Women Leaders


Dr. Sima Samar
Dr. Samar is a doctor who runs health centres for Afghan refugees in Pakistan was Afghanistan's deputy premier and now in-charge of women's affairs under the government of President Karzai. She is the first woman to hold such a senior post in Afghanistan. She has also won a number of awards for her work in the field of social welfare. Dr Samar fled Afghanistan for Pakistan 17 years ago after her husband was arrested during the Russian occupation. He was never heard from again. She gained a medical degree from Kabul University and developed a passion for women's rights. She practiced medicine in a border refugee camp before opening a hospital for women in 1987.

Please click here for more information on Dr. Simar Samar.

Dr. Suhaila Seddiqi
Dr. Seddiqi is a surgeon and former army general who still lives in Kabul. She is Afghanistan's minister for public health. Ms Seddiqi, also known as General Suhaila, has served in Kabul's military hospital and saved the lives of many wounded in rocket attacks during factional fighting in the 1990s.

Please click here for more information on Dr. Suhaila Seddiqi

Amina Safi Afzali
She is the sole female delegate of the Afghanistan-Conference, Petersberg (Bonn, Germany). The 43-year-old Afzali is the widow of Safiollah Afzali, a Mujahid killed 14 years ago fighting against the Soviets. She is regarded as an Islamist pleading for women’s rights. One of the issues for Afzali is the dress code imposed on women. Supporting a recent demonstration in Kabul where hundreds of women shed their burqas to demand their rights, Afzali said that the burqa is preventing women from taking part in society. "We believe that women should have a proper Islamic dress that does not prevent them from taking part in social and political activities," she told Reuters.

Source: www.afgha.com/?af=who&op=read&id=565

Fatana Gailani
A refugee since 1979, Fatana Gailani heads the Afghan Women's Council (AWC) in Peshawar, Pakistan. In 1999, when she received death threats from the Taleban, Amnesty International issued an Urgent Action urging the Pakistani government to provide protection. Fatana Gailani was born in Kabul and grew up under the rule of King Zahir Shah, who lifted the purdah law while she was young. After studying management, she married Ishaq Gailani, a prominent politician and peace activist. In 1979, they fled to Pakistan with their one-year-old daughter. In Peshawar, Fatana Gailani found women came to her for advice on economic and health matters. She soon wanted to do more for her fellow Afghan refugees and told her husband she was going to work 'outside the home'. In 1986, she founded the Mother and Child Health Clinic, with 22 female doctors and nurses, working unpaid from 8am to 3pm each day. A few months later, Fatana Gailani set up a school near Munda, one of the Peshawar refugee camps then accommodating 10,000 people. Boys were the first to come to the school: initially, only five to 10 girls attended. About 400 children in the camp had been left without fathers and at first few came to classes because their mothers depended on their earnings. Gailani raised money from supporters in Germany to enable the children to go to school. Attendance grew so much that the facilities at Munda were no longer enough. In 1993 the school transferred to Hayatabad. The increase was due to a flood of refugees fleeing fighting between rival mujahedeen groups. Among the issues that divided them was whether women should be allowed to work. It was around this time that Gailani became active on women's rights. The more extreme mujahedeen groups were also a physical threat to women. Early one morning in 1989, armed men entered the home of one of Gailani's colleagues and abducted her. Gailani, who felt that her own life was in danger, fled Pakistan for a year. In 1993, Fatana Gailani and other Afghan women living in Pakistan set up the AWC to inform refugee women about their rights, within the framework of Afghanistan's cultural and religious traditions, and to develop health and education for children and women. They established a research centre in Peshawar where they hold conferences and educational workshops for refugee women. Up to 200 women still come to the centre each day. They also set up a newspaper, Zani-I-Afghan (The Afghan Woman). The AWC also founded a 20-bed hospital for women and children in Kabul and in January 2000 set up an office there. The organisation has been able to provide food for 1,000 women and their families. Gailani does not aim to challenge religious tradition: 'Islam says that women should cover themselves... I am not a fanatic. I hate the burqa. I am a Muslim woman and I care for Afghan culture. I don't want the fanatics' culture. I don't want Islam to be political.' Given Afghan leaders' poor record on human rights, Gailani is sceptical about the transitional government's commitment to women: 'They put on nice suits and talk about democracy... They don't talk about the security of the Afghan people because they have no power. Men are fighting with each other. They don't care about women.' She believes little has been done to include more women in the coalition government. 'We don't trust the people who say that women should wait. Why wait?' Asked what the international community should do to help, Gailani smiled, tiredly: 'Before 11 September, I went eight times to the US. No one ever listened to me or tried to help me in any way. Now we need money. We need medicine, we need food, we want to send our children to school.'

