Minister for Women (Australia)
|Minister for Women|
Commonwealth Coat of Arms
|Office for Women|
|Reports to||Prime Minister of Australia|
|Appointer||Governor-General of Australia|
on recommendation of the Prime Minister of Australia
|Formation||16 August 1976|
|First holder||Tony Street|
The Minister for Women in the Government of Australia is Kelly O'Dwyer, who took office on 20 December 2017. Ministers holding the position, first introduced in 1976 during the Second Fraser Ministry, have held several different titles. They have often held other portfolios, and sometimes sat in Cabinet of Australia. Almost all office holders have been women.
A women's affairs branch was established within the Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet in 1976. Prime Minister Malcolm Fraser announced he wished to "have formal machinery set up for the co-ordination of government activity in women's affairs". He appointed Tony Street as the first Minister Assisting the Prime Minister in Women’s Affairs; Street and his successor Ian Macphee are the only men to have held the post. Senator Margaret Guilfoyle, the only female minister at the time (and one of only six women in parliament), declined the position, as she was unwilling to be pigeonholed into portfolios that were considered "women's work".
In the Government of Australia, the Minister administers the portfolio through the Office for Women within the Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet, with the budget being administered through the Department of Social Services. Currently, the Minister works with other Government Ministers to ensure that women’s issues and gender equality are taken into consideration in policy and program development and implementation. The Office for Women supports the Minister in this role, and is the central source of advice for Government agencies on the impact of Government policies and programmes for Australian women.
List of Ministers for Women
The following individuals have been appointed as Minister for Women, or any of its precedent titles:
|Order||Minister||Party||Prime Minister||Title||Term start||Term end||Term in office|
|1||Tony Street||Liberal||Fraser||Minister Assisting the Prime Minister in Women’s Affairs||16 August 1976||8 November 1976||84 days|
|2||Ian Macphee||8 November 1976||20 December 1977||1 year, 42 days|
|3||Susan Ryan||Labor||Hawke||Minister Assisting the Prime Minister for the Status of Women||11 March 1983||19 January 1988||4 years, 314 days|
|4||Margaret Reynolds||19 January 1988||4 April 1990||2 years, 75 days|
|5||Wendy Fatin||4 April 1990||20 December 1991||2 years, 354 days|
|Keating||20 December 1991||24 March 1993|
|6||Rosemary Crowley||24 March 1993||23 December 1993||274 days|
|7||Ros Kelly||23 December 1993||1 March 1994||68 days|
|8||Carmen Lawrence||25 March 1994||11 March 1996||1 year, 352 days|
|9||Jocelyn Newman||Liberal||Howard||11 March 1996||9 October 1997||1 year, 212 days|
|10||Judi Moylan||Minister for the Status of Women||9 October 1997||21 October 1998||1 year, 12 days|
|n/a||Jocelyn Newman||Minister Assisting the Prime Minister for the Status of Women||21 October 1998||30 January 2001||2 years, 101 days|
|11||Amanda Vanstone||30 January 2001||7 October 2003||2 years, 250 days|
|12||Kay Patterson||7 October 2003||26 October 2004||2 years, 112 days|
|Minister Assisting the Prime Minister for Women's Issues||26 October 2004||27 January 2006|
|13||Julie Bishop||27 January 2006||3 December 2007||1 year, 310 days|
|14||Tanya Plibersek||Labor||Rudd||Minister for the Status of Women||3 December 2007||24 June 2010||2 years, 285 days|
|Gillard||24 June 2010||14 September 2010|
|15||Kate Ellis||15 September 2010||14 December 2011||1 year, 90 days|
|16||Julie Collins||14 December 2011||27 June 2013||1 year, 278 days|
|Rudd||27 June 2013||18 September 2013|
|17||Michaelia Cash||Liberal||Abbott||Minister Assisting the Prime Minister for Women||18 September 2013||15 September 2015||4 years, 93 days|
|Turnbull||15 September 2015||21 September 2015|
|Minister for Women||21 September 2015||20 December 2017|
|18||Kelly O'Dwyer||20 December 2017||Incumbent||512 days|
- "Current Ministry List". www.aph.gov.au. Retrieved 29 January 2018.
- "Adviser 'named soon'". The Canberra Times. 15 March 1976.
- "Women's affairs". The Canberra Times. 6 July 1976.
- "Assistant ministers appointed". The Canberra Times. 17 August 1976.
- Margaret Fitzherbert. "GUILFOYLE, DAME MARGARET GEORGINA CONSTANCE (1926– )". The Biographical Dictionary of the Australian Senate. Retrieved 10 October 2018.
- "Ministries and Cabinets". 43rd Parliamentary Handbook: Historical information on the Australian Parliament. Parliament of Australia. 2011. Retrieved 2 December 2014.
- Taylor, Lenore (18 September 2013). "Portfolio details spell out Tony Abbott's role as women's minister". www.theguardian.com. Guardian News and Media Limited. Retrieved 23 September 2013.
"Women's policies and programs" as well as Indigenous affairs, deregulation, national security and relations with state governments are all specified responsibilities of Tony Abbott, who has appointed West Australian senator Michaelia Cash as minister assisting the prime minister for women.