Women Senators Since 1901

The table on this page displays a complete list of female senators since 1901.

No women were elected to the Senate between 1901 and 1943. There have been one hundred women senators since Dorothy Tangney took office in August 1943.

The 100th woman elected to the Senate is Dr. Mehreen Faruqi, from the Australian Greens. She was chosen to fill a NSW casual vacancy on August 15, 2018, replacing Lee Rhiannon. Faruqi has been a member of the NSW Legislative Council since June 2013.

Until 1980, just thirteen women had sat in the Senate. The increase in female participation accelerated in the 1980s, with seventeen women taking up Senate seats in that decade.

Since 1990, seventy women have entered the Senate. They constitute 70.00% of all women senators since 1901.

As of September 2018, the thirty women senators currently serving constitute 30.00% of the total number of women who have served in the Senate since Federation. They also constitute 39.47% of the current Senate’s membership of 76. There are 15 from the ALP, 8 from the Liberal Party, 5 from the Greens, 1 from The Nationals and 1 from One Nation.

RECENT CHANGES

Six women elected at the 2016 federal election have left the Senate. Five (Waters, Nash, Lambie, Kakoschke-Moore and Gallagher) were replaced by men, following special recounts in their respective states. One (Rhiannon) was replaced by a woman via a casual vacancy.

Additionally, five women have replaced male senators, one (Gichuhi) via a special recount, and four via casual vacancies (Kitching, Keneally, Stoker and Waters). Larissa Waters, who resigned in 2017 due to Section 44 issues, returned to the Senate in 2018, filling a casual vacancy following the resignation of Andrew Bartlett. She effectively returned to her old seat.

  • Kimberley Kitching (Vic-ALP), was appointed on October 25, 2016 to fill a casual vacancy caused by the retirement of Stephen Conroy on September 30, 2016.
  • Lucy Gichuhi (SA-Ind/Lib), was elected in a special recount on April 19, 2017, following the resignation of Bob Day on November 1, 2016. Day was subsequently disqualified by the High Court on April 5, 2017, due to an indirect pecuniary interest with the Commonwealth.
  • Fiona Nash (NSW-Nationals), was declared ineligible to nominate by the High Court on October 27, 2017, due to her dual citizenship. A special recount resulted in the election of the Liberal Party’s Jim Molan on December 22, 2017.
  • Jacqui Lambie (Tas-JLN), resigned on November 14, 2017, due to dual citizenship. A special recount resulted in the election of Steve Martin on February 9, 2018.
  • Skye Kakoschke-Moore (SA-NXT), resigned on November 22, 2017, due to dual citizenship. A special recount resulted in the election of Tim Storer.
  • Kristina Keneally, a former ALP member of the NSW Parliament (2003-2012) and Premier of NSW (2009-2011), was approved by a joint sitting of the NSW Parliament on February 14, 2018 to fill the casual vacancy created by the resignation of Sam Dastyari.
  • Listen to the NSW Parliament’s Joint Sitting to Nominate Keneally (2m)
  • Amanda Stoker (Qld-LNP) was preselected on March 10, 2018 to fill a casual vacancy caused by the resignation of George Brandis on February 7, 2018. In accordance with Section 15 of the Constitution, she was formally chosen by the Queensland Parliament on March 21, 2018.
  • On May 9, 2018, the High Court declared that Katy Gallagher, an ACT senator and former Chief Minister of the ACT, was ineligible to contest the 2016 election, by reason of her dual citizenship. The court ordered a special recount to replace Gallagher. This resulted in the election of David Smith, the second candidate on the ALP ticket, on May 23, 2016.
  • On August 14, 2018, the NSW Greens Senator Lee Rhiannon resigned her seat. On August 15, a joint sitting of the NSW Parliament chose Mehreen Faruqi as her replacement. Faruqi is the 100th woman to be elected to the Senate.
  • On August 27, 2018, the Queensland Greens Senator Andrew Bartlett resigned his seat. On September 6, 2018, the Queensland parliament appointed Larissa Waters to fill the casual vacancy. She was sworn in on September 10.