Source: www.amnesty.org.uk/news/mag/april02/feature.shtml

Chekeba Hachemi
Hachemi, who holds a doctorate in economics, has lived in Paris since 1986 and is head of the Afghanistan Libre aid-group, which runs a small network of girls schools and women's health care centres in Afghanistan's remote villages. Hachemi has travelled to Afghanistan six times since the Taliban came to power in 1996 - four times to areas in northeastern parts of the country previously held by the anti-Taliban groups. She visited Kabul early this year after the puritanical Taliban regime fell under pressure from opposition forces and US military strikes. Hachemi has been appointed as number two in the country's newly-opened embassy in Brussels.

Source: http://www.afgha.com/?af=who&op=read&id=750

Sima Wali
Sima Wali is President and CEO of Refugee Women in Development (RefWID), Inc. an international institution focusing on women in conflict and post-conflict reintegration issues. She is a native of Afghanistan, and her personal experience as a woman and a refugee inspires her work for uprooted women's human rights. Ms. Wali works to empower uprooted women to join her in representing, nationally and internationally. She is a pioneer in providing culturally-specific domestic violence intervention and prevention mechanisms for refugee women and their American counterparts. She advocates nationally and internaionally for uprooted women and girls whose rights have been violated as refugees and internally displaced people. Her writings have been published in prestigious journals and books. Ms. Wali is the recipient of Amnesty International's l999 3rd Annual Ginetta Sagan Fund Award of Amnesty International in recognition of her work on Afghan women and human rights. The Ginetta Sagan Fund Award of Amnesty International is given annually in recognition of individual accomplishment, but also in the belief that it will serve as a beacon of hope to women everywhere who are fighting for human rights. It is given to a woman who has demonstrated outstanding achievement, often in the face of personal danger, to help women and children who are victims of violence. Ms. Wali is the recipient of numerous awards for her pioneering work in developing program models aimed at the empowerment of women caught conflict, democratic civil society-building of war-torn societies, gender, forced migration, and human rights. Ms. Wali has been honored by the Women Donors Network, the Women's Commission for Refugee Women and Children, the National Conference for College Women Graduate Leaders. She is the recipient of the Gloria Steinem: Women of Vision Aaward for her pioneering work in addressing violence against refugee women in the United States. Ms. Wali has led UNIFEM sponsored missions to Pakistan to assess Afghan women's human rights needs and concerns and to provide technical assistance and capacity-building training to them. Her testimonials on this issue before the U.S. Congress and the State Department, and her joint advocacy with human rights groups resulted in U.S. government appropriation of $2.5 million in support of Afghan women's efforts. Ms. Wali has recently returned form a mission to Pakistan where she conducted a needs assessment among Afghan civic groups providing services in the education, health, social services, emergency relief and human rights sectors in Pakistan and inside Afghanistan. The groups received training in institutional capacity building and small grants in support of their work.

Source: http://www.afgha.com/?af=who&op=read&id=531


Lyn Allison
Senator Lyn Allison was elected in 1996 as an Australian Democrats’ representative for Victoria.

Senator Allison is a member of several Senate Committees, playing a key role in what is said to be the engine rooms of Federal Parliament. She chairs the powerful Senate Environment, Communications, Information Technology and the Arts References Committee (ECITA).

Senator Allison’s most notable achievements to date include securing more than one billion dollars to tackle climate change, major changes to fuel and vehicle emission standards to begin to tackle air pollution and negotiating more than 400 amendments to improve the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act in 1999 which has significantly strengthened Federal powers over the environment.

Electorate Office:
Eastbourne House, 62 Wellington Parade
East Melbourne, Victoria 3002
Tel: 03 9416 1880
Fax: 03 9417 1690
Email: Senator.Allison@democrats.org.au
Web: http://www.vic.democrats.org.au/lynallison

Senator Lyn Allison

Vicki Bourne
Vicki Bourne was an architecture student at the University of New South Wales with a young person’s passion and concern for the environment, when she heard of the formation of a new political party in 1977. Attracted by the anti-nuclear, pro-environment policies of the Australian Democrats, she joined immediately and has been a member ever since.

Vicki was elected to the Senate in 1990, having campaigned strongly on an environmental, human rights and social justice platform.

