Janine Haines

Janine Haines (1945-2004), a teacher from South Australia, was the first Australian Democrats senator (1977-78 and 1981-90). In 1986 she became the first woman to be elected parliamentary leader of an Australian political party. A feminist and advocate of social justice, she believed that women should demonstrate their capability to be effective parliamentarians. Courtesy Australian Dictionary of Biography

Events

14 August 1986

First female political party leader

Janine Haines from South Australia becomes the first female federal parliamentary leader of an Australian political party after being chosen by Australian Democrats members as Senate leader on the retirement of inaugural leader Don Chipp. She was previously the first member of the Australian Democrats to enter the federal parliament after the party’s formation in 1977, and she plays a key role in transforming the Australian Democrats into a party that eventually holds the balance of power in the Senate.

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Janine Haines.