Historical Firsts and Milestones of Queensland Women

Women have contributed to the history of queensland  by doing several things for the first time and paving the way for today’s young generation. Noting the contribution of these women is essential to celebrate their lives today and remember how they helped make society more equal. Thus, here are historical firsts and milestones of Queensland Women in the past 100 years.


In The 2000s

Even though many things modernised in the 2000s, there were many things women achieved during this time. Here are some of the most notable milestones everyone should know about from this era.

  • Cathy Freeman lit the Olympic flame and won gold in 400m at the Sydney Olympics in 2000.
  • In 2002, the parliament, for the first time, achieved the highest proportions of women politicians. It was also the most in any parliament in the world. 33 out of 89 members were women, which is a big change and milestone.
  • The women of Queensland had their first 5-year plan by the government in 2003.
  • It wasn’t until 2004 that Ms Loris Williams emerged as the first indigenous archivist.
  • In 2007, Gardasil—immunisation against cervical cancer was made available for young women and girls.
  • Also, in the same year, Anna Bligh became the first woman Premier of Queensland.
  • Surprisingly, it wasn’t until 2008 that Quentin Bryce AM became the first woman to be Australia’s 25th Governor-General.
  • After the 2008 achievement, Australia’s first PM was elected in 2010. It was the Honourable Julia Gillard MP. The same year, Queensland’s Megan Davis was elected to a UN body. She is the first indigenous woman to do so.
  • In 2011, the first Paid Parent Leave Scheme was introduced, which was a welcome change for mothers across Queensland and Australia.
  • 2015 was a great year for women in Queensland because many things happened. The second female premier was elected. The government set the gender diversity goal to 50% for nominees for government bodies and 50% to be appointed by 2020.
  • Also, Leeanne Enoch and Cynthia Liu became the first Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander women, respectively to be elected to the Queensland parliament.
  • In 2016, Queensland women’s week was celebrated for the first time for International Women’s Day.
  • For the first time, a budget statement for women was produced, and it has been done every year since 2016.
  • Also, in the same year, STEM Prize was launched for the first time to recognise the achievements of women in science, engineering, technology, and mathematics. This award was a part of the World Science Festival Brisbane.
  • In 2016, Jane Pires became the first female appointed as the Energy and Water Ombudsman in Queensland. The Mine Safety and Health sector in Queensland also had its first female commissioner.
  • In the year 2017, many firsts happened. Susan Keifel, who was the first female queen’s counsel, was appointed the first female Chief Justice of the High Court.
  • What’s more, the first Women’s Australian Football League was introduced with eight teams.
  • In the year 2018, AnnastaciaPalaszczuk marked Queensland’s history by getting elected for two terms as premier of the state.
  • The same year, after the Termination of Pregnancy Act 2018, terminating pregnancy became a health issue rather than a criminal one. Before this, Queensland wasn’t in line with other states on the matter.


While many things that happened in the 2000s were necessary to revolutionise the modern society of Queensland, the following firsts and milestones of the 1900s are equally important.

  • For the first time in history, women had the right to vote in a state election in 1905 and in 1907, women voted in the first state election.
  • However, it wasn’t until 1915 that women also won the right to be elected to the Queensland parliament.
  • Before 1922 women didn’t have the same rights as men for divorce. This change was huge as it promoted equality in society.
  • Until 1922, death by hanging was legal in Queensland but the first and only woman hanged was in 1887.
  • Do you know in 1923, Queensland became the first state in Australia to allow women to do jury duty.
  • In 1938 Brisbane’s first woman hospital was launched, and in 1942, Australia’s first women’s land army was made in Queensland.
  • What’s more, it wasn’t until 1970 that women were no longer excluded from drinking in public bars.



Many first related to women happened in Queensland and also set an example for other states of Australia. The milestones and achievements mentioned above are a few of them that make Queensland iconic today

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