As a Senator, she has repeatedly called on the Australian Government to take a more progressive stand on human rights by linking human rights and trade, and calling for the observance and respect for the International Declaration of Human Rights. Vicki’s focus on this issue includes independence for Tibet, self-determination for East Timor and restoration of democracy in Burma.

She was re-elected to the Senate in 1996 and is the Democrats Party Whip.

Electorate Office:
ANZ McCaughan House, 56-70 Phillip Street
Sydney, New South Wales 2000
Tel: 02 9247 3377
Fax: 02 9247 9681
Email: Senator.Bourne@democrats.org.au
Web: http://www.nsw.democrats.org.au/senatorbourne

Senator Vicki Bourne

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Jacinta Collins
She entered the Senate on 9 May 1995, replacing the late Senator Olive Zakharov. Until her nomination to the Senate, Jacinta worked as a National Industrial Officer for the Shop, Distributive and Allied Employees Association. She had also previously held the positions of Social Welfare Officer and Research Officer at the SDA.

Her main policy interests lie in Industrial Relations and Social Welfare. She sees her role in the Senate as an opportunity to further advance the position of women from within the Labor agenda.

Currently, she is Chair of the Employment, Workplace Relations, Small Business and Education References Committee, and a member of the Employment, Workplace Relations, Small Business and Education Legislation Committee.

Party: Labor Party

Parliament Contact:
Tel: (02) 6277 5880
Fax: (02) 6277 5886
Email: senator.jacinta.collins@aph.gov.au

Electorate Office:
Unit 6, 410 Burwood Highway Wantirna South VIC 3152
Tel: (03) 9800 2055
Fax: (03) 9800 2421

Source and relevant links:
First Speech

Helen Coonan
Helen Coonan was elected to Federal parliament as a Liberal Senator for New South Wales in March 1996 and commenced her term on 1 July of the same year. In November 1998 she was appointed Government Deputy Whip in the Senate, a position that she currently holds. She is based in central Sydney and is active within the Sydney community.

Senator Coonan has shown herself to be consistent advocate of constituent and community interests, especially those of women and has advanced those interests in a number of official appointments including as a Director of the Royal Hospital for Women Foundation, as Chair of the Law Foundation and as a member of the Social Security Appeals Tribunal. Most recently she has been appointed to the Board of the Council for Equal Opportunity and is a Director of the Council of Asia Pacific Women in Politics. Helen is also a member of Chief Executive Women and was this year inducted into the Business Women’s Hall of Fame.

Positions: Minister for Revenue and Assistant Treasurer
Party: Liberal Party of Australia

Parliament Contact:
Tel: (02) 6277 7360
Fax: (02) 6273 4125
Email: senator.coonan@aph.gov.au

Source and relevant links:
About Helen Coonan
Senator Helen Coonan

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Trish Crossin
Trish (Patricia) Crossin is one of two Northern Territory Senators in the Federal Parliament, having been appointed on 16 June 1998 to replace the Territory's former Labor Senator, Bob Collins.

Before her appointment as Senator for the Northern Territory, Trish was Secretary of the National Tertiary Education Union (NT Branch).

Senator Crossin has been an active Labor Party member for almost 20 years, with involvement at every level from local branch to Vice President and a National Conference delegate for the last four conferences.

She is also a National Committee member of Emily's List, an organisation committed to increasing the representation of women in politics. Trish is currently a member of the Buffalo Creek Branch (covering the Drysdale and Wanguri electorates in the NT) and is a member of the Northern Territory Branch Administrative Committee.

Position: Opposition Deputy Whip
Party: Australian Labor Party
Parliament Contact:
Tel: (02) 6277 3777
Fax: (02) 6277 3661
Email: senator.crossin@aph.gov.au

Source amd relevant links:
Trish Crossin, Senator for the Northern Territory

Rosemary Crowley
Rosemary entered the Senate in 1983 and was the first female member of the ALP to be elected to Federal Parliament from South Australia. She is also the first woman to be elected to a Federal Ministry from South Australia.

Rosemary was Minister for Family Services from 1993-1996 and Minister Assisting the Prime Minister for Status of Women 1993-1994.

Before entering the Senate she worked as a doctor in community health, with particular interest in family health, Medicare, childcare, parent education, occupational health and safety and women's health. She has been involved with the South Australian ALP Women's Policy Committee since its inception in 1979.

