The Hon. Dr Rosemary Crowley

Senator for South Australia

ALP, 1983–2002

The Hon. Dr Rosemary Crowley camping near Pine Gap in the Northern Territory where she took part in a demonstration against nuclear arms organised by the Women for Survival group in 1983.

Image courtesy of Newspix/News Limited.

A medical practitioner and active member of the Australian Labor Party (ALP) since 1970, the Hon. Dr Rosemary Crowley was the first female ALP senator from South Australia.

Prior to joining the Senate in 1983, Crowley was extensively involved in community organisations, including school committees and community health. She was also a founding member of the South Australian Mental Health Tribunal. Through this work she became very interested in occupational health and safety and saw herself as an advocate of social justice and rights for all Australians, campaigning strongly as a senator in the areas of health care, childcare, nuclear disarmament, sport and women’s issues.

Throughout her parliamentary career Senator Crowley was involved in significant reforms to Medicare legislation and spoke strongly in support of the Sex Discrimination Bill 1983 and its subsequent amendments. As Minister for Family Services (1993–96) and Minister Assisting the Prime Minister for the Status of Women (1993) she implemented the Child Care Rebate Act 1993. She also participated in numerous Senate committees and chaired inquiries into health insurance, health legislation and the relationship between women’s sport and the media.

After 19 years of parliamentary service she retired in 2002.