TASMANIA STATE WINNER
2014 Australian Award for Excellence in Women’s Leadership.
Lara Giddings, MP was Tasmania’s 44th Premier and first female Premier (January 2011 to March 2014). Initially elected to the Tasmanian Parliament in 1996, at the age of 23, Ms Giddings was the youngest woman ever elected to an Australian Parliament. After losing her House of Assembly seat of Lyons in 1998, she was re-elected to the seat of Franklin in 2002. In March 2004 she was elevated to the front bench as Minister for Economic Development and the Arts. Subsequently, Ms Giddings enjoyed great success across a number of portfolios including, Minister for Health and Human Services, Attorney General and Minister for Justice, Minister for Infrastructure and Economic Development, Deputy Premier, and Treasurer. In these roles she drove reform in Health, Disabilities, Children, Housing, the law (social and governance) and initiated the State’s first comprehensive Economic Development Plan.
During her period as Premier and Treasurer, Tasmania faced difficult economic and financial conditions demanding strong decisions from the government. With plans in action to diversify the State’s economy, Ms Giddings led the way in focussing the Tasmanian business sector and economy towards the opportunities that lay in the Asian Century, particularly in China and Indonesia.
In addition to her work, Ms Giddings is a founding member of Emily’s List, a national organization that provides financial and mentoring support to progressive Labor women candidates and she is also a founding member of the International Women’s Forum in Australia.