List of female heads of government in Australia

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An animated timeline showing all the women who have been appointed to or elected to the position of head of government in Australian states and territories Women heads of government in Australia since 1989.gif
An animated timeline showing all the women who have been appointed to or elected to the position of head of government in Australian states and territories

A total of twelve women have served, or are serving, as the head of an Australian government. Of these, one has served as the prime minister of Australia, six as the premier of a state and four as the chief minister of a territory. Fifteen women have also served, or are serving, as the deputy head of government in Australian states and territories; one has served as the deputy prime minister of the country, eight as the deputy premier of a state, and six as the chief minister of a territory.

Australia Country in Oceania

Australia, officially the Commonwealth of Australia, is a sovereign country comprising the mainland of the Australian continent, the island of Tasmania, and numerous smaller islands. It is the largest country in Oceania and the world's sixth-largest country by total area. The neighbouring countries are Papua New Guinea, Indonesia, and East Timor to the north; the Solomon Islands and Vanuatu to the north-east; and New Zealand to the south-east. The population of 25 million is highly urbanised and heavily concentrated on the eastern seaboard. Australia's capital is Canberra, and its largest city is Sydney. The country's other major metropolitan areas are Melbourne, Brisbane, Perth, and Adelaide.

Prime Minister of Australia executive head of the Government of Australia

The Prime Minister of Australia is the head of government of Australia. The individual who holds the office is the most senior Minister of State, the leader of the Federal Cabinet. The Prime Minister also has the responsibility of administering the Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet, and is the chair of the National Security Committee and the Council of Australian Governments. The office of Prime Minister is not mentioned in the Constitution of Australia but exists through Westminster political convention. The individual who holds the office is commissioned by the Governor-General of Australia and at the Governor-General's pleasure subject to the Constitution of Australia and constitutional conventions.

States and territories of Australia first-level subdivision of Australia

The states and territories are the first-level administrative divisions of the Commonwealth of Australia. They are the second level of government in Australia, located between the federal and local government tiers.

Contents

The first female head of government in Australia, was Rosemary Follett in 1989, who was the 1st Chief Minister of the Australian Capital Territory. Carmen Lawrence became the first female premier of a state in 1990, by serving as the 25th Premier of Western Australia. In 2010, Julia Gillard became the first, and to date, only female Prime Minister of Australia.

Rosemary Follett is a former Australian politician who was the inaugural Chief Minister of the Australian Capital Territory, serving in 1989 and again between 1991 and 1995. She was the first woman to become head of government in an Australian state or territory.

Chief Minister of the Australian Capital Territory position

The Chief Minister of the Australian Capital Territory is the head of government of the Australian Capital Territory. The leader of the party with the largest representation of seats in the unicameral Australian Capital Territory Legislative Assembly usually takes on the role. Unlike other states and territories, the Chief Minister of the ACT is not nominally appointed by an administrator or viceroy, but elected directly by the Assembly. Since there are no local governments in the territory, the Chief Minister's role is not only roughly equivalent to that of the Premiers of the states of Australia, but also that of the mayor of a local council.

Carmen Lawrence Australian politician

Carmen Mary Lawrence is an Australian academic and former politician who was the Premier of Western Australia from 1990 to 1993, the first woman to become the premier of an Australian state. A member of the Labor Party, she later entered federal politics as a member of the House of Representatives from 1994 to 2007, and served as a minister in the Keating Government.

Today, every Australian state and territory has had at least one female government head, except for South Australia; the Australian Capital Territory has had the most, with three serving throughout its 27 year history; both New South Wales and Queensland have also a second female premier serving in their respective jurisdiction. The most female heads to serve concurrently was four, during the 315 days of 16 May 2011 to 26 March 2012. Clare Martin, who served as 7th Chief Minister of the Northern Territory for 6 years, from 2001 to 2007, has the longest–serving tenure of any female head of government in Australia. Queensland's Anna Bligh served as the 37th Premier of Queensland for 4 years, from 2007 to 2012, making her the longest–serving woman premier of a state. The shortest tenure of a former female head of government, belongs to Kristina Keneally, who served as the 42nd Premier of New South Wales for a year, from December 2009 to March 2011.