The following table shows the full list of current women senators. Their state of origin and first date of election is shown next to their names.

Current Women Senators – as of September 6, 2018 (Total: 30)
A.L.P. (15) Liberal Party (8) Others (7)
1. Jacinta Collins (Vic, 1995-2005, 2008)
2. Claire Moore (Qld, 2002)
3. Penny Wong (SA, 2002)
4. Helen Polley (Tas, 2005)
5. Carol Brown (Tas, 2005)
6. Catryna Bilyk (Tas, 2008)
7. Louise Pratt (WA, 2008-2014, 2016)
8. Lisa Singh (Tas, 2011)
9. Anne Urquhart (Tas, 2011)
10. Sue Lines (WA, 2013)
11. Deborah O’Neill (NSW, 2013)
12. Jenny McAllister (NSW, 2015)
13. Malarndirri McCarthy (NT, 2016)
14. Kimberley Kitching (Vic, 2016)
15. Kristina Keneally (NSW, 2018)
1. Marisa Payne (NSW, 1997)
2. Concetta Fierravanti-Wells (NSW, 2005)
3. Michaelia Cash (WA, 2008)
4. Anne Ruston (SA, 2012)
5. Linda Reynolds (WA, 2014)
6. Jane Hume (Vic, 2016)
7. Lucy Gichuhi (SA, 2017)
8. Amanda Stoker (Qld, 2018)
AUSTRALIAN GREENS
1. Rachel Siewert (WA, 2005)
2. Sarah Hanson-Young (SA, 2008)
3. Janet Rice (Vic, 2014)
4. Mehreen Faruqi (NSW, 2018)
5. Larissa Waters (Qld, 2011-2017, 2018)

THE NATIONALS
6. Bridget McKenzie (Vic, 2011)

ONE NATION
7. Pauline Hanson (Qld, 2016)

 

LONGEST-SERVING WOMEN SENATORS

Interestingly, the first two female senators are also the two longest-serving women. Three of the first four women are amongst the longest-serving. The record is held by Dame Dorothy Tangney, the ALP senator from Western Australia, who served for 24 years, 10 months and 9 days between 1943 and 1968.

Of contemporary senators, Amanda Vanstone and Defence Minister Marise Payne have the longest service.

  1. Dame Dorothy Tangney (ALP-WA) – 24 years, 10 months, 9 days (1943-1968)
  2. Dame Annabelle Rankin (Lib-Qld) – 23 years, 10 months, 23 days (1947-1971)
  3. Amanda Vanstone (Lib-SA) – 22 years, 4 months, 25 days (1984-2007)
  4. Dame Ivy Wedgwood (Lib-Vic) – 21 years, 4 months, 8 days (1950-1971)
  5. Marise Payne (Lib-NSW) – 21 years, 5 months, 15 days (1997-)

DEATHS

As of August 15, 2018, eighteen former women senators have died. This is 18% of the total number.

The most recent deaths have been:

  • April 01, 2018: Jocelyn Newman (Lib-Tas), 80
  • December 20, 2017: Lady Florence Bjelke-Petersen (Nat-Qld), 97.
  • November 20, 2017: Jean Hearn (ALP-Tas), 96.
  • August 09, 2017: Patricia Giles (ALP-WA), 88.
  • June 18, 2017: Shirley Walters (Lib-Tas), 91.

The table below lists each woman by the date she first took up her seat. Members elected at double dissolutions who had their terms backdated are listed according to their date of election. The table also shows details of senators who also served in the House of Representatives or other state or territory parliaments.

