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Women Members Of The House Of Representatives Since 1901

There have been 132 women elected to the House of Representatives since 1901.

Of these 132 members, 77 (58.33%) have been members of the ALP, whilst 45 (34.09%) have been from the United Australia Party, Liberal Party, or Liberal National Party.

The Nationals have had three female members (2.27%). In the table below, where Northern Territory Country Liberal members and Queensland Liberal National members have been elected, they are shown with a forward slash indicating whether they sat with the Liberals or Nationals in Canberra.

The Nick Xenophon Team, now known as Centre Alliance, has elected one female member, Rebekha Sharkie (Mayo).

There have been six independent and crossbench members (4.54%). This includes two incumbents – Zali Steggall (Warringah) and Helen Haines (Indi) – and Haines’ immediate predecessor, Cathy McGowan. It includes former members Kerryn Phelps (Wentworth), and independent Labour member Doris Blackburn (Bourke). It includes Pauline Hanson (Oxley), who was elected on a Liberal ticket in 1996, but was disendorsed during the election campaign. Hanson sat as an independent, and then formed the One Nation party.

Women Members of the House of Representatives – By Party
Party ALP UAP/Liberal/LNP Nationals Centre Alliance Independent Total
Number
77
45
3
1
6
132
Percentage %
58.33
34.09
2.27
0.75
4.54

*

Growth In Numbers of Female Members

Of the 1,203 men and women elected to the House of Representatives since 1901, only 132 have been women – 10.97%.

Of the 46 House of Representatives elections since 1901, no women were elected in 25 (54.34%). It wasn’t until the seventeenth election in 1943 that Dame Enid Lyons (UAP/Lib) became the first woman to be elected to the House. Concurrently, Dorothy Tangney (ALP) won election as the first female senator. Doris Blackburn (Independent Labour) was elected to the House in 1946.

There were no women elected to the House in the 1950s and just one each in the 1960s (Kay Brownbill) and 1970s (Joan Child). The 1977 federal election was the last time no women were elected to the House. Nine were elected in the 1980s. In the 1990s, 41 women were elected for the first time, whilst another 25 joined the House in the 2000s. In the four elections from 2010, including by-elections, another 53 women have been elected for the first time.

At the 2010 election, 7 new women members were elected. There were 13 following the 2013 election and another at a by-election. There were 14 at the 2016 election and another two at by-elections. Sixteen new women members were elected at the 2019 election.

Women Members of the House of Representatives – Number Elected by Decade
Decades 1900-1943 1940s 1950s 1960s 1970s 1980s 1990s 2000s 2010s
Number Elected
0
2
0
1
1
9
41
25
53
Cumulative Totals
0
2
2
3
4
13
54
79
132

*

Current Numbers – 46th Parliament Elected 2019

There are currently 46 female members in the House of Representatives, following the 2019 federal election. This is 30.46% of the 151-member House. There are 14 Liberals/LNP, 1 Nationals, 28 ALP, 1 Centre Alliance and 2 independents.

At the 2019 federal election, sixteen women entered the House for the first time: Liberal 7, Nationals 1, ALP 6, Independent 2.

Thirteen woman departed the House: Liberal 5, ALP 6, Independent 2.

Of the departures, 6 retired, 4 were defeated, and 3 were defeated at preselection or retired under threat of preselection defeat.

Reflecting the relatively recent increase in female representation, the 46 members currently serving represent 34.84% of the 132 female members since Federation.

At by-elections on July 28, 2018, Justine Keay (Braddon), Susan Lamb (Longman) and Rebekha Sharkie (Mayo) were re-elected, following their resignations due to breaches of Section 44 of the Constitution. Lamb and Keay were then defeated at the 2019 election, whilst Sharkie was re-elected.

The oldest currently serving female is Nola Marino (Lib-Forrest), 65. The youngest is not yet clear from the data, but could be Alicia Payne (ALP-Canberra), 37.

