Australian Women's Register

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Bjelke-Petersen, Florence Isabel (1920 - )


Brisbane, Queensland, Australia
Parliamentarian and Secretary
Alternative Names
  • Gilmour, Florence (maiden name)


A member of the National Party, Flo Bjelke-Petersen was elected Senator for Queensland in the Senate of the Australian Parliament in 1980. She held the position of Deputy Leader of the Opposition in the Senate from 1985 until 1990 and retired from parliament in 1993. She was married to Sir Joh Bjelke-Petersen, who served as Premier of Queensland from 1968-87.


Flo Bjelke-Petersen was educated at Brisbane Girls Grammar School and on leaving school worked in the Queensland Main Roads Department, and eventually became secretary to the Commissioner. She held that position from 1949-52. She married Joh Bjelke-Petersen in 1957. He received a knighthood in 1984, which meant a change of title for Flo. Sir Joh Bjelke-Petersen died in 2005. As wife of the Premier of Queensland and later as a Senator, Flo Bjelke-Petersen became famous for her pumpkin scones.

Archival resources

National Library of Australia

  • [Biographical cuttings on Florence Bjelke-Petersen, politician, wife of Sir Joh], BIOG; Bjelke-Petersen, Florence Isabel (1920 - ); National Library of Australia. Details

Rosemary Francis

Site-wide information and acknowledgements

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

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ISSN 2207-3124