Edith Cowan was the first female Member of Parliament in any Parliament in Australia and the second to be elected to a Parliament in the British Empire. She was elected to the Western Australian Legislative Assembly as the Member for West Perth 21 March 1921. Since then there have been 83 women members elected to the Western Australian Parliament.
Hon Catherine (Kate) Doust, MLC, Member for South Metropolitan region, was elected President of the Legislative Council 23 May 2017. She is the first female President, being elected to the 40th Parliament.
Hon. Suzanne (Sue) Ellery, MLC, is the first female to be Leader of the Government in the Legislative Council.
May Holman was elected to the Western Australian Legislative Assembly at a by-election on 3 April 1925 following the death of her father. She represented the Forrest Division until her tragic death on 20 March 1939. At this time she had just been re-elected for a fifth term. In the by-election that followed her brother Edward became the third successive member of her family to represent the seat of Forrest.
May Holman (ALP) was the first female Australian Member of Parliament to hold a parliamentary seat for ten years, 3 April 1925-1935. She was also the first female in the British Empire to do so.
Samantha Rowe was first elected to the Legislative Council for the region of East Metropolitan Region from 5 April 2012. Elected to the Thirty-Ninth Parliament for the East Metropolitan Region on 5 April 2012 for term commencing 22 May 2013. Re-elected 11 March 2017 for a term commencing 22 May 2017.
Cassandra (Cassie) Rowe, Samantha Rowe’s sister was first elected the Legislative Assembly for the seat of Belmont, 11 March 2017.
Mia Jane Davies MLA, is the first female leader of the Western Australian National Party and first female Leader of any National Party in Australia.
The first National Party all female leadership group with the deputy leader also female - Jacqui Ellen Boydell, MLC.
Florence Cardell-Oliver (Nationalist) became the first woman Member of Parliament to be suspended from 'the service of the House' on 10 December 1941 (PD, 10 December 1941, p.2595). She described the speech made by one of her own party colleagues as a 'disgrace to the Assembly'. She then refused all requests for her to withdraw her remarks.
Dorothy Tangney (ALP) became Australia's first female Senator on 22 September 1949. She retained her seat and was the only female Senator for a record twenty five years. She holds the honour of being the first woman appointed to a parliamentary committee in the Commonwealth Parliament, the first Commonwealth woman to represent Australia on an overseas delegation, to preside over the Senate and take the Chair in any of the English speaking Parliaments. She also has the distinction of being the first Western Australian born female to be made a Dame Commander of the British Empire - and for ten years, the only one.
Florence Cardell-Oliver (Nationalist) became Australia's first female Cabinet Minister on 7 October 1949 when she was appointed the Western Australian Minister for Health, Supply and Shipping. Previously she had served as Honorary Minister (from 1 April 1947).First Female Member of the Legislative Council of Western Australia
Ruby Hutchinson (ALP) was the first female member of the Western Australian Legislative Council when she was elected on 22 May 1954. She represented the Suburban Province. She was the first woman to take her place in any Australian Council. During her seventeen years of service she was the only woman to serve in that chamber.
Ruby Hutchinson (ALP) was elected to the Western Australian Legislative Council for a term commencing 22 May 1954. She represented the Suburban Province. In 1965 she was elected for the North-East Metropolitan Province. When she married Mr Frederick Richard Hugh Lavery MLC on 14 May 1966 she became the first female in Australia to serve concurrently with her husband.
Margaret McAleer was elected to the Western Australian Legislative Council for a term commencing 22 May 1974. She was one of two members to represent the Upper West Province. By 1980 she was appointed Government Whip and continued in the role of Opposition Whip until her retirement in 1993. She also assisted as shadow Minister for Women's Interests and served on a number of parliamentary committees.
Winifred Piesse was the first female Member of the Western Australian Parliament to represent the National Party (or National Country Party). She was elected to the Western Australian Legislative Council for a term commencing 22 May 1977 for the Lower Central Province.
Wendy Fatin (ALP) was elected to the House of Representatives in 1983. She represented the Brand electorate. She also has the honour of being the first woman from WA to become a Minister, when she was sworn in as the Minister for Local Government from 4 April 1990.
Kay Hallahan (ALP) was the first member of the Western Australian Parliament to serve in the Legislative Assembly and the Legislative Council. She was first elected to the Western Australian Legislative Council for a term commencing 22 May 1983, representing the South East Metropolitan Region. She was later elected to the Western Australian Legislative Assembly for theseat of Armadale electorate from 6 February 1993 until retiring at the 1996 state election.
Kay Hallahan (ALP) and Pam Beggs (ALP) share the honour of being the first Labor females selected for a cabinet posting on 26 February 1986. Kay Hallahan (ALP) is also the first female Member of the Legislative Council to hold a ministerial post.
Kay Hallahan (ALP) on 16 March 1987 became the first female to hold the position of Deputy Leader of a party in the Legislative Council.
