Australian Women's Register

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

Skip to content
  • Click to view this Image

    The Honourable Dame Margaret Guilfoyle, 13 March 2003, courtesy of AWAP Collection.


  • Faith, Hope and Charity Australian Women and Imperial Honours: 1901-1989
  • The Encyclopedia of Women and Leadership in Twentieth-Century Australia

Use Trove to find more resources by/about this Woman

  • Trove

Guilfoyle, Margaret Georgina (1926 - )

The Honourable Dame, DBE, LLB, FCPA, FCIS, 2001 Victorian Honour Roll of Women

15 May 1926
Belfast, Northern Ireland


Dame Margaret Guilfoyle was the first woman to be appointed to federal Cabinet with portfolio, when, in 1975 she became Education and then Social Security Minister in the Fraser Liberal Government. In 1980 she became the first woman to hold an economic portfolio when she became Minister for Finance. On 31 December 1979 Margaret Guilfoyle was appointed to the Order of the British Empire (Dames Commander) for her services to public and parliamentary service. She left parliament in 1987.



15 May 1926
Born: daughter of William and Elizabeth (née Ellis) McCarthy
20 November 1952
Married Stanley Martin Leslie Guilfoyle
1967 - 1970
State Chairman Women's Section Liberal Party
1968 - 1976
Honorary National Treasurer, Young Women's Christian Association Australia
1970 - 1973
Member, Appeal Committee for Hall Residence University Papua New Guinea
1971 - 1987
Senator, Victoria
Federal Minister, Education
1975 - 1976
Federal Minister, Assisting the Prime Minister in Child Care Matters
1975 - 1980
Federal Minister, Social Security
1980 - 1983
Federal Minister, Finance
1983 - 1984
Federal Shadow Minister, Taxation and Finance
1988 - 2001
Member, National Mental Health Research Institute
Director, Australian Children's Television Foundation
Director, Jack Brockhoff Foundation
Trustee, Mark Fitzpatrick Trust
1993 - 1995
President Board Management, Royal Melbourne Hospital
1993 - 2000
Board Member, Australian Institute Family Studies
1995 - 2001
Chair, Judicial Remuneration Tribunal
Deputy Chair, Infertility Treatment Authority
1998 - 2000
Member, National Health and Medical Research Council
Inducted onto the Victorian Honour Roll of Women

Sources used to compile this entry:$File/CoFHR.pdf accessed 25062003 and Who's Who in Australia 2002, p. 812.

Related entries

Related Organisations

Related Women

  • Coleman, Marie Yvonne (1933 - )

    In 1975, Marie was invited by Minister Senator Margaret Guilfoyle and Prime Minister Malcolm Fraser to accept appointment as Director of the Office of Child Care in the Department of Social Security.

Archival resources

National Archives of Australia, National Office

  • Hon Dame Margaret Georgina Constance GUILFOYLE AC, DBE, 15 May 1926 - , Person Number CP 417; National Archives of Australia, National Office. Details
  • Speech notes and personal papers [Dame Margaret Guilfoyle], 1 August 1982 - 31 October 1982, M2047; National Archives of Australia, National Office. Details

National Library of Australia Manuscript Collection

  • Parliamentarians' questionnaires, 1982 - 1983, MS 8806; National Library of Australia Manuscript Collection. Details

Digital resources

The Honourable Dame Margaret Guilfoyle
13 March 2003
AWAP Collection


Elle Morrell

Site-wide information and acknowledgements

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

© Copyright in The Australian Women's Register is owned by the Australian Women's Archives Project
and vested in each of the authors in respect of their contributions from 2000

The Australian Women's Register is licensed under a
Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Australia License

The Australian Women's Register is published quarterly by the Australian Women's Archives Project
ISSN 2207-3124