Women Members of the 46th House of Representatives 2019
State/Territory Liberal/LNP Nationals Aust Labor Party Centre Alliance Independent TOTAL
New South Wales (47)
4
12
1
17
Victoria (38)
2
1
9
1
13
Queensland (30)
3
2
5
Western Australia (16)
3
2
5
South Australia (10)
1
1
1
3
Tasmania (5)
1
1
2
Aust Capital Territory (3)
1
1
Northern Territory (2)
TOTAL (151)
14
1
28
1
2
46

*

Assorted Statistics

  • The longest-serving female member of the House of Representatives is Jenny Macklin, who represented the Victorian electorate of Jagajaga for the ALP for 23 years, 1 month, 9 days between 1996 and 2019.
  • The shortest-serving female member of the House of Representatives is Dr Kerryn Phelps, who held the NSW seat of Wentworth for 6 months, 28 days between 2018 and 2019.
  • Just eight (6.06%) of the 132 women elected to the House have died.
  • Six of the 132 women have also served in the Senate, four before entering the House (Kathy Sullivan/Martin, Bronwyn Bishop, Cheryl Kernot and Belinda Neal), and two after leaving the House (Deborah O’Neill and Pauline Hanson).
  • Ten of the 132 women have served in state or territory parliaments. Janice Crosio (NSW), Dr Carmen Lawrence (WA), Annette Ellis (ACT), Jill Hall (NSW), Janelle Saffin (NSW) and Linda Burney (NSW) served in the federal parliament after leaving state/territory parliament, whilst Silvia Smith (Tas), Michelle O’Byrne (Tas) and Yvette D’Ath (Qld) served first in the House. Janelle Saffin returned to the NSW parliament in 2019 as MLA for Lismore. The ALP’s Alannah MacTiernan (WA) served as a member and a minister at the state level before completing one term in the House and then returning as a member and minister at the state level. Janice Crosio and Linda Burney also served as ministers at the state level.
  • Of the 86 former female members, 40 (46.51%) were defeated at an election. Sharryn Jackson was defeated, re-elected and defeated again. Joan Child, Fran Bailey and Teresa Gambaro were each defeated, re-elected, and then retired. They are counted on their final departure reason.
  • Of the 86 former female members, 39 (44.04%) ultimately chose their own time to retire. Seven women (8.13%) left the House after losing a preselection or retiring in the face of a denial of preselection.
  • One former member, (Jackie Kelly), was disqualified under Section 44 of the Constitution, but was comfortably re-elected and went on to win four terms, before being defeated.
  • The oldest former female member of the House is Jeannette McHugh (ALP-Phillip/Grayndler), 84. The youngest former member is Kate Ellis (ALP-Adelaide), 41.

*

The table below lists each woman by the date of her first election to the House. It also shows details of those who also served in the Senate or other parliaments. Where members have left the House, the reason for departure is shown.