Women Members of the Senate Since 1901
No. Name State Party Term Began Term Ended Birth Death Age
1.
Tangney, Dame Dorothy
WA
ALP
21.08.1943
30.06.1968
13.03.1911
01.06.1985
74
2.
Rankin, Dame Annabelle
Qld
Lib
01.07.1947
24.05.1971
28.07.1908
30.08.1986
78
3.
Robertson, Agnes
WA
Lib
Country
22.02.1950
01.07.1956
30.06.1956
30.06.1962
31.07.1882
29.01.1968
85
4.
Wedgwood, Dame Ivy
Vic
Lib
22.02.1950
30.06.1971
18.10.1896
24.07.1975
78
5.
Buttfield, Dame Nancy
SA
Lib
11.10.1955
09.12.1961
01.07.1968
08.12.1961
30.06.1965
11.04.1974
12.11.1912
04.09.2005
92
6.
Breen, Marie
Vic
Lib
01.07.1962
30.06.1968
03.11.1902
17.06.1993
90
7.
Guilfoyle, Dame Margaret
Vic
Lib
01.07.1971
05.06.1987
15.05.1926
92
8.
Coleman, Ruth
WA
ALP
18.05.1974
05.06.1987
27.09.1931
27.03.2008
76
9.
Martin/Sullivan, Kathryn
Qld
Moncrieff (Qld)
Lib
18.05.1974
01.12.1984
05.11.1984
08.12.2001
08.03.1942
76
10.
Melzer, Jean
Vic
ALP
18.05.1974
30.06.1981
07.02.1926
18.06.2013
91
11.
Walters, (Mary) Shirley
Tas
Lib
13.12.1975
30.06.1993
31.08.1925
18.06.2017
91
12.
Ryan, Susan
ACT
ALP
13.12.1975
29.01.1988
10.10.1942
75
13.
Haines, Janine
SA
AD
14.12.1977
01.07.1981
30.06.1978
01.03.1990
08.05.1945
20.11.2004
59
14.
Hearn, Jean
Tas
ALP
15.10.1980
30.06.1985
30.03.1921
20.11.2017
96
15.
Bjelke-Petersen, Lady Florence
Qld
NCP/Nat
12.03.1981
30.06.1993
11.08.1920
20.12.2017
97
16.
Reid, Margaret
ACT
Lib
05.05.1981
14.02.2003
28.05.1935
83
17.
Giles, Patricia
WA
ALP
01.07.1981
30.06.1993
16.11.1928
09.08.2017
88
18.
Zakharov, Olive
Vic
ALP
05.03.1983
06.03.1995
19.03.1929
06.03.1995
65
19.
Crowley, Rosemary
SA
ALP
05.03.1983
30.06.2002
30.07.1938
80
20.
Reynolds, Margaret
Qld
ALP
05.03.1983
30.06.1999
19.07.1941
77
21.
Knowles, Susan
WA
Lib
01.12.1984
30.06.2005
10.04.1951
67
22.
Vanstone, Amanda
SA
Lib
01.12.1984
26.04.2007
07.12.1952
65
23.
Vallentine, Josephine
WA
NDP/Ind
Greens WA
01.07.1985
31.01.1992
30.05.1946
72
24.
Newman, Jocelyn
Tas
Lib
13.03.1986
01.02.2002
07.07.1937
01.04.2018
80
25.
Powell, Janet
Vic
AD/Ind
26.08.1986
30.06.1993
29.09.1942
30.03.2013
71
26.
West, Suzanne
NSW
ALP
11.02.1987
01.07.1990
05.06.1987
30.06.2002
21.09.1947
71
27.
Bishop, Bronwyn
NSW
Mackellar (NSW)
Lib
11.07.1987
26.03.1994
24.02.1994
09.05.2016
19.10.1942
75
28.
Jenkins, Jean
WA
AD
11.07.1987
30.06.1990
16.03.1938
80
29.
Patterson, Kay
Vic
Lib
11.07.1987
30.06.2008
21.11.1944
73
30.
Dunn, Irina
NSW
NDP/Ind
21.07.1988
30.06.1990
