Cheryl Kernot
Women in Federal Parliament

Cheryl Kernot

Senator for Queensland

AD, 1990–1997

Member for Dickson (Qld)

ALP, 1998–2001

Cheryl Kernot.

Image courtesy of the Australian Labor Party.

A member of the Australian Democrats, Cheryl Kernot entered politics in 1990 when she was elected as a senator for Queensland and by 1993 was leader of the party.

In Parliament Senator Kernot expressed concerns about foreign investment in Australia, and was noted for her participation in the controversial print media inquiry and her proposal for a Foreign Investment Review Commission. She was also dedicated to Indigenous issues, particularly reconciliation, self-determination and native title, and served for six years on the Council for Aboriginal Reconciliation.

Compulsory superannuation was another priority for Kernot, as was the need to amend superannuation and industrial relations legislation so that women were not adversely affected. Her advocacy of job creation and parental leave permeated many parliamentary debates, including those on taxation reform and social security.

Kernot left the Democrats and the Senate in 1997 and joined the Australian Labor Party. In 1998 she was elected to the House of Representatives seat of Dickson. She spent the next three years serving in the shadow ministry before her defeat at the 2001 elections.