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Purple banner with image of Ruby Hutchison next to image of parliament house

Ruby Hutchison became the first woman member of the Legislative Council when she was elected on 22 May 1954, and throughout her 17-year parliamentary career was the only woman in the upper house. In 2024 we celebrate the 70th anniversary of Ruby’s extraordinary achievements.

Party and politics

Ruby joined the ALP as a sixteen year old and remained a life member.
How to vote card with Edith Cowan's name and the number 1

Biography

Born in Footscray, Melbourne, 1892, Ruby moved west as a child.
Edith Cowan leaning on a window sill facing the right

Campaign and election

Ruby was first endorsed as a candidate in 1949 but was not elected until 1954.
Edith Cowan Parliamentary Portrait

Community life

Ruby was active in the community and established the ACA.
EDC100RibbonCutting/Edith Cowan Perth Mint.jpg

Parliamentary career

On 17 June 1954, Ruby gave her inaugural speech in the Legislative Council.
Hansard record of Edith Cowan first speech

Death and honours

Ruby died in 1974, aged 82 and is buried at Karrakatta Cemetery.
Edith Cowan Memorial Clock near Kings Park

Parliamentary debates

Read exactly what Ruby said on the floor of the Legislative Council in Hansard.
Edith Cowan Memorial Clock near Kings Park

Resources

Find articles, book chapters, a video and more on Ruby’s life.
Hansard record of Edith Cowan first speech