17.03.1948
70
31.
Lees, Meg
SA
AD
04.04.1990
30.06.2005
19.10.1948
69
32.
Bourne, Victoria
NSW
AD
01.07.1990
30.06.2002
22.10.1954
63
33.
Kernot, Cheryl
Qld
Dickson (Qld)
AD
ALP
01.07.1990
03.10.1998
15.10.1997
10.11.2001
05.12.1948
69
34.
Sowada, Karin
NSW
AD
29.08.1991
30.06.1993
01.11.1961
56
35.
Chamarette, Christabel
WA
Greens WA
12.03.1992
30.06.1996
01.05.1948
70
36.
Margetts, Dee
WA
Greens WA
01.07.1993
30.06.1999
05.03.1955
63
37.
Troeth, Judith
Vic
Lib
01.07.1993
30.06.2011
03.08.1940
78
38.
Denman, Kay
Tas
ALP
24.08.1993
30.06.2005
22.07.1937
81
39.
Neal, Belinda
NSW
Robertson (NSW)
ALP
08.03.1994
24.11.2007
03.09.1998
19.07.2010
10.01.1963
55
40.
Collins, Jacinta
Vic
ALP
03.05.1995
08.05.2008
30.06.2005
04.09.1962
56
41.
Stott Despoja, Natasha
SA
AD
29.11.1995
30.06.1998
09.09.1969
49
42.
Lundy, Kate
ACT
ALP
02.03.1996
24.03.2015
15.12.1967
50
43.
Mackay, Susan
Tas
ALP
08.03.1996
29.07.2005
14.04.1960
58
44.
Ferris, Jeannie
SA
Lib
01.07.1996
24.07.1996
12.07.1996
02.04.2007
14.03.1941
02.04.2007
66
45.
Gibbs, Brenda
Qld
ALP
01.07.1996
30.06.2002
03.09.1947
71
46.
Allison, Lyn
Vic
AD
01.07.1996
30.06.2008
21.10.1946
71
47.
Coonan, Helen
NSW
AD
01.07.1996
22.08.2011
29.10.1947
70
48.
Payne, Marise
NSW
Lib
09.04.1997
29.07.1964
54
49.
Synon, Karen
Vic
Lib
13.05.1997
30.06.1999
15.09.1959
59
50.
Crossin, Trish
NT
ALP
01.07.1998
06.09.2013
21.03.1956
62
51.
McLucas, Jan
Qld
ALP
01.07.1999
09.05.2016
27.03.1958
60
52.
Moore, Claire
Qld
ALP
01.07.2002
19.02.1956
62
53.
Stephens, Ursula
NSW
ALP
01.07.2002
30.06.2014
07.07.1954
64
54.
Wong, Penny
SA
ALP
01.07.2002
05.11.1968
49
55.
Kirk, Linda
SA
ALP
01.07.2002
30.06.2008
24.05.1967
51
56.
Webber, Ruth
WA
ALP
01.07.2002
30.06.2008
24.03.1965
53
57.
Nettle, Kerry
NSW
Greens
01.07.2002
30.06.2008
24.12.1973
44
58.
Fierravanti-Wells, Concetta
NSW
Liberal
05.05.2005
20.05.1960
58
59.
Adams, Judith
WA
Liberal
01.07.2005
31.03.2012
11.04.1943
31.03.2012
68
60.
Wortley, Dana
SA
MHA Torrens (SA)
ALP
01.07.2005
15.03.2014
30.06.2011
xx.xx.1959
59
61.
Milne, Christine
MHA Lyons (Tas)
Tas
Greens
13.05.1989
01.07.2005
29.08.1998
10.08.2015
14.05.1953
65
62.
Nash, Fiona
NSW
Nationals
01.07.2005
27.10.2017
06.05.1965
53
63.
Polley, Helen
Tas
ALP
01.07.2005
09.02.1957
61
64.
Siewert, Rachel
WA
Greens
01.07.2005
04.11.1961
56
65.
Hurley, Annette
MHA Napier (SA)
SA
ALP
11.12.1993
01.07.2005
09.02.2002
30.06.2011
23.03.1955
63
66.
McEwen, Anne