Beryl Jones (ALP) was the first woman to chair a Select Committee in either house of Parliament. She chaired the Legislative Council's Select Committee into Charitable Collections from 28 April 1987.
In 1988 Yvonne Henderson (ALP) became the first woman in Western Australia to give birth while serving as a member of Cabinet. She was the Minister for Lands and the Arts.
On 15 November 1988 Judyth Watson (ALP) became the first woman to chair a Select Committee in the Legislative Assembly. She was appointed chair of the Select Committee on the Reproductive Technology Working Party's Report.
Judyth Watson (ALP) and Carmen Lawrence (ALP) share the distinction of being the first women elected to the Western Australian Parliament with a Doctorate of Philosophy. They both graduated from the University of Western Australia.
When Dr Hilda Turnbull was elected to the Legislative Assembly seat of Collie on 4 February 1989 she became the first female to represent the National Party (Country Party) in the Legislative Assembly.
Carmen Lawrence (ALP) became Australia's first female Premier on 12 February 1990. She was elected in 1986 as the Member for Subiaco and in 1989 as the Member for Glendalough. She served as Premier until 1993 when the ALP was defeated in the state election.
When Dr Elizabeth Constable won the by-election for Floreat in July 1991, she became the first female to be elected to the Western Australian Parliament without party endorsement.
Carmen Lawrence (ALP) became Western Australia's first female Leader of the Opposition in 1993 when the ALP was defeated in the state election. She served as Leader until resigning in February 1994 to take up office as the Member of the House of Representatives for Fremantle on 12 March 1994.
When Cheryl Edwardes (Lib) was appointed Attorney General on 8 March 1993, she was the first female Attorney General in Australia.
Carmen Lawrence (ALP) was first elected to the Western Australian Legislative Assembly in 1986 as the Member for Subiaco and in 1989 as the Member for Glendalough. She was then elected to the House of Representatives on 12 March 1994, representing the federal seat of Fremantle. She is the third West Australian, after Lord Forrest and Hon Joe Berinson, to serve in both a State and Federal Parliament.
Born in Split in Croatia Ljiljanna Ravlich (ALP) was elected to the Western Australian Legislative Council for a term commencing 22 May 1997. She was the first female Member of the Western Australian Parliament born in a non-English speaking country. She represented the East Metropolitan Region.
Helen Hodgson was the first female Member of Parliament to represent the Democrats. She was elected to the Legislative Council for the North Metropolitan Region commencing 22 May 1997. As leader of the Democrats she became the first female parliamentary party leader in WA.
Christine Sharp and Giz Watson were elected to the Legislative Council for a term commencing 22 May 1997. Christine Sharp represented the South West Region and Giz Watson represented the North Metropolitan Region.
When Dr Christine (Chrissy) Sharp (GWA) was chosen to chair the Legislative Council's Standing Committee on Ecologically Sustainable Development on 26 June 1997, she became the first woman to chair a Standing Committee in the Western Australian Parliament.
Giz Watson (GWA) was elected to the Legislative Council representing the North Metropolitan Region for a term commencing 22 May 1997. In her inaugural speech (PD, 10 June 1997, p.3534), Giz touched on her commitment to representing the lesbian and gay community as the first openly declared lesbian parliamentarian in Australia.
Jaye Radisich (ALP) is the youngest woman ever elected to the Western Australian Parliament. When she was elected to the Western Australian Legislative Assembly on 10 February 2001 as the Member for Swan Hills, she was 24 years, 10 months and 11 days old.
Carol Martin (ALP) made history by becoming the first Indigenous Member of the Western Australian Parliament and any Australian Parliament when she was elected to the Western Australian Legislative Assembly on 10 February 2001. She represented the Kimberley electorate.
Louise Pratt was the youngest female elected to the Legislative Council for East Metropolitan Region on 10 February 2001-2005 (for term commencing 22 May 2001). She resigned 29 October 2007 to contest the 24 November 2007 Federal Election, being elected to the Australian Senate representing Western Australia.
Wendy Duncan was the first female to be elected President of the National Party of Western Australia from 2004 – 2009.
Donna Faragher MLC, Member for East Metropolitan became the youngest female minister when she was appointed Minister for the Environment and Minister for Youth on 23 September 2008 in the 2008 Liberal-National Government. She was 33 years old.
Dr Elizabeth Constable was the first female Independent Member to become a Cabinet Minister. She was responsible for Education, Tourism and Women’s Interests in the 2008 Barnett Liberal minority Government.
Adele Carles (GreensWA) made history on 16 May 2009 when she was elected as the Member for Fremantle at the by-election after the retirement of Jim McGinty (ALP). This was the first time a lower house seat had been held by the GreensWA. Ms Carles’ election also signified the first time that the GreensWA was given party status having five elected members in the Parliament. On 8 May 2010 Adele Carles quit GreensWA to become an Independent Green.
Liza Harvey (Lib) became the first woman to be Liberal Leader of the Opposition, on 13 June 2019, after the resignation of Dr Michael (Mike) Nahan (Lib).