Published by the 50/50 by 2030 Foundation, University of Canberra

Research and Stories through a Gendered Lens

Dame Quentin Bryce AD CVO

Feb 9, 2017 | News

As Australia’s first and only female Governor General, the Hon Dame Quentin Bryce AD CVO is the nation’s most accomplished and awarded woman in public service. As such, Dame Quentin has lived a life of female ‘firsts’. She has enjoyed a rich and distinguished career as an academic; lawyer; human rights, womens’ and community advocate; senior public officer; university college principal; and vice-regal representative in her home state of Queensland, and later the Commonwealth of Australia. 

Dame Quentin’s contribution to advancing human rights and equality, the rights of women and children, and the welfare of the family was recognised in her appointment as an Officer of the Order of Australia in 1988 and a Companion of the Order of Australia in 2003. Also in 2003, she was invested as a Dame of Grace of the Most Venerable Order of the Hospital of St John of Jerusalem. On 25 March 2014, Prime Minister Tony Abbott announced that Ms Bryce had become a Dame in the Order of Australia.

On 5 September 2008 Quentin Bryce was sworn in as Australia’s twenty-fifth Governor-General. As the first woman to take up the office, she remains a pioneer in contemporary Australian society, and yet one who brings more than forty years of experience in reform, community building and leadership to the role. Her term concluded in March 2014.

In August 2014 she was appointed by the former Queensland Premier, Campbell Newman, to chair a Special Taskforce on Domestic and Family Violence. Ms Bryce presented the report of the Taskforce, Not Now, Not Ever, to Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk in February 2015.  Following the government announcing that it would accept the Not Now, Not Ever recommendations, Ms Bryce headed up the Domestic and Family Violence Implementation Council, as Chair, to oversee the implementation of the recommendations.

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