SA
ALP
01.07.2005
02.07.2016
03.08.1954
64
67.
Brown, Carol
Tas
ALP
25.08.2005
19.07.1963
55
68.
Boyce, Sue
Qld
Liberal
19.04.2007
30.06.2014
15.03.1951
67
69.
Fisher, Mary Jo
SA
Liberal
12.06.2007
14.08.2012
25.12.1962
55
70.
Hanson-Young, Sarah
SA
Greens
01.07.2008
23.12.1981
36
71.
Pratt, Louise
MLC (WA)
WA
WA
ALP
22.05.2001
01.07.2008
02.07.2016
29.10.2007
30.06.2014
18.04.1972
46
72.
Cash, Michaelia
WA
Liberal
01.07.2008
19.07.1970
48
73.
Kroger, Helen
Vic
Liberal
01.07.2008
30.06.2014
11.03.1959
59
74.
Bilyk, Catryna
Tas
ALP
01.07.2008
07.02.1959
59
75.
McKenzie, Bridget
Vic
Nationals
01.07.2011
27.12.1969
48
76.
Rhiannon, Lee
MLC (NSW)
NSW
Greens
27.03.1999
01.07.2011
19.07.2010
14.08.2018
30.05.1951
67
77.
Singh, Lisa
MHA Denison (Tas)
Tas
ALP
18.03.2006
01.07.2011
13.04.2010
20.02.1972
46
78.
Wright, Penny
SA
Greens
01.07.2011
09.09.2015
19.01.1961
57
79.
Waters, Larissa
Qld
Greens
01.07.2011
06.09.2018
18.07.2017
08.02.1977
41
80.
Urquhart, Anne
Tas
ALP
01.07.2011
18.10.1957
60
81.
Thorp, Lin
Tas
ALP
20.06.2012
30.06.2014
04.11.1953
64
82.
Ruston, Anne
SA
Liberal
05.09.2012
10.06.1963
55
83.
Lines, Sue
WA
ALP
15.05.2013
15.12.1953
64
84.
Peris, Nova
NT
ALP
07.09.2013
09.05.2016
25.02.1971
47
85.
O’Neill, Deborah
Robertson (NSW)
NSW
ALP
21.08.2010
13.11.2013
07.09.2013
04.06.1961
57
86.
Lambie, Jacqui
Tas
PUP
Lambie
01.07.2014
14.11.2017
26.02.1971
47
87.
Rice, Janet
Vic
Greens
01.07.2014
18.11.1960
57
88.
Reynolds, Linda
WA
Liberal
01.07.2014
16.05.1965
53
89.
Gallagher, Katy
MLA Molonglo (ACT)
ACT
ALP
20.10.2001
25.03.2015
23.12.2014
09.05.2018
18.03.1970
48
90.
McAllister, Jenny
NSW
ALP
06.05.2015
21.02.1973
45
91.
Lindgren, Joanna
Qld
LNP
21.05.2015
02.07.2016
05.11.1969
48
92.
Hume, Jane
Vic
Liberal
02.07.2016
30.04.1971
47
93.
Hanson, Pauline
Oxley (Qld)
Qld
Independent
One Nation
02.03.1996
02.07.2016
03.10.1998
27.05.1954
64
94.
Kakoschke-Moore, Skye
SA
NXT
02.07.2016
22.11.2017
19.12.1985
32
95.
McCarthy, Malarndirri
NT
ALP
02.07.2016
19.04.1970
48
96.
Kitching, Kimberley
Vic
ALP
25.10.2016
16.02.1970
48
97.
Gichuhi, Lucy
SA
Ind / Liberal
19.04.2017
23.09.1962
56
98.
Keneally, Kristina
Heffron (NSW)
NSW
ALP
22.03.2003
14.02.2018
29.06.2012
19.12.1968
49
99.
Stoker, Amanda
Qld
LNP
21.03.2018
30.10.1982
35
100.
Faruqi, Dr Mehreen
MLC (NSW)
NSW
Greens
19.06.2013
15.08.2018
14.08.2018
08.07.1963
55

 

 

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