On Monday 27 July 2015 a lunch was held at Parliament House to commemorate the passing of the Act granting women the right to stand for the Queensland Parliament. The guest of honour was Premier, the Hon Annastacia Palaszczuk, and Professor Anne Tiernan gave the keynote address. Aunty Lynne Matsen, gave the welcome to country, and reminded us that Indigenous women did got achieve the right to stand until the 1960s. Former women MLAs present included Yvonne Chapman, Liz Cunningham and Fiona Spence.
As Professor Tiernan noted, Queensland’s record of representative women has been better than our national parliament. Women comprise the majority of the Palaszczuk Cabinet. Annastacia Palaszczuk is Queensland’s second female premier and Australia’s first female premier elected from opposition.
Queensland has now had two female Premiers (Palaszczuk and Anna Bligh), three women Deputy Premiers (Joan Sheldon, Anna Bligh, and Jackie Trad) and two women Treasurers (Joan Sheldon and Anna Bligh). We also have the first female Deputy Speaker (Grace Grace) and the first female Indigenous MLA (Leanne Enoch).
The 1915 Act was instigated by Premier T J Ryan, after whom the TJRyan Foundation was named.