Hutchison Di Gayler Susan Lenehan June Appleby Heather Southcott Jennifer Cashmore Molly Byrne Joyce Steele

See also[edit]