Two Burnside Ladies: how SA got its first female MPs

Monday 15 February 2016

Two Burnside Ladies: how SA got its first female MPs

Presented by Jenny Stock

Joyce Steele and Jessie Cooper made history when elected in March 1959 to the South Australian Parliament, the former for the House of Assembly seat of Burnside, the latter for the Legislative Council. The surprise was not their election for safe Liberal seats, but that it had taken so long for any women to be pre-selected by either major party for winnable seats. Neither had an easy ride but their tenacity, ability, good connections and willingness to confront those who still sought to keep women confined to behind-the-scenes roles in politics did pay off.

Dr Jenny Stock taught Australian politics for many years at the University of Adelaide and in retirement has specialised in political biography. Her interest in this topic was sparked by her work for the Australian Dictionary of Biography on these two women. Having discovered far more than required for the modest wordage allowed in the Dictionary, she now wishes to share some of that additional information with an audience whose members include a number who knew these pioneering women.

Record of Meeting

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No.*BTdDateTopic, Speaker, Detail
38815/2/2016

Two Burnside Ladies: how SA got its first female MPs

Presented by Jenny Stock

Joyce Steele and Jessie Cooper made history when elected in March 1959 to the South Australian Parliament, the former for…

Legend

B: Burnside topic

T: tape

d: disc

*: on location

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