Women in the Victorian Legislative Assembly

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There have been 86 women in the Victorian Legislative Assembly since its establishment in 1856. Women have had the right to vote in the Assembly since 1908 and the right to stand as a candidate since 1923.

The first successful candidate for the Legislative Assembly was Millie Peacock, who was elected as a United Australia Party representative for Allandale in a by-election in 1933, but she retired in 1935, stating that Parliament was "no place for a woman". Ivy Weber was the first woman to win a seat at a general election, winning Nunawading as an independent in 1937 (she was also the first female independent elected in Australia); she was joined by Labor's first female MP, Fanny Brownbill, in 1938 after a by-election for the seat of Geelong. Weber resigned in 1943 and Brownbill died in 1948; following this there were no women in the Assembly until 1967, when Dorothy Goble was elected as the Liberal member for Mitcham. Since then women have been continuously represented in the Assembly.

The first female minister was Labor's Pauline Toner, who became a minister in 1982. Since then, numbers of women have continued to rise. The first National Party woman, Jeanette Powell, was elected to the Assembly in 2002; that election also brought 11 new Labor women into the Assembly. Since Ivy Weber, two other women, Susan Davies and Suzanna Sheed, have been elected to the Assembly as independents. Ellen Sandell was elected to the Assembly in 2014 as the first Greens member.

List of women in the Victorian Legislative Assembly[edit]

Names in bold indicate women who have been appointed as Ministers and Parliamentary Secretaries during their time in Parliament. Names in italics indicate women who were first elected at a by-election, and * symbolises members that have sat as members in both the Legislative Assembly and the Legislative Council.

Name Party Electoral Division Period of service
Millie Peacock UAP Allandale November 1933 – February 1935 (retired)
Ivy Weber Independent Nunawading October 1937 – July 1943 (resigned)
Fanny Brownbill Labor Geelong June 1938 – October 1948 (died)
Dorothy Goble Liberal Mitcham April 1967 – February 1976 (retired)
Jeannette Patrick Liberal Brighton March 1976 – January 1985 (retired)
Pauline Toner Labor Greensborough November 1977 – February 1989 (resigned)
Joan Chambers Liberal Ballarat South May 1977 – February 1982 (defeated)
Valerie Callister Labor Morwell June 1981 – August 1988 (retired)
Prue Sibree Liberal Kew August 1981 – February 1988 (resigned)
Jane Hill Labor Frankston
Frankston North
April 1982 – August 1992 (retired)
Margaret Ray Labor Box Hill April 1982 – August 1992 (defeated)
Kay Setches Labor Ringwood April 1982 – August 1992 (retired)
Jan Wilson Labor Dandenong North March 1985 – August 1999 (retired)
Beth Gleeson Labor Thomastown March 1985 – December 1989 (died)
Carolyn Hirsh* Labor Wantirna March 1985 – August 1992 (defeated)
Jan Wade Liberal Kew March 1988 – August 1999 (retired)
Ann Barker Labor Bentleigh
October 1988 – August 1992 (defeated)
September 1999 – November 2014 (retired)
Joan Kirner* Labor Williamstown October 1988 – May 1994 (resigned)
Sherryl Garbutt Labor Greensborough
April 1989 – November 2006 (retired)
Lorraine Elliott Liberal Mooroolbark October 1992 – November 2002 (retired)
Ann Henderson Liberal Geelong October 1992 – August 1999 (defeated)
Carole Marple Labor Altona October 1992 – March 1996 (retired)
Denise McGill Liberal Oakleigh October 1992 – August 1999 (defeated)
Inga Peulich* Liberal Bentleigh October 1992 – November 2002 (defeated)
Marie Tehan* Liberal Seymour October 1992 – August 1999 (retired)
Leonie Burke Liberal Prahran March 1996 – November 2002 (retired)
Christine Campbell Labor Pascoe Vale March 1996 – November 2014 (retired)
Mary Gillett Labor Werribee
March 1996 – November 2006 (retired)
Lynne Kosky Labor Altona March 1996 – January 2010 (resigned)
Andrea McCall Liberal Frankston March 1996 – November 2002 (defeated)
Judy Maddigan Labor Essendon March 1996 – November 2010 (retired)
Helen Shardey Liberal Caulfield March 1996 – November 2010 (retired)
Susan Davies Independent Gippsland West March 1997 – November 2002 (defeated)
Mary Delahunty Labor Northcote September 1998 – November 2006 (retired)
Jacinta Allan Labor Bendigo East September 1999 –
Louise Asher* Liberal Brighton September 1999 –
Liz Beattie Labor Tullamarine
September 1999 – November 2014 (retired)
Joanne Duncan Labor Gisborne
September 1999 – November 2014 (retired)
Christine Fyffe Liberal Evelyn September 1999 – November 2002 (defeated)
November 2006 –
Jenny Lindell Labor Carrum September 1999 – November 2010 (defeated)
Karen Overington Labor Ballarat West September 1999 – November 2010 (retired)
Bronwyn Pike Labor Melbourne September 1999 – 7 May 2012 (resigned)
Denise Allen Labor Benalla May 2000 – November 2002 (defeated)
Dympna Beard Labor Kilsyth November 2002 – November 2006 (defeated)
Rosy Buchanan Labor Hastings November 2002 – November 2006 (defeated)
Lily D'Ambrosio Labor Mill Park November 2002 –
Anne Eckstein Labor Ferntree Gully November 2002 – November 2006 (defeated)
Danielle Green Labor Yan Yean November 2002 –
Tammy Lobato Labor Gembrook November 2002 – November 2010 (defeated)
Kirstie Marshall Labor Forest Hill November 2002 – November 2010 (defeated)
Heather McTaggart Labor Evelyn November 2002 – November 2006 (defeated)
Maxine Morand Labor Mount Waverley November 2002 – November 2010 (defeated)
Janice Munt Labor Mordialloc November 2002 – November 2010 (defeated)
Lisa Neville Labor Bellarine November 2002 –
Jeanette Powell* National Shepparton November 2002 – November 2014 (retired)
Judith Graley Labor Narre Warren South November 2006 –
Fiona Richardson Labor Northcote November 2006 –
Marsha Thomson* Labor Footscray November 2006 –
Heidi Victoria Liberal Bayswater November 2006 –
Mary Wooldridge Liberal Doncaster November 2006 – November 2014 (transferred to LC)
Marlene Kairouz Labor Kororoit June 2008 –
Jill Hennessy Labor Altona February 2010 –
Donna Bauer Liberal Carrum November 2010 – November 2014 (defeated)
Maree Edwards Labor Bendigo West November 2010 –
Jane Garrett Labor Brunswick November 2010 –
Bronwyn Halfpenny Labor Thomastown November 2010 –
Natalie Hutchins Labor Keilor
November 2010 –
Sharon Knight Labor Ballarat West
November 2010 –
Cindy McLeish Liberal Seymour
November 2010 –
Elizabeth Miller Liberal Bentleigh November 2010 – November 2014 (defeated)
Dee Ryall Liberal Mitcham
November 2010 –
Lorraine Wreford Liberal Mordialloc November 2010 – November 2014 (defeated)
Jennifer Kanis Labor Melbourne July 2012 – November 2014 (defeated)
Lizzie Blandthorn Labor Pascoe Vale November 2014 –
Christine Couzens Labor Geelong November 2014 –
Emma Kealy National Lowan November 2014 –
Sonya Kilkenny Labor Carrum November 2014 –
Steph Ryan National Euroa November 2014 –
Ellen Sandell Greens Melbourne November 2014 –
Suzanna Sheed Independent Shepparton November 2014 –
Ros Spence Labor Yuroke November 2014 –
Louise Staley Liberal Ripon November 2014 –
Natalie Suleyman Labor St Albans November 2014 –
Mary-Anne Thomas Labor Macedon November 2014 –
Vicki Ward Labor Eltham November 2014 –
Gabrielle Williams Labor Dandenong November 2014 –


