Dame Dorothy Margaret Tangney

Dame Dorothy Margaret Tangney (1907-1985) was a Western Australian teacher, a voluntary community-worker among the poor of Fremantle and an active member of the Labor Party. Elected the first female senator (1943-67), she argued for the use of Federal powers to provide social security, housing and education. Although not a feminist, she campaigned for equal rights and opportunities for women. Courtesy Australian Dictionary of Biography


21 August 1943

First women in federal parliament

Dorothy Tangney (Australian Labor Party, later Dame Dorothy) and Dame Enid Lyons (United Australia Party and later Liberal Party) become the first women to be elected to federal parliament, in the Senate and House of Representatives, respectively. In 1949 Enid Lyons becomes the first woman to hold a rank in the federal Cabinet.


Senator Dorothy M Tangney (left) and Dame Enid Lyons GBE entering the front door of the House of Representatives.