1938 – 2015
It is with great sadness that we mourn the passing of Joan Kirner on the 1st of June 2015.
Joan is perhaps best known as Victoria's first female Premier (1990-1992). She was elected to Parliament in 1982 and her ministries included Conservation, Forest and Lands, Minister for Education and Deputy Premier. During her time as Premier, she held the position of Minister for Women’s Affairs. Ms Kirner was Victoria's Opposition Leader from October 1992 to March 1993. She retired from Parliament in May 1994.
Joan began her life-long involvement in education as a teacher. AS a parent, she became politically active at the local, state and national levels. She led the charge for the representation of state school parents on the Commonwealth Schools Commission. She was a member of the School Commission from 1973-1978 and was awarded an AM in 1980 for her contribution to community services.
In 1986, as Minister for Conservation, she developed and implemented in Victoria, along with Heather Mitchell, the first woman President of the Victorian Farmers Federation, the now internationally acclaimed Landcare program. In March 1994, Joan began chairing the Commonwealth government's Centenary of Federation Advisory Committee and held this position until the committee's final report: '2001: A Report from Australia' was presented to the Federal Government in August 1994.
From July 1994 to December 1996, Joan was the Chair of the Employment Services Regulatory Authority (ESRA), and a member of the Board of NETTFORCE and the AIDS Trust of Australia. In 1996, she was one of the Founders of EMILY's List Australia, a political network to support the election of more progressive Labor women to Parliament. She was its Co-convenor till June 2005.
Joan was the Chair of the Ministerial Advisory Committee in Victorian Communities, a patron of the Royal Victorian District Nursing Service, and a member of the Museum of Victoria Advisory Board. She was also Matron of the Women's Circus, the Living Museum of the West, Positive Women, the Women's Electoral Lobby and Domestic Violence, Victoria.
Joan co-wrote the best-selling book The Women's Power Handbook with Moira Rayner. It was published by Penguin in May 1999 and gives women the tools and strategies to acquire, keep and use power.
Joan Kirner travels from Victoria Australia
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