Dame Annie Florence Gillies Cardell-Oliver

Dame Annie Florence Gillies Cardell-Oliver (1876-1965) was a Nationalist (later Liberal) Party member (1936-56) of the Western Australian Legislative Assembly who in 1947 became the first woman to attain full Cabinet rank in an Australian parliament. Active in conservative women’s organisations, she sponsored legislation relating to public health and the welfare of women and children.


1 April 1947

Senate Opposition Whip

Dame Florence Cardell-Oliver is the first female Cabinet Minister in an Australian parliament (Western Australia), while Senator Annabelle Rankin (Liberal Party) becomes the Opposition Whip in the Senate. Two years later, Dame Enid Lyons becomes the first woman to hold a rank in the federal Cabinet.


Annabelle Rankin at Old Parliament House, Canberra. 1946.