South Australia State of Australia

South Australia is a state in the southern central part of Australia. It covers some of the most arid parts of the country. With a total land area of 983,482 square kilometres (379,725 sq mi), it is the fourth-largest of Australia's states and territories by area, and fifth largest by population. It has a total of 1.7 million people, and its population is the second most highly centralised in Australia, after Western Australia, with more than 77 percent of South Australians living in the capital, Adelaide, or its environs. Other population centres in the state are relatively small; Mount Gambier, the second largest centre, has a population of 28,684.

Clare Majella Martin is a former Australian journalist and politician. She was elected to the Northern Territory Legislative Assembly in a shock by-election win in 1995. She was appointed Opposition Leader in 1999, and won a surprise victory at the 2001 territory election, becoming the first Labor Party (ALP) and first female Chief Minister of the Northern Territory. At the 2005 election, she led Territory Labor to the second-largest majority government in the history of the Territory, before resigning as Chief Minister on 26 November 2007.

Chief Minister of the Northern Territory head of government of the Northern Territory, Australia

The Chief Minister of the Northern Territory is the head of government of the Northern Territory. The office is the equivalent of a State Premier. When the Northern Territory Legislative Assembly was created in 1974, the head of government was officially known as Majority Leader. This title was used in the first parliament (1974–1977) and the first eighteen months of the second. When self-government was granted the Northern Territory in 1978, the title of the head of government became Chief Minister.

There are currently two serving female heads of government in Australia, Annastacia Palaszczuk (39th Premier of Queensland) who was elected on 14 February 2015, and Gladys Berejiklian (45th Premier of New South Wales) who was appointed on 23 January 2017. Three women currently serve as deputy heads of government in Australia; Jackie Trad (Deputy Premier of Queensland) since 14 February 2015, Nicole Manison (Deputy Chief Minister of the Northern Territory) since 12 September 2016, Yvette Berry (Deputy Chief Minister of the Australian Capital Territory) since 31 October 2016, and Vickie Chapman (Deputy Premier of South Australia) since 19 March 2018. The tenures of these incumbents are accurate as of 20 June 2019.

Annastacia Palaszczuk Australian politician

Annastacia Palaszczuk is an Australian politician and 39th Premier of Queensland, serving since the 2015 election. She has been a Labor member of the Legislative Assembly of Queensland since the 2006 election, representing the electorate of Inala. She held various ministerial portfolios in the Bligh Labor government from 2009. Following Labor's defeat in the 2012 election, Palaszczuk succeeded Bligh as leader of Queensland Labor. After the defeat of the Newman LNP government in 2015, Palaszczuk became the first woman in Australia to become Premier of a state from Opposition. Her first ministry was majority female, a first in Australia.

Premier of Queensland head of government for the state of Queensland, Australia

The Premier of Queensland is the head of government in the Australian state of Queensland.

Gladys Berejiklian Australian politician

Gladys Berejiklian is an Australian politician serving as the 45th and current Premier of New South Wales and the Leader of the New South Wales Liberal Party, offices which she assumed on 23 January 2017 following the resignation of Mike Baird. She has been a member of the New South Wales Legislative Assembly since 2003, representing the seat of Willoughby.