Women Members of the House of Representatives Since 1901
No. Name Party Seat Term Began Term
Ended
Reason Birth Death Age
1.
(Dame) Enid Lyons
UAP/Liberal
Darwin (Tas)
21.08.1943
19.03.1951
retired
09.07.1897
02.09.1981
84
2.
Doris Blackburn
Ind Labor
Bourke (Vic)
28.09.1946
10.12.1949
defeated
18.09.1889
12.12.1970
81
3.
Kay Brownbill
Liberal
Kingston (SA)
26.11.1966
25.10.1969
defeated
21.07.1914
03.02.2002
87
4.
Joan Child
ALP
Henty (Vic)
18.05.1974
18.10.1980
13.12.1975
19.02.1990
defeated
retired
03.08.1921
23.02.2013
91
5.
Elaine Darling
ALP
Lilley (Qld)
18.10.1980
08.02.1993
retired
06.06.1936
83
6.
Ros Kelly
ALP
Canberra (ACT)
18.10.1980
30.01.1995
retired
25.01.1948
71
7.
Wendy Fatin
ALP
Canning (WA)
Brand (WA)
05.03.1983
01.12.1984
01.12.1984
29.01.1996
retired
10.04.1941
78
8.
Jeannette McHugh
ALP
Phillip (NSW)
Grayndler (NSW)
05.03.1983
13.03.1993
13.03.1993
29.01.1996
retired
18.12.1934
84
9.
Helen Mayer
ALP
Chisholm (Vic)
05.03.1983
11.07.1987
defeated
07.09.1932
07.02.2008
75
10.
Carolyn Jakobsen
ALP
Cowan (WA)
01.12.1984
13.03.1993
defeated
11.09.1947
71
11.
Kathy Sullivan (Martin)
Liberal
Senate (Qld)
Moncrieff (Qld)
18.05.1974
01.12.1984
05.11.1984
08.10.2001
retired
08.03.1942
77
12.
Mary Crawford
ALP
Forde (Qld)
11.07.1987
02.03.1996
defeated
12.04.1947
72
13.
Elizabeth Harvey
ALP
Hawker (SA)
11.07.1987
24.03.1990
defeated
19.10.1946
72
14.
Fran Bailey
Liberal
McEwen (Vic)
24.03.1990
02.03.1996
13.03.1993
19.07.2010
defeated
retired
21.05.1946
73
15.
Janice Crosio
ALP
Prospect (NSW)
24.03.1990
31.10.2004
retired
03.01.1939
80
16.
Christine Gallus
Liberal
Hawker (SA)
Hindmarsh (SA)
24.03.1990
13.03.1993
13.03.1993
31.08.2004
retired
06.04.1943
76
17.
Maggie Deahm
ALP
Macquarie (NSW)
13.03.1993
02.03.1996
defeated
31.10.1938
28.12.2015
77
18.
Mary Easson
ALP
Lowe (NSW)
13.03.1993
02.03.1996
defeated
16.06.1955
64
19.
Marjorie Henzell
ALP
Capricornia (Qld)
13.03.1993
02.03.1996
defeated
21.09.1948
70
20.
Judi Moylan
Liberal
Pearce (WA)
13.03.1993
05.08.2013
retired
24.02.1944
75
21.
Silvia Smith
ALP
Bass (Tas)
MLC Windermere
13.03.1993
1997
02.03.1996
2003
defeated
22.12.1939
79
22.
Trish Worth
Liberal
Adelaide (SA)
13.03.1993
09.10.2004
defeated
21.04.1946
73
23.
Dr Carmen Lawrence
ALP
MLA East Melville
MLA Subiaco
MLA Glenalough
Fremantle (WA)
1983
1986
1989
12.03.1994
1986
1989
1994
17.10.2007
new seat
new seat
resigned
retired
02.03.1948
71
24.
Bronwyn Bishop
Liberal
Senate (NSW)
Mackellar (NSW)
11.07.1987
26.03.1994
24.02.1994
09.05.2016
resigned
preselection
19.10.1942
76
25.
Trish Draper
Liberal
Makin (SA)
02.03.1996
24.11.2007
retired
02.04.1959
60
26.
Annette Ellis
ALP
Namadgi (ACT)
Canberra (ACT)
02.03.1996
03.10.1998
03.10.1998
19.07.2010
retired
13.10.1946
72
27.
Kay Elson
Liberal
Forde (Qld)
02.03.1996
17.10.2007
retired
