Joan Child became first female Speaker of the Federal House

Joan Child. Courtesy of National Library of Australia.

Joan Child was the first female member of the Australian Labor Party to be elected to the federal Parliament, as Member for the seat of Henty in 1974. She lost her seat in the 1975 election, but regained it in 1980. In 1986, she became the first female Speaker of the House of Representatives, holding the position until she resigned in 1989. She retired from parliament in 1990, when the seat of Henty was abolished in an electoral redistribution. She was made an Officer of the Order of Australia in June 1990. (Source: the Australian Women’s Register)

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