Female heads of government

Heads

PortraitTitleName
(birth–death)
State or TerritoryTerm startTerm endElectionsDurationPartyNotes
Chief Minister Rosemary Follett
(b. 1948)
Australian Capital Territory 11 May 19895 December 1989 1989 ,
1992 ,
1995
4 years, 112 days Labor [lower-alpha 1]
6 June 19912 March 1995 
Carmen Lawrence 1990 (cropped).png Premier Carmen Lawrence
(b. 1948)
Western Australia 12 February 199016 February 1993 1993 3 years, 4 days Labor [lower-alpha 2]
Joan Kirner, 1992 Swinburne.png Premier Joan Kirner
(1938–2015)
Victoria 10 August 19906 October 1992 1992 2 years, 57 days Labor [lower-alpha 3]
Chief Minister Kate Carnell
(b. 1955)
Australian Capital Territory 2 March 199518 October 2000 1995 ,
1998
5 years, 230 days  Liberal [lower-alpha 4]
Chief Minister Clare Martin
(b. 1952)
Northern Territory 18 August 200126 November 2007 2001 ,
2005
6 years, 100 days Labor [lower-alpha 5]
Anna Bligh crop.jpg Premier Anna Bligh
(b. 1960)
Queensland 13 September 200726 March 2012 2009 ,
2012
4 years, 195 days Labor [lower-alpha 6]
Kristina Keneally Portrait 2009.jpg Premier Kristina Keneally
(b. 1968)
New South Wales 4 December 200928 March 2011 2011 1 year, 114 days Labor [lower-alpha 7]
Julia Gillard 2010.jpg Prime Minister Julia Gillard
(b. 1961)
Australia
(Federal)
24 June 201027 June 2013 2010 3 years, 3 days Labor [lower-alpha 8]
Lara Giddings.jpg Premier Lara Giddings
(b. 1972)
Tasmania 24 January 201131 March 2014 2014 3 years, 66 days Labor [lower-alpha 9]
Katy Gallagher Portrait 2011.jpg Chief Minister Katy Gallagher
(b. 1970)
Australian Capital Territory 16 May 201111 December 2014 2012 3 years, 209 days Labor [lower-alpha 10]
Annastacia Palaszczuk 2016.jpg Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk
(b. 1969)
Queensland 14 February 2015 Incumbent 2015 ,
2017
4 years, 126 days Labor [lower-alpha 11]
Gladys Berejiklian.JPG Premier Gladys Berejiklian
(b. 1970)
New South Wales 23 January 2017 Incumbent 2019 2 years, 148 days Liberal [lower-alpha 12]

Deputy heads

NameState/
Territory
PartyPremier/
Chief Minister/
Prime Minister
Term StartTerm EndDuration
Joan Kirner Victoria  Labor John Cain II 7 February 198910 August 19901 year, 184 days
Joan Sheldon Queensland  Liberal Rob Borbidge 19 February 199626 June 19982 years, 127 days
Sue Napier Tasmania Liberal Tony Rundle 18 March 199614 September 19982 years, 180 days
Anna Bligh Queensland Labor Peter Beattie 28 July 200513 September 20072 years, 47 days
Katy Gallagher Australian Capital Territory Labor Jon Stanhope 20 April 200616 May 20115 years, 26 days
Marion Scrymgour Northern Territory Labor Paul Henderson 26 November 20078 February 20091 year, 74 days
Julia Gillard Australia Labor Kevin Rudd 3 December 200724 June 20102 years, 203 days
Lara Giddings Tasmania Labor David Bartlett 26 May 200824 January 20112 years, 243 days
Carmel Tebbutt New South Wales Labor Nathan Rees,
Kristina Keneally
5 September 200828 March 20112 years, 204 days
Delia Lawrie Northern Territory LaborPaul Henderson9 February 200929 August 20123 years, 202 days
Robyn Lambley Northern Territory  Country Liberal Terry Mills 29 August 20126 April 2013251 days
Jackie Trad Queensland Labor Annastacia Palaszczuk 14 February 2015Incumbent4 years, 126 days
Liza Harvey Western Australia Liberal Colin Barnett 16 February 201617 March 20171 year, 29 days [17]
Nicole Manison Northern Territory Labor Michael Gunner 12 September 2016Incumbent2 years, 281 days
Yvette Berry Australian Capital Territory Labor Andrew Barr 31 October 2016Incumbent2 years, 232 days [18]
Vickie Chapman South Australia Liberal Steven Marshall 19 March 2018Incumbent1 year, 93 days [19]

Timeline

Heads

Gladys BerejiklianAnnastacia PalaszczukKaty GallagherLara GiddingsJulia GillardKristina KeneallyAnna BlighClare MartinKate CarnellRosemary FollettJoan KirnerCarmen LawrenceRosemary FollettList of female heads of government in Australia

Red represents members of the Australian Labor Party, blue represents members of the Liberal Party of Australia.

Australian Labor Party Political party in Australia

The Australian Labor Party is a major centre-left political party in Australia. The party has been in opposition at the federal level since the 2013 election. The party is a federal party with branches in each state and territory. Labor is in government in the states of Victoria, Queensland, Western Australia, and in both the Australian Capital Territory and Northern Territory. The party competes against the Liberal/National Coalition for political office at the federal and state levels. It is the oldest political party in Australia.

