Senator for Western Australia
A former nurse and midwife who served in both the Vietnam War and the New Zealand Territorial Army, Judith Adams was elected to the Senate in both 2004 and 2010 as a Liberal senator for Western Australia. At the time of her election she was the second oldest woman to have entered the Senate.
Senator Adams was a powerful advocate for rural and regional Australia and brought a practical knowledge to many debates and discussions. Issues relating to rural health, aged care, mental health and Aboriginal affairs were reflected in her work for a number of Senate committees including the Select Committee on Regional and Remote Indigenous Communities and the Community Affairs Standing Committee. Of note were her efforts to improve the Patient Assisted Travel Scheme, her fight to secure changes to wheat legislation and her tireless work for cancer sufferers.
Adams also displayed great dedication to the welfare of Australian Defence Force personnel both on a personal level and through her extensive involvement with the Australian Defence Force Parliamentary Program. She served as Deputy Opposition Whip from 2007 but died in 2012 before her term ended. On the sitting day following her death, the Senate adjourned early as a mark of respect after a lengthy condolence debate.