25.01.1947
72
28.
Teresa Gambaro
Liberal
Petrie (Qld)
Brisbane (Qld)
02.03.1996
21.08.2010
24.11.2007
09.05.2016
defeated
retired
29.11.1958
60
29.
Joanna Gash
Liberal
Gilmore (NSW)
02.03.1996
05.08.2013
retired
21.07.1944
75
30.
Elizabeth Grace
Liberal
Lilley (Qld)
02.03.1996
03.10.1998
defeated
27.05.1940
79
31.
Pauline Hanson
Independent
One Nation
Oxley (Qld)
Senate (Qld)
02.03.1996
02.07.2016
03.10.1998
defeated
27.05.1954
65
32.
Susan Jeanes
Liberal
Kingston (SA)
02.03.1996
03.10.1998
defeated
24.02.1958
61
33.
Ricky Johnston
Liberal
Canning (WA)
02.03.1996
03.10.1998
defeated
29.10.1943
75
34.
De-Anne Kelly
Nationals
Dawson (Qld)
02.03.1996
24.11.2007
defeated
21.03.1954
65
35.
Jackie Kelly
Liberal
Lindsay (NSW)
02.03.1996
19.10.1996
11.09.1996
17.10.2007
disqualified
retired
18.02.1964
55
36.
Jenny Macklin
ALP
Jagajaga (Vic)
02.03.1996
11.04.2019
retired
29.12.1953
65
37.
Dr Sharman Stone
Liberal
Murray (Vic)
02.03.1996
09.05.2016
retired
23.04.1951
68
38.
Danna Vale
Liberal
Hughes (NSW)
02.03.1996
19.07.2010
retired
14.11.1944
74
39.
Andrea West
Liberal
Bowman (Qld)
02.03.1996
03.10.1998
defeated
16.09.1952
20.04.2010
57
40.
Julie Bishop
Liberal
Curtin (WA)
03.10.1998
11.04.2019
retired
17.07.1956
63
41.
Anna Burke
ALP
Chisholm (Vic)
03.10.1998
09.05.2016
retired
01.01.1966
53
42.
Jane Gerick
ALP
Canning (WA)
03.10.1998
10.11.2001
defeated
23.04.1963
25.12.2003
40
43.
Julia Gillard
ALP
Lalor (Vic)
03.10.1998
05.08.2013
retired
29.09.1961
57
44.
Jill Hall
ALP
MLA Swansea
Shortland (NSW)
25.03.1995
03.10.1998
01.09.1998
09.05.2016
resigned
retired
16.11.1949
69
45.
Kelly Hoare
ALP
Charlton (NSW)
03.10.1998
17.10.2007
retired
01.07.1963
56
46.
Kay Hull
Nationals
Riverina (NSW)
03.10.1998
19.07.2010
retired
03.02.1954
65
47.
Julia Irwin
ALP
Fowler (NSW)
03.10.1998
19.07.2010
retired
08.11.1951
67
48.
Cheryl Kernot
ALP
Senate (Qld)
Dickson (Qld)
01.07.1990
03.10.1998
15.10.1997
10.11.2001
resigned
defeated
05.12.1948
70
49.
Kirsten Livermore
ALP
Capricornia (Qld)
03.10.1998
05.08.2013
retired
10.11.1969
49
50.
Margaret May
Liberal
McPherson (Qld)
03.10.1998
19.07.2010
retired
30.06.1950
69
51.
Jann McFarlane
ALP
Stirling (WA)
03.10.1998
09.10.2004
defeated
22.05.1944
75
52.
Michelle O’Byrne
ALP
Bass (Tas)
MHA Bass (Tas)
03.10.1998
18.03.2006
09.10.2004
defeated
06.03.1968
51
53.
Tanya Plibersek
ALP
Sydney (NSW)
03.10.1998
02.12.1969
49
54.
Nicola Roxon
ALP
Gellibrand (Vic)
03.10.1998
05.08.2013
retired
01.04.1967
52
55.
Ann Corcoran
ALP
Isaacs (Vic)
12.08.2000
17.10.2007
preselection
21.09.1951
67
56.
Leonie Short
ALP
Ryan (Qld)
17.03.2001
10.11.2001
defeated
01.01.1956
63
57.
Jennie George
ALP
Throsby (NSW)
10.11.2001
19.07.2010
retired
28.08.1947
71
58.
Sharon Grierson
ALP
Newcastle (NSW)
10.11.2001
05.08.2013
retired
04.05.1951
68
59.
Sharryn Jackson
