Rosemary Crowley

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The Honourable Dr
Rosemary Crowley
Rosemary Crowley Portrait 2008.jpg
Senator for South Australia
In office
5 March 1983 – 30 June 2002
Personal details
Born Rosemary Anne Crowley
(1938-07-30) 30 July 1938 (age 79)
Melbourne, Victoria, Australia
Nationality Australian
Political party Australian Labor Party
Alma mater University of Melbourne
Profession Medical doctor

Rosemary Anne Crowley AO (born 30 July 1938) is a former Labor Senator for South Australia from 1983 to 2002.

Early life and education[edit]

Crowley was born in Melbourne and educated at Kilmaire Brigidine Convent . She graduated from the University of Melbourne in 1961 with a Bachelor of Medicine/ Bachelor of Surgery. She then practiced as a doctor for several years at the Clovelly Park Community Health Centre in South Australia. She was a tutor at Flinders University and lectured at the Mothers and Babies Health Association.[1] Crowley was a founding member of the SA Mental Health Tribunal in 1973.

Political career[edit]

Crowley joined the Australian Labor Party in 1974 as the president of the Mitcham branch, and later of the Unley branch. She was also a member of the ALP’s Women’s Policy Committee from 1979 to 1983 and the SA Health Platform Committee from 1981 to 1983.[2] Crowley entered the Senate in 1983, the first woman from the Australian Labor Party in South Australia to do so. During her term in the Senate she held two ministerial positions, Minister for Family Services from 24 March 1993 to 11 March 1996 and Minister Assisting the Prime Minister for the Status of Women from 24 March to 23 December 1993.

Crowley was passionate about health care and contributed to Medicare reforms, as well as other legislation pertaining to childcare, women and children and sexual discrimination.[3] After conducting an enquiry into Women, Sport and the Media Crowley made progress in improving funding and recognition for women’s sport, which was always less of a priority than men’s sport. This led to the establishment of the Prime Minister’s Cup for Netball and the South Australian Premier’s Cup for Women’s Sport.[4]

Crowley retired from politics at the end of her term in 2002.[5]

Personal life[edit]

Crowley resides in Adelaide and has three adult sons. She enjoys theatre and gardening and is the Patron of the Handknitters Guild of South Australia.[6]


At the 2015 Australia Day Honours, Crowley was appointed an Officer of the Order of Australia for distinguished service to the Parliament of Australia as a Minister in the Commonwealth Government and Senator representing the people of South Australia, and as an advocate for promoting the status of women.[7]


  1. ^ "Crowley, Rosemary". Trove, National Library of Australia. 2008. Retrieved 2 June 2014. 
  2. ^ > "Biography for Crowley, the Hon. Rosemary Anne". Parliament of Australia. 2014. Retrieved 2 June 2014. 
  3. ^ "The Hon. Dr Rosemary Crowley". Women in Federal Parliament. 2014. Retrieved 2 June 2014. 
  4. ^ Crowley, Rosemary, ed. Gerry Bloustein, Barbara Comber and Alison Mackinnon (2009). The Hawke Legacy, Wakefield Press, Adelaide. ISBN 9781862548640
  5. ^ > "Biography for Crowley, the Hon. Rosemary Anne". Parliament of Australia. 2014. Retrieved 2 June 2014. 
  6. ^ > "Home". "Handknitters Guild of South Australia". 2013. Retrieved 2 June 2014. 
  7. ^ "Officer (AO) of the Order of Australia in the General Division" (pdf). Official Secretary to the Governor-General of Australia. 26 January 2015. p. 10. Retrieved 26 January 2015. 

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