Millicent Preston-Stanley

Millicent Preston-Stanley

Millicent Preston-Stanley

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Millicent Preston-Stanley (9 September 1883 - 23 June 1955) was an Australian feminist, politician and the first female member of the New South Wales Legislative Assembly and the second woman to enter government in Australia.

Preston-Stanley was born in Sydney. She was actively involved in women's groups such as the Women's Liberal League and served as the president of the Feminist Club from 1919 to 1934 and from 1952 until her death in 1955.

In 1925 Preston-Stanley became the first female member of the New South Wales Legislative Assembly, representing the Eastern Suburbs as a member of the Nationalist Party, one of the historic predecessor parties to today's Liberal Party. After a failed bid in the 1921 election she persevered and picked the seat up in 1925.

In parliament she campaigned on the issues of women's mortality in childbirth, child welfare, institutional care for the mentally ill, and custody rights in divorce.

She personally took up the cause of Emilie Polini who lost custody because she intended to take a child overseas with her. Her private member's bill on equal custody rights failed she continued the campaign.

She left parliament in 1927 after an electoral redistribution of the newly created seat of Bondi saw her defeated at the pollsParliament of New...
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