May Holman Australia’s first female Labor parliamentarian

Join Dr Kate as she explores the extraordinary life of May Holman, Australia’s first female Labor parliamentarian, a member of the WA Legislative Assembly from 1925 -1939. Holman led a trailblazing life which charted new territory for women.

In 1926, she was responsible for introducing one of the first pieces of worker health and safety legislation anywhere, the Timber Industry Act. This act improved the living and working conditions for employees and their families. Holman was deeply committed to improving society and campaigned on education reform, health reform, occupational health and safety reform plus equal pay for women and men. 

The State Library holds a rich collection of material relating to May Holman, especially her private archive.

Recorded live on ABC Radio Perth on 18 March 2022.

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This page last updated on
27 April 2022