Liberal Party of Australia Australian political party

The Liberal Party of Australia is a major centre-right political party in Australia, one of the two major parties in Australian politics, along with the centre-left Australian Labor Party (ALP). It was founded in 1944 as the successor to the United Australia Party (UAP).

Deputy heads

Vickie ChapmanYvette BerryNicole ManisonLiza HarveyJackie TradRobyn LambleyDelia LawrieCarmel TebbuttLara GiddingsJulia GillardMarion ScrymgourKaty GallagherAnna BlighSue NapierJoan SheldonJoan KirnerList of female heads of government in Australia

Red represents members of the Australian Labor Party, blue represents members of the Liberal Party of Australia and orange represents the Country Liberal Party.

Country Liberal Party Northern Territory political party

The Country Liberal Party (CLP), officially the Country Liberals , is a liberal conservative political party in Australia founded in 1974, which operates solely in the Northern Territory.

See also

Notes

  1. Elected 1st Chief Minister of the Australian Capital Territory in May 1989, after her party formed government following the inaugural general election in March 1989. Defeated in a vote-of-no-confidence in December 1989, to Trevor Kaine. Returned to power in June 1991, following a vote-of-no-confidence against Kaine. Led Labor to victory at the 1992 general election. Defeated by the Liberals under Kate Carnell at the 1995 general election. First woman to become Chief Minister of a Territory of the Commonwealth of Australia. Only female government head to serve non-consecutive terms. [1]
  2. Appointed 25th Premier of Western Australia in February 1990, following the resignation of Peter Dowding. Defeated at the state election in February 1993, by Richard Court (Liberal). First woman to become Premier of Western Australia, and hence, of a State within the Commonwealth of Australia.
  3. Appointed 42nd Premier of Victoria in August 1990, following the resignation of John Cain II. Defeated at the state election in October 1992, by Jeff Kennett (Liberal). First, and to date, only woman Premier of Victoria. [2]
  4. Elected 3rd Chief Minister of the Australian Capital Territory in March 1995, after defeating Labor under Rosemary Follett at the general election. Led the Liberals to victory at the 1998 general election. Resigned in October 2000. [3]
  5. Elected 7th Chief Minister of the Northern Territory in August 2001, after defeating the Country Liberal Party under Denis Burke at the general election. Led Labor to victory at the 2005 general election. Resigned in November 2007. First woman Chief Minister of the Northern Territory, and the longest-serving woman head of government in Australia. [4]
  6. Appointed 37th Premier of Queensland in September 2007, following the retirement of Peter Beattie. Led Labor to victory at the 2009 state election. Defeated at the 2012 state election in March 2012, by Campbell Newman (Liberal). First woman Premier of Queensland. [5] [6]
  7. Appointed 42nd Premier of New South Wales in December 2009, following a Labor Party leadership challenge against Nathan Rees. Defeated at the state election in March 2011, by Barry O'Farrell (Liberal). First woman Premier of New South Wales. [7]
  8. Appointed 27th Prime Minister of Australia in June 2010, following a Labor Party leadership challenge against Kevin Rudd. Led Labor to victory at the 2010 federal election. Defeated in a leadership challenge by Rudd, in June 2013. First, and to date, only woman Prime Minister of Australia. [8]
  9. Appointed 44th Premier of Tasmania in January 2011, following the resignation of David Bartlett. Defeated at the state election, in March 2014. First, and to date, only woman Premier of Tasmania. [9] [10] [11]
  10. Appointed 6th Chief Minister of the Australian Capital Territory in May 2011, following the resignation of Jon Stanhope. Led Labor to victory at the 2012 general election. Resigned in December 2014. [12]
  11. Elected 39th Premier of Queensland in February 2015, after defeating the Liberals under Campbell Newman at the state election. [13] [14] Led Labor to victory at the 2017 state election. [15]
  12. Appointed 45th Premier of New South Wales in January 2017, following the resignation of Mike Baird. Led the Liberals to victory at the 2019 state election. [16]

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Jacklyn Anne "Jackie" Trad is an Australian politician. She has been Deputy Premier of Queensland since 2015, Treasurer of Queensland since 2017 and has represented the Queensland Legislative Assembly seat of South Brisbane for the Labor Party since the 2012 South Brisbane by-election. Trad is also the leader of Labor's left faction in Queensland.

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References

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