Women in the Tasmanian House of Assembly

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There have been 27 women in the Tasmanian House of Assembly since its establishment in 1856. Women have had the right to vote since 1903 and the right to stand as candidates since 1921.

The first successful female candidates for the House of Assembly were Amelia Best and Mabel Miller, both Liberals, who were elected in 1955. In 1962, Miller (Best had lost election twice, in 1956 and 1959) was joined by the first Labor woman, Lynda Heaven. In 1964, both Miller and Heaven left the House, and women were not represented again until 1976, when Labor's Gill James was elected. Since then women have been continuously represented in the House.

Christine Milne and Di Hollister were the first women elected to represent the Greens. To date no women have been elected as independent members, although Mary Willey left the Labor Party at the end of her term. Kathryn Hay is the only Indigenous woman to have been elected to the Tasmanian parliament.

Lara Giddings became the first female Premier of Tasmania on 24 January 2011.

List of women in the Tasmanian 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 recount, and * symbolises members that have sat as members in both the Legislative Assembly and the Legislative Council.

Name Party Electoral Division Period of service
Amelia Best Liberal Wilmot 19 February 1955 – 13 October 1956 (defeated)
24 November 1958 – 2 May 1959 (defeated)
Mabel Miller Liberal Franklin 19 February 1955 – 2 May 1964 (defeated)
Lynda Heaven Labor Franklin 2 March 1962 – 2 May 1964 (defeated)
Gill James Labor Bass 11 December 1976 – 8 February 1986 (defeated)
1 February 1992 – 20 July 2002 (retired)
Mary Willey Labor/Independent Bass 28 July 1979 – 27 May 1982 (defeated)
Carmel Holmes Liberal Denison 25 June 1984 – 8 February 1986 (defeated)
Judy Jackson Labor Denison 8 February 1986 – 18 March 2006 (retired)
Fran Bladel Labor Franklin 8 February 1986 – 9 April 2002 (retired)
Christine Milne Greens Lyons 13 May 1989 – 29 August 1998 (defeated)
Di Hollister Greens Braddon 13 May 1989 – 29 August 1998 (defeated)
Carole Cains Liberal Braddon 1 February 1992 – 24 February 1996 (defeated)
17 July 1997 – 29 August 1998 (defeated)
Sue Napier Liberal Bass 1 February 1992 – 19 March 2010 (retired)
Peg Putt Greens Denison 2 March 1992 – 7 July 2008 (resigned)
Denise Swan Liberal Lyons 12 December 1995 – 20 July 2002 (defeated)
Lara Giddings Labor Lyons
Franklin
24 February 1996 – 29 August 1998 (defeated)
20 July 2002 –
Paula Wriedt Labor Franklin 24 February 1996 – 18 January 2009 (resigned)
Kathryn Hay Labor Bass 20 July 2002 – 18 March 2006 (retired)
Heather Butler Labor Lyons 10 May 2005 – 20 March 2010 (defeated)
Michelle O'Byrne Labor Bass 18 March 2006 –
Lisa Singh Labor Denison 18 March 2006 – 20 March 2010 (defeated)
Cassy O'Connor Greens Denison 21 July 2008 –
Elise Archer Liberal Denison 20 March 2010 –
Jacquie Petrusma Liberal Franklin 20 March 2010 –
Rebecca White Labor Lyons 20 March 2010 –
Sarah Courtney Liberal Bass 15 March 2014 –
Madeleine Ogilvie Labor Denison 15 March 2014 –
Joan Rylah Liberal Braddon 15 March 2014 –

Timeline[edit]

Joan Rylah Madeleine Ogilvie Sarah Courtney Rebecca White Jacquie Petrusma Elise Archer Cassy O'Connor Lisa Singh Michelle O'Byrne Heather Butler Kathryn Hay Lara Giddings Carole Cains Paula Wriedt Lara Giddings Denise Swan Peg Putt Sue Napier Gill James Carole Cains Christine Milne Di Hollister Judy Jackson Fran Bladel Carmel Holmes Mary Willey Gill James Lynda Heaven Amelia Best Mabel Miller Amelia Best

See also[edit]