An online celebration of trailblazing women who have broken through barriers in federal parliament and beyond

Where to from here?

The individuals highlighted in this exhibition are just some of the many remarkable women who have walked the halls of parliament.

Every female politician, whether ‘first’ in her field or not, has helped—little by little—to break down traditional barriers regarding women and what they are capable of. Whatever their political persuasion, left, right or in the middle, they are all united in one core belief—women belong in the parliament.

Most Australians would agree with this sentiment. However, the number of women in our Parliament is dropping. In 1999 Australia was placed 15th in the world ranking for women’s representation in federal parliament. In 2018, we have fallen to 50th.

As we celebrate the 75th anniversary of women in parliament, it is fitting to recognise those who first broke through—the pioneers of change.

More importantly, it is time to acknowledge how far we still have to go to achieve gender equality in politics—and to do something about it.

I hope we do see many more women embarking on a parliamentary career ... I'm not going to say...difficulties don't exist, but there are a lot of rewards
Susan Ryan


Do you know a trailblazing woman or girl in your community? Maybe you’re one yourself! We’d love to feature stories of other women breaking through barriers – in all fields.

Get in touch to have your story featured on the Breaking Through website and our social channels