|Mayor of the City of Shoalhaven|
8 September 2012 – 17 September 2016
|Preceded by||Paul Green|
|Succeeded by||Amanda Findley|
|Member of Parliament for Gilmore|
2 March 1996 – 5 August 2013
|Preceded by||Peter Knott|
|Succeeded by||Ann Sudmalis|
|Born||21 July 1944|
|Awards||Order of Australia|
Joanna Gash AM (born 21 July 1944), an Australian politician, was a member of the House of Representatives representing the Division of Gilmore for the Liberal Party from 1996 to 2013. In 2012, Gash was directly elected as the Mayor of the City of Shoalhaven, a local government area in the south-eastern coastal region of New South Wales. In 2016, Gash lost the direct election for Mayor of the City of Shoalhaven to Amanda Findley. She was elected as a Ward 2 Councillor for the City of Shoalhaven. Gash is the partner of her successor and former Member for Gilmore, Ann Sudmalis. Gash lives in Culburra Beach, NSW.
Gash was born in Groningen in the Netherlands, and emigrated to Australia when she was six. She was educated at Institute of Administration in Sydney. Before entering politics she was a Regional Manager with the Tourism Commission of New South Wales, a guest house co-proprietor, and a Councillor of the Wingecarribee Shire Council. She was for many years a scripture and Sunday School teacher and spent many weekends at the Church of England Camps at the Port Hacking River (Camp Howard).
Gash was elected to Federal Parliament at the 1996 federal election. In January 2012, she announced that she would not be contesting the next federal election. At the same time, she announced her intention to stand for the mayoral position at the Shoalhaven City Council elections, due to be held in September 2012. Gash was successful, winning the directly-elected role with 63.19% of the vote. She also led a ticket that saw nine other Councillors elected to the thirteen–member Shoalhaven City Council. Following her election as mayor, there was criticism about her constitutional ability to hold office as a federal Member of Parliament and to hold an office of profit under the crown, as Mayor. Gash vigorously defended her position.
She sought re-election as mayor of City of Shoalhaven at the 2016 NSW Local Council Elections, but lost her position following a massive swing, which saw her lose about half of the vote she won at the 2012 election. Amanda Findley of the Australian Greens was elected as mayor, with Gash being elected as a Ward 2 councillor.
Honours and awards
- "Mrs Joanna Gash MP". Senators and Members. Parliament of Australia. 2012. Retrieved 6 October 2012.
- Wright, Jessica (26 January 2012). "After 15 years, MP to swap national for local". The Sydney Morning Herald. Retrieved 6 October 2012.
- "Mayor Tally Sheet" (PDF). Shoalhaven City Council Election 2012. Australian Election Company. September 2012. Retrieved 6 October 2012.
- Arnold, Alex (21 September 2012). "Team Gash to control Shoalhaven council". Illawarra Mercury. Retrieved 6 October 2012.
- Williams, George (7 September 2012). "MP's aim to become mayor runs a legal risk". The Sydney Morning Herald. Retrieved 6 October 2012.
- Packham, Ben; Vasek, Lanai (10 September 2012). "Liberal MP Joanna Gash defends dual role". The Australian. Retrieved 6 October 2012.
- "Member (AM) in the General Division of the Order of Australia (A-L)" (PDF). 2017 Australia Day Honours List. Office of the Governor-General of Australia. 26 January 2017. Retrieved 26 January 2017.
|Parliament of Australia|
| Member for Gilmore