Australian Women's Register

An initiative of The National Foundation for Australian Women (NFAW) in conjunction with The University of Melbourne

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Read, Robyn


Sydney, New South Wales, Australia
Politician, Public Servant, Writer, Journalist and Parliamentarian


Robyn Read was an independent member of the New South Wales Legislative Assembly in the seat of North Shore from 1988 until 1991. She failed to gain re-election in the 1991 by-election. Prior to her parliamentary career, Robyn was a successful local councillor and was Alderman for the North Sydney Municipal Council from 1970-77 and 1987-91 and was also Deputy Mayor from 1974-75.


Parliamentary and Local Government Career

Local Government
  • Alderman, North Sydney Municipal Council, 1970-77, 1987-91
  • Deputy Mayor 1974-75
State Government
  • Independent Member, North Shore, 1988-1991
  • Party: Independent

A lifelong resident of Sydney's lower north shore, Read completed her BA and MA in Town and Country Planning at the University of Sydney.

From 1971 to 1977 and 1987 to 1991 she was Alderman of North Sydney Council, including periods as Deputy Mayor and Acting Mayor. During this time the Council introduced innovative programs such as public participation in precincts and the first New South Wales neighbourhood centre at Kirribilli. North Sydney became an acknowledged leader in the local government industry because of programs such as these.

The mother of three children - James Hamilton, Sophie Read-Hamilton and Cassandra Read-Hamilton - Read has also held positions with the Byron Shire Council, the New South Wales Water Resources Commission, the New South Wales Department of Environment and Planning and the Universities of Sydney and Macquarie.

Sources used to compile this entry: (accessed 10 December 2004); Dianne Decker, Women in Australian Parliament and Local Government: An updated history 1975-1992. 1992.

Archival resources

Stanton Library, North Sydney Municipal Council

  • Oral history interview with Robyn Read, LH REF OH /226; Stanton Library, North Sydney Municipal Council. Details

State Library of New South Wales

  • Robyn Read - papers, MLMSS; Read, Robyn; State Library of New South Wales. Details

Elle Morrell

Site-wide information and acknowledgements

National Foundation for Australian Women The University of Melbourne, eScholarship Research Centre

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