125th anniversary of women's suffrage

Mr DULUK (Waite) (11:58): I just want to make a brief contribution to the noting of the report of the Joint Committee on the 125th Anniversary of Women's Suffrage, entitled Interim Report, and perhaps pick up where the member for King finished off with thanking the committee Chair, the Hon. Michelle Lensink, from the other place.

In the time I have left to me, which is only a minute or two, I would like to pay tribute to two very important women in the history of our parliament here in South Australia, one of whom is of course Joyce Steele, whose portrait is behind me. Joyce was the very first member for Davenport. Of course, I was once the member for Davenport in a previous parliament, so there is a bit of an association there.

Joyce was quite an incredible woman and a bit of an accidental politician as well. It is not something she necessarily sought, but she was elected in 1958 and became the first woman elected to this parliament. In that election, the other house also elected its first-ever female representative, and that was, of course, Jessie Cooper. Both Joyce and Jessie were Liberal and Country League members. I think that is something that the LCL can be incredibly proud of: the first women elected into this house were LCL members.

Joyce Steele served as education minister in Steele Hall's 1968 government, which of course celebrates its 50-year anniversary this year. I will also take a moment to wish the Hon. Steele Hall a happy birthday, as he will be turning 90 tomorrow. Steele Hall made a huge contribution to the South Australian parliament and to the lives of South Australians—a man who was very supportive to females in public life as well, which was so important.

Joyce Steele was education minister in Steele Hall's government and did this under trying family circumstances. She had a child who was very unwell and had a severe disability, and Joyce acted as their full-time carer whilst also being a member of cabinet. I think, for the 1960s, that was quite incredible. I just want to congratulate the parliament and the committee on this interim report, and pay tribute to two wonderful Liberal women.