Janine Haines

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Janine Haines
Senator for South Australia
In office
14 December 1977 – 30 June 1978
Preceded by Steele Hall
In office
1 July 1981 – 1 March 1990
Succeeded by Meg Lees
Personal details
Born (1945-05-08)8 May 1945
Tanunda, South Australia
Died 20 November 2004(2004-11-20) (aged 59)
Political party Australian Democrats

Janine Haines, AM (8 May 1945 – 20 November 2004) was an Australian politician who was a Senator for South Australia from 1977 to 1978 and again from 1981 to 1990. She represented the Australian Democrats, and served as the party's leader from 1986 to 1990, becoming the first female federal parliamentary leader of an Australian political party. She was pivotal in "shaping the Australian Democrats into a powerful political entity that held the balance of power in the Senate".[1]


She was born in Tanunda, South Australia, to a schoolteacher mother and policeman father, and travelled around South Australia with her parents and younger brother, due to her father's job.[1] They eventually settled in Adelaide and she attended Brighton High School. She married Ian Haines, whom she met at Adelaide University where they were both studying mathematics, in 1967. They had two daughters, Melanie and Bronwyn. She taught English part-time and commenced an MA thesis on the poet John Shaw Neilson but this was interrupted when she suffered a severe whiplash injury in a car accident.[1]

She died in 2004, at age 59, from a degenerative neurological condition, and was honoured with a state funeral in Adelaide.[2]

Political career[edit]

Haines and Don Chipp in 1977

She became the assistant of Robin Millhouse, an important player in the South Australian conservative party the Liberal and Country League. Millhouse founded the Liberal Movement and the short-lived New LM which merged into the Australian Democrats in 1977.was appointed to fill a casual vacancy in the Senate by the Labor premier Don Dunstan, on 14 December 1977.[3] Dunstan was constitutionally obliged to appoint a senator from the same party as the resigning Senator Steele Hall, who had been elected as a representative of the former Liberal Movement. Hall had in fact joined the Liberal Party. Controversially, Dunstan chose a member of the Australian Democrats, regarding it as the successor party to the Liberal Movement despite the fact that a majority of LM ex-members joined the Liberal Party.[citation needed] However, Haines had stood on the same Liberal Movement ticket from which Hall had been elected in 1975.[1]

Haines did not contest the Australian federal election, 1977,[4] and her Senate term expired on 30 June 1978. She was elected for a six-year term at the Australian federal election, 1980. On 14 August 1986, she was chosen by Democrats members as Senate leader on the retirement of inaugural leader Don Chipp.

She remained Senate leader until resigning to contest the House of Representatives seat of Kingston in the March 1990 election, believing the Democrats needed a "high profile lower house presence".[1] She was unsuccessful in the face of a negative campaign waged against her by both major parties. She was succeeded as interim Senate leader for several months by deputy Dr Michael Macklin (Qld), pending the customary election of a new leader by party members, at which Janet Powell was successful.

Later career[edit]

After leaving parliament she worked in a number of public positions including being president of the Australia Privacy Charter Council and deputy chancellor of the University of Adelaide.[1]

Haines was invested with membership of the Order of Australia (AM) on 11 June 2001.

Janine Haines wrote a book Suffrage to Sufferance: One Hundred Years of Women in Politics (Allen and Unwin, North Sydney, 1992, ISBN 1-86373-365-5) which has been a prescribed text in universities and schools.



  • Murphy, Damien (2004) "A pivotal force to be reckoned with: Janine Haines, Politician, 1945-2004" (Obituary) in The Sydney Morning Herald, 2004-11-24, p. 36

External links[edit]

Preceded by
Don Chipp
Leader of the Australian Democrats
Succeeded by
(interim) Michael Macklin