Elaine Darling
Women in Federal Parliament

Elaine Darling

Member for Lilley (Qld)

ALP, 1980–1993

Elaine Darling launching the ‘Skipper’ campaign against drink driving in 1984.

Image courtesy of the Canberra Times.

Elaine Darling, Member for Lilley (Qld) for the Australian Labor Party from 1980 to 1993, was the first Queensland woman elected to the House of Representatives.

Elected with a special interest in social welfare, Darling spoke on a range of topics in Parliament including unemployment, health, education and international affairs. Believed to be the first woman to chair a House of Representatives committee, as chair of the Standing Committee on Road Safety (later Transport Safety) she presented reports on the influence of unsafe driver behaviour in the media and safety issues relating to motorcycle and bicycle helmets, passenger coaches and sports aviation.

Since leaving Parliament, Darling has been active in community organisations, served in local government, and published a book on the role of women in the Aboriginal rights movement in Queensland.