Tuesday, 21 August 2018
Lyons, Dame Enid Muriel, AD, GBE, Tangney, Dame Dorothy Margaret, DBE
I, and also on behalf of Senators Pratt and Urquhart, move:
That the Senate:
(a) notes that 21 August 2018 marks the 75th anniversary of the election of the first woman to the House of Representatives, Dame Enid Lyons, in the Tasmanian electorate of Darwin, and Dame Dorothy Tangney, also elected that same year as a senator for Western Australia and the first Australian woman to the Australian Senate;
(b) acknowledges the statements made by Dame Enid Lyons in her first speech, that her election was 'an occasion which, for every woman in the Commonwealth, marks in some degree a turning point in history'; and the statement of Dame Dorothy Tangney who stated 'I ... realise my great honour in being the first woman to be elected to the Senate. But it is not as a woman that I have been elected to this chamber. It is as a citizen of the Commonwealth; and I take my place here with the full privileges and rights of all honourable senators, and, what is still more important, with the full responsibilities which such a high office entails';
(c) notes that Dame Enid Lyons went on to become the first woman to serve in the cabinet and, since that time, women have served in leadership roles, including committee chairs, Chief Government Whips, Speaker of the House of Representatives, President of the Senate, ministers and Prime Minister of Australia;
(d) notes Dame Dorothy Tangney's advocacy for the welfare of women and children, education, health and the living standards of working people; and
(e) recognises that by their determination, Dame Enid Lyons and Dame Dorothy Tangney paved the way for women to seek election, to hold leadership positions in the Parliament, and to become the head of an Australian Government.
Question agreed to.