HerStory Archive

BISHOP, Bronwyn Kathleen

Also known as: nee Setright

Born: 19/10/1942

Special Achievements:

Bronwyn Bishop was the first woman to be president of any political Party in New South Wales when elected President of the Liberal Party in NSW (1985); first woman from NSW to be elected to the Senate (1987); first woman from Liberal Party to be elected to the House of Representatives from NSW (1994); first woman from Liberal Party in NSW to become a Federal Minister (1996); first woman in Australia to service in the Senate, the House of Representatives and as a Minister.  At the time of her resignation from politics in 2016, Ms Bishop had been a member of federal parliament for almost 30 years – the longest period of service by a woman.

Additional Information:

Bronwyn Bishop enrolled in law at the University of Sydney but gained her professional qualification from the Solicitors' Admission Board (now the Legal Profession Admission Board).  She was admitted to practice law as a Solicitor in 1967. She began her political involvement with the Liberal Party while a law student, joining Killara Young Liberals in 1961.  During her association with that branch, she became Vice President.

At the 1987 federal election, Ms Bishop was elected to the Senate and served as Shadow Minister for Public Administration, Federal Affairs and Local Government (1989–1990). After the Coalition lost the 1993 election, Ms Bishop resigned from the Senate to successfully contest a by-election, and thus moved to the House of Representatives. She served as Shadow Minister for Urban and Regional Strategy (1994), Health (1994-5), and for Privatisation and Commonwealth/State Relations (1995-6).  

When the Liberals returned to Government in 1996, Ms Bishop was Minister for Defence Industry, Science and Personnel from 11 March 1996 to 21 October 1998 and Minister for Aged Care from 21 October 1998 to 26 November 2001.

In the 2007 federal election, Ms Bishop was re-elected to her seat and appointed to the Shadow Ministry portfolio of Veterans' Affairs and, in 2009, Shadow Minister for Seniors. Ms Bishop was elected as Speaker of the House of Representatives in November 2013.  She was the third woman, and the first non-Labor woman, to hold the post.

Ms Bishop resigned from politics in 2016.


Resources

  • Image - Bronwyn Bishop

    Image courtesy of Bronwyn Bishop, NPWHF collection