Rosemary headed the Government inquiry into Women, Sport and the Media, which resulted in the establishment of the Women's Sports Unit in the Sports Commission in Canberra and supports government funding for community and school participation in sport and physical fitness as well as support for our elite athletes. She has played an active role in the Status of Women Caucus Committee.

Rosemary is currently Chair of Senate Community Affairs References Committee - two current inquiries - childbirth procedures and public hospital funding.

Party: Australian Labor Party
Parliament Contact:
Tel: (02) 6277 5789
Fax: (02) 6277 3105
Email: senator.crowley@aph.gov.au

Source and relevant links:
The Hon. Rosemary Crowley, Senator for South Australia

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Kay Denman
Kay Denman was educated at Launceston Teachers College and earned a B.Ed and Dip Sp.Ed externally from Tasmanian University.

Senator Denman was elected to the Senate in August 1993 after the resignation of Michael Tate. After many years as a teacher including some years in special education, Senator Denman left teaching to become Private Secretary to the Hon Michael Field MHA, when he became Premier of Tasmania and just prior to entering the Senate was Manager of the Community Legal Centre in Devonport.

Working in local community groups for many years enhanced Senator Denman's interest in social justice issues which she is pursuing as a Senator representing Tasmania.

Party: Australian Labor Party
Parliament Contact:
Tel: (02) 6277 3083
Fax: (02) 6277 3467
Email: senator.denman@aph.gov.au

Source and relevant links:
Kay Denman, Senator for Tasmania
Kay Denman

Natasha Stott Despoja
Natasha Stott Despoja, the youngest woman to enter the Australian Federal Parliament, was appointed to the Senate in November 1995, filling the vacancy created by the resignation of Dr John Coulter. She was subsequently re-elected to the Senate in 1996. Prior to taking up her Senate seat, Natasha worked as a political adviser for past Democrat leaders, John Coulter and Cheryl Kernot.

Born in Adelaide in 1969, Natasha graduated with a Bachelor of Arts from the University of Adelaide. She received her introduction to politics through the student movement and her Presidency of the Adelaide University Students' Association. Natasha was also State Women’s Officer with the National Union of Students in 1990. She has worked as a freelance writer, community radio producer and political consultant.

Natasha uses her position as a Senator to speak on behalf of young Australians and to encourage young people to become politically active and to stand up for their rights. She remains active in the women's movement and continues to campaign on issues affecting Australian women. She has also focused on privacy issues, employment, science, multicultural affairs and information technology.

Electorate Office:
212 Grenfell Street Adelaide, South Australia 5000
Tel: 08 8232 7595
Fax: 08 8232 7601
Email: Senator.Stott.Despoja@democrats.org.au
Web: http://natashastottdespoja.democrats.org.au/

Source and relevant links:
Senator Natasha Despoja
First Speech - 01/05/1996

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Jeannie Ferris
Government Deputy Whip
Party: Liberal Party of Australia
Parliament Contact:
Tel: (02) 6277 3440
Fax: (02) 6277 3443
Email: senator.ferris@aph.gov.au

Source and relevant links:
Jeannie Ferris, Senator for South Australia
First Speech

Jennie George
Jennie George trained as a Secondary Teacher at Sydney University.Elected as a full-time Union Official with the NSW Teachers Federation in 1973, she subsequently held the positions of General Secretary and President of the NSW Teachers Federation.

At the national level, she was Acting President and Deputy President of the Australian Teachers Federation. Jennie George was the first woman elected to the ACTU Executive in 1983 and to the position of Vice-President ACTU in 1987.

In July 1989, she took up the position of Assistant National Director of the Australian Trade Union Training Authority (TUTA) and in March 1991 became the Acting National Director of TUTA. She was elected to the full time position of Assistant Secretary of the ACTU in September 1991, then elected to the position of President-Elect of the ACTU in September 1995.

In March 1996 she was elected to the position of President of the ACTU. After 26 years in the union movement she stepped down in March 2000.

Sources and relevant links:
Jennie George eyeing 2000

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Brenda Gibbs
Brenda was born in Liverpool, England on 3 September 1947. She immigrated to Australia in 1953 at the age of five and has since lived in Queensland.

Before entering the Senate in 1996, Brenda worked for the Australasian Meat Industry Employees' Union from 1989 to 1995 and previously for the Australian Journalists Association and Griffith University Union of Students as well as various other jobs in private enterprise.

She joined the Labor Party in 1969 and has held the positions of Branch President, Branch Secretary, EEC Secretary and delegate to the FDE, MEC, Electoral College, State Council, State Conference, Administrative Committee and National Conference.

