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Members’ biographical register

Dr Judyth Watson

Principal Honours
Medal of the Order of Australia (OAM) awarded in the Queen's Birthday 2019 Honours List, 10 June 2019, for service to the community of Western Australia, and to social justice
Date: 8 March 1940
Place: Burton-on-Trent, England, United Kingdom
Arrival in WA
Arrived WA 17 January 1949
Daughter of Cecil Watson, railway train controller and clerk, and Hylda Rowland, shop assistant
Marriage and Family
Cause of Death:
Not stated
Educated State Schools, Perth Modern School 1953–1955
Trained for nursing, Royal Perth Hospital 1957–1960

King George VI Hospital 1961–1962 (for mid-wife registration)
College of Nursing, Australia (for hospital nursing and ward administration)
University of Edinburgh 1971–1973—Certificate in Nursing Education
University of Western Australia—BSc (major in Anthropology) 1976, Hons (first class) 1977, PhD 1982
Won faculty prize for Anthropology 1976
Received Commonwealth Post-Graduate Research Award 1978–1981
Nurse, university tutor and ministerial adviser
Employment History
Nursing assistant at St Anne’s Hospital until old enough to commence training
Held various clinical nursing positions in WA and UK

On return from Scotland nurse teacher at Royal Perth Hospital School of Nursing 1973–1974, Community Health Services and Sir Charles Gairdner Hospital to 1977
Convenor Health Care Consumers Association 1977
PhD student and part-time tutor, Department of Anthropology, University of Western Australia 1978–1981
Health and safety research officer with Hospital Service and Miscellaneous Workers’ Union 1982–1983
Adviser to Minister for Industrial Relations on Occupational Health and Safety Policy and Legislation 1983–1985

After leaving Parliament three contracts with Hepatitis Council
Retired from paid work April 2008
Local Government Service
Joined Australian Labor Party, 1976
Member, Australian Labor Party, 1986-1996
Date Elected
8 February 1986
Inaugural Speech

Inaugural Video
No inaugural video is available as filming did not start until May 2003
Search for speeches by Judyth Watson
Valedictory Speech
Year Retired/Resigned
Parliamentary Service
  • MLA Canning 8 February 1986–4 February 1989 (electorate abolished in redistribution); Kenwick 4 February 1989–14 December 1996 (electorate abolished in redistribution)
  • Contested Southern River 14 December 1996

  • Minister for Aboriginal Affairs, Multicultural and Ethnic Affairs, and Assisting the Minister for Women’s Interests 5 February 1991–27 February 1991
  • Minister for Aboriginal Affairs, Multicultural and Ethnic Affairs, Seniors and Women’s Interests (assisted the
  • Minister until 7 September 1992) 27 February 1991–16 February 1993
  • Shadow Minister for Disability Services, Consumer Affairs (until 7 February 1994), Women’s Interests, and Housing (from 7 February 1994) 17 February 1993–18 October 1994; for Women’s Interests, Disability Services, Children’s Policy, and Seniors 18 October 1994–15 January 1997

  • Member, Public Accounts and Expenditure Review Committee from June 1986 to 18 May 1988
  • Member, Joint House Committee from March 1989 to 19 March 1991
  • Chair, Select Committee on Reproductive Technology Working Party’s Report from 15 November 1987 to 15 December 1988; and on National HIV/AIDS Strategy White Paper from 28 September 1989 to 28 June 1990
  • Member, Commonwealth Parliamentary Association delegation to Zimbabwe from February to March 1990
Private Member's Bills
Co-founder, Member Review Committee Legal Aid Commission 1982–1983
Represented WA on Interim National Health and Safety Commission 1983 and non-statutory committee 1984–1985
Member, Research Standing Committee on National Occupational and Health Safety Commission from 1985
Member, advisory committees in Occupational Health and Safety and Health Sciences at Curtin University
Justice of the Peace
Head Council of Official Visitors under Mental Health Act until April 2008

Presented papers at conferences and contributed numerous articles in union, company and health professional publications with occasional lectures at all tertiary institutions in WA
Memberof family planning and agencies dealing with violence against women, active in numerous organs to assist refugees
Did voluntary work with refugees as board member of various organisations

Co-founder and former board member, The Humanitarian Group (formerly CASE for Refugees) 2002
Board member, Refugee Council of Australia, 2009–2013
Former board member, Centre for Asylum Seekers, Refugees and Detainees
Member, People's Panel, Western Australian Museum, current
Chair, Department of Health Human Research Ethics Committee
Volunteer work in literacy and numeracy at local primary school
Certificate in Nursing Education
BSc 1976, Hons (first class) 1977, PhD 1982
Black, D and Bolton, G eds, Biographical Register of Members of the Parliament of Western Australia: volume two 1930-2010, Western Australian Parliamentary History Project, Perth, WA, 2011, p. 272.
Department of the Premier and Cabinet. It's an Honour. (2019, June 10). Retrieved from
Making a Difference, p. 144–149.
Further Information
Chapter 20. Judyth Watson Making a Difference.pdf