Women in the Western Australian Legislative Council

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There have been 43 women in the Western Australian Legislative Council since its creation in 1832. Women have had the right to vote since 1899 and the right to stand as candidates since 1920.

The first successful female candidate for the Legislative Council was Ruby Hutchison, who was elected as one of the members for Metropolitan-Suburban Province in 1954, representing the Labor Party. Since then, women have been continuously represented in the Legislative Council; when Hutchison retired in 1971, she was succeeded by Lyla Elliott. Margaret McAleer became the first Liberal woman in the Council in 1974, and Winifred Piesse became the first Country Party woman in 1977.

In 1997, the first women representing minor parties were elected to the Council: Helen Hodgson for the Australian Democrats, and Chrissy Sharp and Giz Watson for the Greens WA.

List of women in the Western Australian Legislative Council[edit]

Names in bold indicate women who have been appointed as Ministers and Parliamentary Secretaries during their time in Parliament. Names in italics indicate entry into Parliament through a by-election or by appointment and * symbolises members that have sat as members in both the Legislative Council and the Legislative Assembly.

Name Party Province/Region Period of service
Ruby Hutchison Labor Suburban
North-East Metropolitan
22 May 1954 – 21 May 1971
Lyla Elliott Labor North-East Metropolitan 22 May 1971 – 21 May 1986
Margaret McAleer Liberal Upper West
Agricultural
22 May 1974 – 21 May 1993
Grace Vaughan Labor South-East Metropolitan 22 May 1974 – 21 May 1980
Winifred Piesse NCP/National Lower Central 22 May 1977 – 21 May 1983
Kay Hallahan* Labor South-East Metropolitan
East Metropolitan
22 May 1983 – 13 January 1993
Beryl Jones Labor Lower West
South West
22 May 1986 – 21 May 1993
Cheryl Davenport Labor South Metropolitan 22 May 1989 – 21 May 2001
Muriel Patterson Liberal South West 22 May 1989 – 21 May 2001
Diane Airey Liberal South Metropolitan 2 February 1993 – 21 May 1993
Valma Ferguson Labor East Metropolitan 2 February 1993 – 21 May 1993
4 April 1995 – 21 May 1997
Alannah MacTiernan* Labor East Metropolitan 22 May 1993 – 21 November 1996
Barbara Scott Liberal South Metropolitan 22 May 1993 – 21 May 2009
Helen Hodgson Democrats North Metropolitan 22 May 1997 – 21 May 2001
Ljiljanna Ravlich Labor East Metropolitan 22 May 1997 –
Chrissy Sharp Greens South West 22 May 1997 – 21 May 2005
Giz Watson Greens North Metropolitan 22 May 1997 – 21 May 2013
Kate Doust Labor South Metropolitan 22 May 2001 –
Sue Ellery Labor South Metropolitan 22 May 2001 –
Adele Farina Labor South West 22 May 2001 –
Dee Margetts Greens Agricultural 22 May 2001 – 21 May 2005
Robyn McSweeney Liberal South West 22 May 2001 –
Louise Pratt Labor East Metropolitan 22 May 2001 – 29 October 2007
Lynn MacLaren Greens South Metropolitan 15 February 2005 – 21 May 2005
22 May 2009 –
Shelley Archer Labor/Independent Mining and Pastoral 22 May 2005 – 21 May 2009
Donna Faragher Liberal East Metropolitan 22 May 2005 –
Sheila Mills Labor South Metropolitan 22 May 2005 – 21 May 2009
Helen Morton Liberal East Metropolitan 22 May 2005 –
Margaret Rowe Liberal Agricultural 22 May 2005 – 22 June 2007
Sally Talbot Labor South West 22 May 2005 –
Wendy Duncan National Agricultural
Mining and Pastoral
21 January 2008 – 12 February 2013
Carolyn Burton Labor North Metropolitan 12 September 2008 – 21 May 2009
Shelley Eaton Labor Mining and Pastoral 17 September 2008 – 21 May 2009
Liz Behjat Liberal North Metropolitan 22 May 2009 –
Helen Bullock Labor Mining and Pastoral 22 May 2009 – 21 May 2013
Mia Davies National Agricultural 22 May 2009 – 12 February 2013
Alyssa Hayden Liberal East Metropolitan 22 May 2009 –
Alison Xamon Greens East Metropolitan 22 May 2009 – 21 May 2013
Linda Savage Labor East Metropolitan 22 March 2010 – 21 May 2013
Jacqui Boydell National Mining and Pastoral 21 May 2013 –
Alanna Clohesy Labor East Metropolitan 21 May 2013 –
Samantha Rowe Labor East Metropolitan 21 May 2013 –
Amber-Jade Sanderson Labor East Metropolitan 21 May 2013 –

Timeline[edit]

Amber-Jade Sanderson Samantha Rowe Alanna Clohesy Jacqui Boydell Linda Savage Alison Xamon Lynn MacLaren Alyssa Hayden Mia Davies Helen Bullock Liz Behjat Shelley Eaton Carolyn Burton Wendy Duncan Sally Talbot Margaret Rowe Helen Morton Sheila Mills Donna Faragher Shelley Archer Lynn MacLaren Louise Pratt Robyn McSweeney Dee Margetts Adele Farina Sue Ellery Kate Doust Giz Watson Chrissy Sharp Ljiljanna Ravlich Helen Hodgson Valma Ferguson Barbara Scott Alannah MacTiernan Valma Ferguson Diane Airey Muriel Patterson Cheryl Davenport Beryl Jones Kay Hallahan Winifred Piesse Grace Vaughan Margaret McAleer Lyla Elliott Ruby Hutchison

See also[edit]