Party: Australian Labor Party
Parliament Contact:
Tel: (02) 6277 3447
Fax: (02) 6277 3449
Email: senator.gibbs@aph.gov.au

Source and relevant links:
Brenda Gibbs, Senator for Queensland
Brenda Gibbs

Germaine Greer
With the publication of The Female Eunuch in 1970, Dr. Germaine Greer became a prominent figure and commentator in the women's liberation and feminist movements. In 2000, Greer did something that she swore she would never do - publish a sequel to that influential text. In her introduction to The Whole Woman, Greer writes, "the price of the small advances we have made towards sexual equality has been the denial of femaleness as any kind of a distinguishing character. In the last thirty years women have come a long, long way; our lives are nobler and richer than they were, but they are also fiendishly difficult. The career woman does not know if she is to do her job like a man, or like herself. Is she supposed to change the organisation, or knuckle under it? Is she supposed to endure harassment, or kick ass and take names? Is motherhood a privilege or a punishment?" Throughout this text, Greer addresses the difficulties currently faced by women such as motherhood, female circumcision and 'medicalisation' of the women's bodies.

In 1996, The Australian Magazine named her ninth on a list of the 100 most powerful women in the world. Greer currently lives in a farmhouse in Essex, England. She completed her doctorate in 1967 at the University of Cambridge and was born in Melbourne, Australia.

Dr.Greer is currently Professor of English and Comparative Literary Studies at Warwick University, UK. Before the publication of the Female Eunuch, she acted on television, wrote for journals and lectured.

Germaine Greer

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Hazel Hawke
Mrs. Hawke has become a strong and active leader in issues relating to the community, family, the environment and the arts. While perhaps achieving greatest prominence during the period of her ex-husband's prime ministership, Mrs Hawke had always worked independently and become involved in important social issues.

Mrs Hawke was born in Perth in 1929 and educated at Mt Hawthorn State School and the Perth Central Girls School. In 1956 she married and worked at the Indian High Commission in Canberra.

Mrs Hawke lived in the prime minister's Lodge from 1983 to 1991, actively pursuing her interest in community work, women's and children's issues, music and the arts. In January 1992 the Hawkes moved to Sydney to live and in December her autobiography, My Own Life was published. She was divorced in 1995.

Among her numerous positions across a broad range of organisations, Mrs Hawke is Chair of the NSW Heritage Council, a Board member of the Australian Children's Television Foundation and Patron of the World Wide Fund for Nature.

More about Hazel Hawke:
A brief biography

Janet Holmes a Court AO
Janet Holmes a Court AO heads one of Australia's biggest private companies - Heytesbury Pty Ltd, which includes extensive pastoral interests as well as property, construction, theatre, wine production and horse breeding - and is the country's richest woman.

She is also a patron of the arts, and most passionate about conservation, children's television and world peace.

Janet Lee Ranford was born in 1943, and, lived with her parents and younger brother on an acre of land in the hills near Perth.

More about Phoolan Devi on:
People: Janet Holmes a Court
Janet Holmes a Court
Speech: The Passionate Republic

Elizabeth Jolley AO
Elizabeth Jolley, who was born in 1923, is one of Australia’s foremost novelists, having published some twenty books since she and her family immigrated to Australia from Glasgow in late 1959. Her first short story was published in 1965 (“The Talking Bricks, in Summer Tales 2, edited by Kylie Tenant), she won a short story competition (the State of Victoria Short Story Award in 1965 for “A Hedge of Rosemary”), and her first book, Five Acre Virgin and Other Stories, appeared in 1976. Since the 1970s she has published nearly a book a year.

In 1974 she started teaching adult creative writing classes at the Fremantle Arts Centre. Then, in 1978, she started teaching part-time at the Western Australian Institute of Technology (now Curtin University), becoming Writer in Residence in 1987, a position she still holds. In 1998 she was appointed Professor of Creative Writing, and now she is an Emeritus Professor in the School of Communication and Cultural Studies.

Aside from winning major Australian literary awards, she has also received four honorary doctorates: Hon D.Tech (WAIT [1986], and Hon D.Litt degrees from Macquarie [1995], Queensland [1997] and UNSW [2000]), being made WA Citizen of the Year (Arts, Culture, Entertainment) in 1988, receiving an AO (Order of Australia, for Services to the Arts), and the 1989 Canada/Australia Literary Award.

In 1998 she was named one of Australia’s “living treasures”.