ALP
Hasluck (WA)
10.11.2001
24.11.2007
09.10.2004
21.08.2010
defeated
defeated
12.02.1962
57
60.
Catherine King
ALP
Ballarat (Vic)
10.11.2001
02.06.1966
53
61.
Sussan Ley
Liberal
Farrer (NSW)
10.11.2001
14.12.1961
57
62.
Sophie Mirabella
Liberal
Indi (Vic)
10.11.2001
07.09.2013
defeated
27.10.1968
50
63.
Maria Vamvakinou
ALP
Calwell (Vic)
10.11.2001
04.01.1959
60
64.
Sharon Bird
ALP
Cunningham (NSW)
09.10.2004
15.11.1962
56
65.
Justine Elliot
ALP
Richmond (NSW)
09.10.2004
29.07.1967
52
66.
Kate Ellis
ALP
Adelaide (SA)
09.10.2004
11.04.2019
retired
22.09.1977
41
67.
Louise Markus
Liberal
Greenway (NSW)
Macquarie (NSW)
09.10.2004
21.08.2010
21.08.2010
02.07.2016
defeated
06.09.1958
60
68.
Julie Owens
ALP
Parramatta (NSW)
09.10.2004
17.10.1958
60
69.
Jodie Campbell
ALP
Bass (Tas)
24.11.2007
19.07.2010
preselection
18.01.1972
47
70.
Julie Collins
ALP
Franklin (Tas)
24.11.2007
03.07.1971
48
71.
Yvette D’Ath
ALP
Petrie (Qld)
MLA Redcliffe
24.11.2007
22.02.2014
07.09.2013
defeated
26.07.1970
49
72.
Nola Marino
Liberal
Forrest (WA)
24.11.2007
18.02.1954
65
73.
Maxine McKew
ALP
Bennelong (NSW)
24.11.2007
21.08.2010
defeated
22.07.1953
66
74.
Belinda Neal
ALP
Senate (NSW)
Robertson (NSW)
08.03.1994
24.11.2007
03.09.1998
19.07.2010
resigned
preselection
10.01.1963
56
75.
Melissa Parke
ALP
Fremantle (WA)
24.11.2007
09.05.2016
retired
11.08.1966
53
76.
Kerry Rea
ALP
Bonner (Qld)
24.11.2007
21.08.2010
defeated
16.04.1963
56
77.
Amanda Rishworth
ALP
Kingston (SA)
24.11.2007
10.07.1978
41
78.
Janelle Saffin
ALP
Page (NSW)
MLA Lismore
24.11.2007
23.03.2019
07.09.2013
defeated
01.11.1954
64
79.
Kelly O’Dwyer
Liberal
Higgins (Vic)
05.12.2009
11.05.2019
retired
31.03.1977
42
80.
Karen Andrews
LNP/Liberal
McPherson (Qld)
21.08.2010
23.08.1960
58
81.
Gai Brodtmann
ALP
Canberra (ACT)
21.08.2010
11.04.2019
retired
24.11.1963
55
82.
Natasha Griggs
CLP/Liberal
Solomon (NT)
21.08.2010
02.07.2016
defeated
24.01.1969
50
83.
Deborah O’Neill
ALP
Robertson (NSW)
Senate (NSW)
21.08.2010
13.11.2013
07.09.2013
defeated
04.06.1961
58
84.
Jane Prentice
LNP/Liberal
Ryan (Qld)
21.08.2010
11.04.2019
preselection
22.06.1953
66
85.
Michelle Rowland
ALP
Greenway (NSW)
21.08.2010
16.11.1971
47
86.
Laura Smyth
ALP
La Trobe (Vic)
21.08.2010
07.09.2013
defeated
12.11.1976
42
87.
Lisa Chesters
ALP
Bendigo (Vic)
07.09.2013
11.02.1980
39
88.
Sharon Claydon
ALP
Newcastle (NSW)
07.09.2013
26.04.1964
55
89.
Sarah Henderson
Liberal
Corangamite (Vic)
07.09.2013
18.05.2019
defeated
04.04.1964
55
90.
Michelle Landry
LNP/Nationals
Capricornia (Qld)
07.09.2013
15.10.1962
56
91.
Alannah MacTiernan
ALP
MLC East Metro
MLA Armadale
Perth (WA)
MLC North Metro
06.02.1993
14.12.1996
07.09.2013
2017
14.12.1996
19.07.2010
09.05.2016
moved House
resigned
retired
10.01.1953
66
92.
Cathy McGowan
Independent
Indi (Vic)
07.09.2013
