Marjorie Henzell
Women in Federal Parliament

Marjorie Henzell

Member for Capricornia (Qld)

ALP, 1993–1996

Marjorie Henzell (centre) in her electorate.

Image courtesy of Lindsay Soanes Photographer.

Marjorie Henzell continued a long history of Australian Labor Party representation in the seat of Capricornia in Queensland, when she became the first woman elected to that seat in 1993. In her first speech in the House of Representatives on 6 May 1993, Henzell outlined the concerns of the ordinary citizens of her electorate and called on the major parties to endorse female candidates in safe seats. During her three-year term in Parliament, Henzell lent her support to legislation that would assist her electorate in the areas of primary industries, environmental protection and Indigenous recognition.

Henzell drew from her past working experience as a social worker and counsellor to oppose a motion attributing the breakdown in families to the homeless children’s allowance. Throughout her term she championed women’s issues such as endorsing funding for breast cancer research, calling for legislation to ban female genital mutilation in Australia, supporting financial assistance for civilian widows, and for greater recognition of, and access to services for, Indigenous women.