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Caroline Jones AO
Caroline Jones AO is one of Australia's most respected broadcasters and communicators. She has been a film-radio-television writer, producer, director and reporter since 1963.

Joining the ABC in Canberra in 1963, Caroline spent six years learning her craft and took part in the production of local arts and current affairs programs on both radio and television.

She was the first woman reporter for the This Day Tonight program, after which she became the presenter of the national current affairs program, Four Corners, with a weekly audience of two million viewers.

Caroline Jones has won a number of awards for her contribution to radio and television journalism, including a Logie Award (1972); Gold Sammy Awards (1980); several Media Peace Prize Gold Citations, and in the 1988 Queen's Birthday Honours List, Caroline was made an Officer of the Order of Australia, A.O. In 1989 she was awarded The Archbishop of Sydney Citation in recognition of outstanding contribution to Christian ideals in radio and television.

In 1997 Caroline was voted one of Australia's 100 National Living Treasures.

Australian story: Caroline Jones AO

Susan Knowles
Liberal Party of Australia
Parliament Contact:
Tel: (02) 6277 3426
Fax: (02) 6277 3120
Email: senator.knowles@aph.gov.au

Source: Biography: Senator Susan Knowles

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Dame Leonie Kramer
Academic, writer, and administrator, Dame Leonie (Judith) Krmaer was born in Melbourne, Victoria, Australia in 1924. She studied at Melbourne and Oxford universities, was professor of Australian literature at Sydney (1968--89) then emeritus professor, and in 1991 became chancellor of the university.

She has held positions on a number of influential bodies, including the board of the Australian Broadcasting Commission (since 1947, chairman 1981--3) and the Universities Council (1977--86), and is a director of the Australian and New Zealand Banking Group (since 1983).

She is a prominent member of the group "Australians for Constitutional Monarchy', founded in 1992 in response to growing republican sentiment. She was created a dame in 1983.

Source: Biography: Dame Leonie Kramer

Meg Lees
Meg Lees has been a member of the Australian Democrats since the Party’s foundation in 1977.

In 1991, she was elected by Democrat members across Australia as Deputy Leader of the Party. Meg led the SA Senate ticket in 1993 and was elected for a six year term. Again following the 1993 and the 1996 elections she was elected Deputy Leader. She was elected as Parliamentary Leader in December 1997. In October 1998 Meg again led the A Senate ticket and was re-elected for a further six year term. Meg was Parliamentary Leader between December 1997 and April 2001."

Electorate Office:
322A The Parade Kensington, South Australia 5068
Tel: 08 8331 8111
Fax: 08 8331 8499
Email: Senator.Lees@democrats.org.au

Parliament House:
Tel: 02 6277 3991
Fax: 02 6277 3996

Senator Meg Lees

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Kate Lundy
Kate Lundy was elected as the Labor Senator for the Australian Capital Territory in March 1996. At the time, at age 28, she was the youngest women ever elected to represent the ALP in Federal Parliament.

A former organiser for the Building Workers Industrial Union (now the CFMEU) Kate was also the youngest person, and first woman, to be elected as President of the ACT Trades and Labour Council.

In August 1997 Kate was promoted to the Opposition front bench as the Shadow Parliamentary Secretary for Sport, Tourism, Science, Information Technology, Youth Affairs and the Arts.

Following the 1998 federal election, Kate Lundy was appointed Shadow Minister for Sport and Youth Affairs as well as Shadow Minister Assisting on Information Technology.

In 2000, Kate Lundy was appointed by Kim Beazley to the Labor Party's Knowledge Nation Taskforce. This taskforce, chaired by Barry Jones, delivered its Report to Kim Beazley in July 2001.

Kate was awarded the Australian Computer Society’s "Most Computer Literate Politician" Award in 1996. In November 1998, Kate was nominated by 'internet.au', an Australian information technology magazine, as one of the 20 most influential people in Australia with respect to the internet. Most recently Kate Lundy was nominated in the Australian Financial Review's Power List 2001 in their IT&T industry top five.

Party: Australian Labor Party
Parliament Contact:
Tel: (02) 6277 3334
Fax: (02) 6277 3884
Email: senator.lundy@aph.gov.au

Source and relevant links:
Kate Lundy, Senator for the Australian Capital Territory
Official Home of Senator Kate Lundy
Your ALP Member: Kate Lundy

Sue Mackay
Sue was born in Scotland on 14 April 1960 and moved to Tasmania at the age of seven. She completed her schooling in Hobart and began a Bachelor of Arts at the University of Tasmania.