Gabrielle Williams Vicki Ward Mary-Anne Thomas Natalie Suleyman Louise Staley Ros Spence Suzanna Sheed Ellen Sandell Steph Ryan Sonya Kilkenny Emma Kealy Christine Couzens Lizzie Blandthorn Jennifer Kanis Lorraine Wreford Dee Ryall Elizabeth Miller (politician) Cindy McLeish Sharon Knight (politician) Natalie Hutchins Bronwyn Halfpenny Jane Garrett Maree Edwards Donna Bauer Jill Hennessy (politician) Marlene Kairouz Mary Wooldridge Heidi Victoria Marsha Thomson Fiona Richardson Judith Graley Christine Fyffe Jeanette Powell Lisa Neville Janice Munt Maxine Morand Heather McTaggart Kirstie Marshall Tammy Lobato Danielle Green Anne Eckstein Lily D'Ambrosio Rosy Buchanan Dympna Beard Denise Allen Bronwyn Pike Karen Overington Jenny Lindell Christine Fyffe Joanne Duncan (politician) Liz Beattie Ann Barker Louise Asher Jacinta Allan Mary Delahunty Susan Davies Helen Shardey Judy Maddigan Andrea McCall Lynne Kosky Mary Gillett Christine Campbell (politician) Leonie Burke Marie Tehan Inga Peulich Denise McGill Carole Marple Ann Henderson (politician) Lorraine Elliott Sherryl Garbutt Joan Kirner Ann Barker Jan Wade Carolyn Hirsh Beth Gleeson Jan Wilson (Australian politician) Kay Setches Margaret Ray (Australian politician) Jane Hill (politician) Prue Sibree Valerie Callister Joan Chambers Pauline Toner Jeannette Patrick Dorothy Goble Fanny Brownbill Ivy Weber Millie Peacock

See also[edit]