Minister for Women

Dame Enid Lyons

Tuesday, 21 August 2018

Today marks 75 years since the historic day Dame Enid Lyons became the first women elected into the Australian House of Representatives.

Dame Enid Lyons has played a critical role not only in Tasmania, but also in Australian politics and is remembered as an inspirational trailblazer for women, particularly for mothers.

Born in a timber camp in the far North-West of Tasmania, Dame Enid was first elected as the Federal member for the Tasmanian seat of Darwin in 1943.

In 1949, she was elected as the first women in Cabinet when she was appointed Vice-President of the Executive Council in the Menzies Government.

As Minister for Women, today I pay tribute and my deepest respects to Dame Enid who paved the way for other women to follow in her footsteps.

The Hodgman Liberal Government has likewise reached many milestones in increasing female participation in leadership positions.

In our first term, Tasmania’s first female Speaker for the House of Assembly, the Hon Elise Archer, Tasmania’s first female Governor, her Excellency Professor the Honourable Kate Warner, AC, and the first female Chief Magistrate, Catherine Geason were all appointed.

Tasmania’s lower house now has the highest level of female representation of all states at 52 per cent, and with the election of the Hon Jane Howlett MLC, Liberal Member for Prosser in May, the overall Parliament of Tasmanian is now 50 per cent women.

The Hodgman Liberal Government is committed to a more inclusive Tasmania that empowers and enables women and girls to fully participate in our social, political and community life. We will continue to build on and promote strategies that increase the number of women in leadership positions.