11.04.2019
retired
29.11.1953
65
93.
Karen McNamara
Liberal
Dobell (NSW)
07.09.2013
02.07.2016
defeated
23.04.1964
55
94.
Clare O’Neil
ALP
Hotham (Vic)
07.09.2013
12.09.1980
38
95.
Melissa Price
Liberal
Durack (WA)
07.09.2013
12.12.1963
55
96.
Joanne Ryan
ALP
Lalor (Vic)
07.09.2013
29.07.1961
58
97.
Fiona Scott
Liberal
Lindsay (NSW)
07.09.2013
02.07.2016
defeated
01.03.1977
42
98.
Ann Sudmalis
Liberal
Gilmore (NSW)
07.09.2013
11.04.2019
ret/preselection
16.09.1955
63
99.
Lucy Wicks
Liberal
Robertson (NSW)
07.09.2013
01.01.1973
46
100.
Terri Butler
ALP
Griffith (Qld)
08.02.2014
28.11.1977
41
101.
Anne Aly
ALP
Cowan (WA)
02.07.2016
29.03.1967
52
102.
Julia Banks
Liberal
Chisholm (Vic)
02.07.2016
18.05.2019
defeated
18.09.1962
56
103.
Linda Burney
ALP
Barton (NSW)
02.07.2016
25.04.1957
62
104.
Nicolle Flint
Liberal
Boothby (SA)
02.07.2016
15.07.1978
41
105.
Emma Husar
ALP
Lindsay (NSW)
02.07.2016
11.04.2019
preselection
20.04.1980
39
106.
Justine Keay
ALP
Braddon (Tas)
02.07.2016
28.07.2018
10.05.2018
18.05.2019
resigned
defeated
18.03.1975
44
107.
Madeleine King
ALP
Brand (WA)
02.07.2016
31.03.1973
46
108.
Susan Lamb
ALP
Longman (Qld)
02.07.2016
28.07.2018
10.05.2018
18.05.2019
resigned
defeated
23.03.1972
47
109.
Emma McBride
ALP
Dobell (NSW)
02.07.2016
27.04.1975
44
110.
Cathy O’Toole
ALP
Herbert (Qld)
02.07.2016
18.05.2019
defeated
30.08.1956
62
111.
Rebekha Sharkie
NXT
CA
Mayo (SA)
02.07.2016
28.07.2018
11.05.2018
resigned
24.08.1972
46
112.
Anne Stanley
ALP
Werriwa (NSW)
02.07.2016
06.10.1961
57
113.
Meryl Swanson
ALP
Paterson (NSW)
02.07.2016
03.09.1970
48
114.
Susan Templeman
ALP
Macquarie (NSW)
02.07.2016
30.07.1963
56
115.
Ged Kearney
ALP
Batman (Vic)
17.03.2018
29.10.1963
55
116.
Dr Kerryn Phelps
Independent
Wentworth (NSW)
20.10.2018
18.05.2019
defeated
14.12.1957
61
117.
Katie Allen
Liberal
Higgins (Vic)
18.05.2019
24.02.1966
53
118.
Bridget Archer
Liberal
Bass (Tas)
18.05.2019
18.05.1975
44
119.
Angie Bell
LNP/Liberal
Moncrieff (Qld)
18.05.2019
120.
Libby Coker
ALP
Corangamite (Vic)
18.05.2019
121.
Dr Helen Haines
Independent
Indi (Vic)
18.05.2019
21.09.1961
57
122.
Celia Hammond
Liberal
Curtin (WA)
18.05.2019
123.
Gladys Liu
Liberal
Chisholm (Vic)
18.05.2019
06.04.1964
55
124.
Fiona Martin
Liberal
Reid (NSW)
18.05.2019
16.11.1977
41
125.
Melissa McIntosh
Liberal
Lindsay (NSW)
18.05.2019
24.08.1977
41
126.
Peta Murphy
ALP
Dunkley (Vic)
18.05.2019
01.11.1973
45
127.
Alicia Payne
ALP
Canberra (ACT)
18.05.2019
xx.xx.1982
37
128.
Fiona Phillips
ALP
Gilmore (NSW)
18.05.2019
129.
Zali Steggall
Independent
Warringah (NSW)
18.05.2019
16.04.1974
45
130.
Kate Thwaites
ALP
Jagajaga (Vic)
18.05.2019
131.
Anne Webster
Nationals
Mallee (Vic)
18.05.2019
132.
Anika Wells
ALP
Lilley (Qld)
18.05.2019

 

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