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

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Symonds, Elizabeth Ann (1939 - )

12 July 1939
Murwillumbah, New South Wales, Australia
Parliamentarian and Campaigner
Alternative Names
  • Symonds, Ann (Preferred)


Ann Symonds was a member of the New South Wales Legislative Council from 1982-1998.


Ann Symonds trained as a teacher at Armidale and taught at Casino before being transferred to Sydney in 1960. She studied Drama (1972-74) and later Law (1984-1985 - deferred), both at the University of New South Wales.

Between 1974-1977 Symonds was the Alderman at Waverley Municipal Council, and in 1977 became Waverley's first woman Deputy Mayor. She was appointed to the NSW Legislative Council in 1982, and worked in this role until her resignation in 1998. Elected for the Australian Labour Party, she has been a member since 1967 and has held numerous party positions including Branch President, State Electorate Council President and Federal Electorate Council executive member.

Throughout her public and parliamentary career Symonds has worked on women's policy, with particular reports on prisons, housing and sexual violence, as well as on children's policy, peace and disarmament, inquiries into Drug Law and Policy in NSW, and preparation of the Labor Party's Social Justice Policy at the NSW and National level.
She is currently Patron, Mothers' and Children's Program, Corrective Services; the Chair, Board of Family Drug Support; and Chair, Board of Guthrie House (residential program for women and children in the Justice system).

Ann Symonds is married with five children.

Sources used to compile this entry: { accessed 2016-04-12].

Clare Land

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