Sue’s work in Government before election to the Senate included organiser for the then Liquor and Allied Trades Union, State industrial officer for the Community and Public Sector Union, heading up Duncan Kerr's Office as Federal Member for Denison; Chief of Staff to the State Minister for Health, Multicultural and Aboriginal Affairs; and Senior Policy Adviser to the Leader of the Opposition, Michael Field - before becoming State Secretary of the Tasmanian Branch of the ALP in 1992.

After entering the Senate in March 1996, Sue was appointed to the position of Shadow Parliamentary Secretary for Employment and Industrial Relations in 1997 by Kim Beazley. After the 1998 election, Sue was elected to the Shadow Ministry and was given the portfolio of Regional Services, Local Government and Territories.

Sue has had a long standing commitment to the status of women in society and a twenty-year passion for regional and industry development, and community empowerment.

Party: Australian Labor Party
Parliament Contact:
Tel: (02) 6277 3336
Fax: (02) 6277 3660
Email: senator.mackay@aph.gov.au

Source and relevant links:
About Sue Mackay
Sue Mackay, Senator for Tasmania

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Jan McLucas
Jan was born in Ravenshoe in far north Queensland, and was educated there and in Brisbane. She trained as a primary teacher in Townsville and taught at various centres in North Queensland for ten years.

Jan has strong links to the environment sector, opposing the damming of the Tully Millstream in the early 1990’s and supporting sustainable land use practices in North Queensland. Jan was a member of the Regional Advisory Group to the Cape York Peninsula Land Use Study in 1997/98.

She has campaigned vigourously against the removal of access to child care and the limiting of choice for families, and in recent years has worked with indigenous people to promote community understanding of reconciliation and native title. She worked with local women to stage one of the three national Women and Reconciliation meetings in the lead up to the National Reconciliation Conference in 1997, and was part of the group that organised the Cairns contribution to National Sorry Day.

Party: Australian Labor Party
Parliament Contact:
Tel: (02) 6277 3680
Fax: (02) 6277 5721
Email: senator.mclucas@aph.gov.au

Source and related links
Biographical details
Jan McLucas, Senator for Queensland

Kay Patterson
Senator Kay Patterson has been appointed as Commonwealth Minister for Health and Ageing. With a PhD in psychology and an academic specialisation in aged care and health, Senator Patterson has a strong background in health and ageing issues.

Senator Patterson previously held positions as Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister for Foreign Affairs, and as Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister for Immigration and Multicultural Affairs. She entered Parliament as a Senator for Victoria in 1987 and was subsequently re-elected in 1990, 1996 and 2001. Her parliamentary service has included various shadow ministry appointments and chairmanship of Senate committees. She also served as Chairman of the Conference for Older Australians - the committee responsible for preparing the Commonwealth's response to the International Year of Older Persons. She was Parliamentary Adviser to the Australian Mission to the UN for the 52nd General Assembly in 1997. Prior to entering Parliament, Senator Patterson was Chairman and Principal Lecturer of the School of Behavioural Sciences at the Lincoln Institute of Health Sciences, teaching health professionals.

Position: Minister for Health and Ageing
Party: Liberal Party of Australia
Parliament Contact:
Tel: (02) 6277 7220
Fax: (02) 6273 4146
Email: senator.kcpatterson@aph.gov.au

Source and relevant links:
The Hon. Kay Patterson, Senator for Victoria
Personal website of Kay Patterson
Minister of Australian Department of Health and Ageing

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Marise Payne
A federal Senator since 1997, when she was appointed to fill a casual vacancy, Marise is a dominant voice within the Liberal Party and within her electoral base of Greater Western Sydney. She speaks of change, of embracing technology, of national progression, of empowering our youth, and of recognising diversity.

Currently the Chair of the Senate Standing Committee on Legal and Constitutional Affairs (Legislation), Marise is a member of the Joint Standing Committee on Foreign Affairs, Defence and Trade, and the first female Chair of the Human Rights Sub-Committee of the Joint Standing Committee. She is also a member of the Senate Foreign Affairs, Defence and Trade Legislation Committee.

Besides remaining an optimistic Republican, the Senator has a strong interest in international affairs, human rights, gender issues, IT and issues facing young Australians.

Party: Liberal Party of Australia
Parliament Contact:
Tel: (02) 6277 3810
Fax: (02) 6277 3811
Email: senator.payne@aph.gov.au

Source and relevant links:
Marise Payne, Senator for New South Wales
About Senator Payne

Margaret Reid
Senator the Hon Margaret Reid is President of the Senate and has represented the Australian Capital Territory (ACT) in the Senate since 1981.

