Elizabeth Harvey
Women in Federal Parliament

Elizabeth Harvey

Member for Hawker (SA)

ALP, 1987–1990

Elizabeth Harvey was elected to the Adelaide seat of Hawker in 1987, becoming the first Australian Labor Party woman to be elected to the House of Representatives from the state of South Australia.

Before becoming a politician, Harvey lived and worked overseas in Spain and Jordan, teaching English and French and travelling extensively throughout Europe and the Middle East. After joining the Parliament she continued her interest in international affairs and spoke in support of Australian aid efforts to Africa and the Middle East and for the self-determination of the Baltic States.

As a former teacher, Harvey supported many of Labor’s higher education reforms. Aged and disability services, including pension rises, grants for carers and a more equitable nursing home system were further issues of concern.

Harvey was involved in the ALP’s Women’s Policy Committee of South Australia before becoming an MP, and was also a member for the National Executive Policy Committee on the Status of Women. She supported the use of affirmative action to increase the number of women in federal politics.

After leaving politics she became a parliamentary author with her fictional work, The glass house effect: Parliament House stories, published in 1991.

Elizabeth Harvey.

Image courtesy of Auspic.