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Rankin, Annabelle Jane Mary (1908 - 1986)

Dame, DBE

Born
28 July 1908
Brisbane, Queensland, Australia
Died
30 August 1986
Brisbane, Queensland, Australia
Occupation
Parliamentarian

Summary

Annabelle Rankin was appointed to the Order of the British Empire - Dames Commander on 13 June 1957 for political and public services. Rankin was the first Queensland woman to be elected a member of Federal Parlimanet when she became a Queensland Liberal Party Senator in July 1947. She held office for thirty-four years, during which time she served as Minister for Housing from January 1966 to March 1971.

Details

The Federal electoral division of Rankin (created 1984), was named after the first Queensland woman elected to the Senate. Annabelle Rankin was one of three Queensland Liberal-Country Party candidates, elected to the Senate in 1946.

Rankin, who grew up in a political household (her father Colin Dunlop Wilson was a Member of the Queensland Legislative Assembly), became known throughout Queensland from her association with church activities, girl guides, the Young Women's Christian Association (YWCA) and the Red Cross. She was also a member of the Country Women's Association, the Victoria League and the Royal Empire Society.

Rankin became the first woman party whip (opposition), when she took up her seat in the Senate in July 1947, a position she held until the next election. Then in 1952 (until 1966), she became Government whip. On Australia Day 1966, the then prime minister, Harold Holt, appointed Rankin Minister for Housing, making her the first woman to be appointed to federal ministerial position involving administration of a department.

After leaving politics Rankin became High Commissioner to New Zealand in 1971. She was the first woman to be appointed Head of Mission, and remained in this diplomatic post until 1974. Having never married Dame Rankin retired to Queensland, where she passed away on 30 August 1986.

Sources used to compile this entry: Radi, Heather (ed.), 200 Australian Women: A Redress Anthology, Women's Redress Press, Sydney, 1988, 258 pp. Also available at http://nla.gov.au/nla.arc-78644; Rankin, Dame Annabelle, 1908 - 1955, CP 137; National Archives of Australia, National Office; http://www.abs.gov.au/ausstats/abs@.nsf/94713ad445ff1425ca25682000192af2/a96fe1c4248c683cca2569de00200129!OpenDocument accessed 2002-06-07.

Related entries

Archival resources

National Archives of Australia, National Office

  • Dame Annabelle Rankin - Memorabilia collected by Dame Annabelle Rankin, 1934 - 1983, M2128; National Archives of Australia, National Office. Details
  • Rankin, Dame Annabelle, 1947 - 1971, M1569; National Archives of Australia, National Office. Details
  • Rankin, Dame Annabelle, 1908 - 1955, CP 137; National Archives of Australia, National Office. Details
  • Rankin, Dame Annabelle: Scrapbooks, envelopes and folders of newspaper clippings maintained by Dame Annabelle Rankin, 7 Mar 1939 - 30 Aug 1986, M2110; National Archives of Australia, National Office. Details

National Library of Australia

  • Interview with the Honourable Dame Annabelle Rankin, D.B.E. (sound recording), interviewer: Pat Shaw, 14 July 1983 - 10 September 1984, ORAL TRC 4900/15; National Library of Australia. Details

Anne Heywood

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