Senator The Hon Margaret Reid was President of the ACT Division of the Party from its formation in 1975 until 1981. In 1996 she was elected by her Senate colleagues to the position of President of the Senate. She is the first woman to have held that position, and continues to hold it.

Position: President of the Senate
Party: Liberal Party of Australia
Parliament Contact:
Tel: (02) 6277 3300
Fax: (02) 6277 3108
Email: senator.reid@aph.gov.au

Source and relevant links:
Senator for the Australian Capital Territory
ACT women
Margaret Reid's press releases

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Judith Troeth
Senator the Honourable Judith Troeth has been a Liberal Senator for Victoria since 1993. In 1997 she was appointed Parliamentary Secretary to the then Minister for Primary Industries and Energy (now Minister for Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry). She has continued in this position for the past three years as part of the Howard Government ministry.

Among her achievements in this role, Senator Troeth lists the establishment of Horticulture Australia Limited, which has brought 28 separate horticultural industries under one umbrella; a substantial increase in the number of women being appointed to the Government's boards and committees; greater recognition of the horticultural industry in rural Australia and the contribution it makes to regional economies; implementing a set of guidelines for levy applications; and ensuring the smooth passage of major pieces of legislation through the Senate such as the bills to establish Meat and Livestock Australia, the deregulation of the dairy industry, the privatisation of the wool stockpile and the Australian Wheat Board.

Position: Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister for Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry
Party: Liberal Party of Australia

Parliament Contact:
Tel: (02) 6277 3002
Fax: (02) 6277 3205

Source and relevant links:
Senator for Victoria

Amanda Vanstone
The Minister for Family and Community Services, Senator the Hon Amanda Vanstone, has been a Liberal Senator for South Australia since 1984.

Senator Vanstone was sworn in as Minister for Family and Community Services and Minister Assisting the Prime Minister for the Status of Women on 30 January 2001.

Senator Vanstone's Parliamentary service has included being: The Minister for Justice & Customs (October 1997 - January 2001); the Minister for Employment, Education, Training and Youth Affairs (March 1996 - October 1997); Member of the Cabinet and the Legal Committee of the Cabinet; Parliamentary Secretary to the Deputy Leader of the Opposition (May 1989 - April 1990); and Shadow Special Minister of State and spokesperson on the Status of Women, the National Campaign Against Drug Abuse and the Australian Capital Territory (August 1987 - September 1988).

Senator Vanstone is also involved with the Liberal Party Women's Council and the Liberal Women's Network. Through her involvement in running businesses before she became a senator, and her marketing studies, she also takes a keen interest in financial and economic issues in general - as shown by her membership of the Parliamentary Economics and Senate Estimates Committees.

Minister for Family and Community Services
Minister Assisting the Prime Minister for the Status of Women

Party: Liberal Party of Australia

Parliament Contact:
Tel: (02) 6277 7560
Fax: (02) 6273 4122

Source and relevant links:
The Hon. Amanda Vanstone, Senator for South Australia
Senator Vanstone's Ministerial Homepage

Sue West
Sue is Deputy President of the Senate. She was born on 21 September 1947 in Cowra, central western New South Wales and attended Cowra High School. After training as a general nurse at Cowra District Hospital from 1965 to 1969 she moved to Sydney where she undertook midwifery training at King George V Memorial Hospital and graduated as a registered Midwife in 1970.

In February 1987 Sue became the first female Senator from New South Wales when she filled a casual Senate vacancy arising from the retirement of Doug McClelland. She was defeated at the election later that year. Sue then took up a position as a ministerial consultant to Senator Susan Ryan, then Special Minister of State. She later served in a similar capacity to several other Labor Ministers.

Sue was reelected to the Senate in 1990 and 1996.

Sue is interested in women's health issues particularly as they relate to women living in isolated rural communities. She has chaired the Senate Community Affairs Legislation Committee. She maintains ties with the nursing profession through her membership of the New South Wales College of Nursing and the Health and Research Association.

Sue is also ALP International Secretary.

Position: Chair of Committees, Deputy President
Party: Australian Labor Party
Parliament Contact:
Tel: (02) 6277 3744
Fax: (02) 6277 3659
Email: senator.west@aph.gov.au

Source and relevant links:
Sue West, Senator for New South Wales

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