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Dorothy Tangney, first woman elected to the Senate

Extract from Personalities in New Federal Parliament (1943)

Short speech to camera by Dorothy Tangney, the first women elected to the Senate. 

In 1902 Australia became the first nation in the world to introduce equal federal suffrage to men and women. The Commonwealth Franchise Act 1902 allowed women to both vote and stand for election. But it took another 41 years for the first women to be elected to the Australian Parliament. In 1943 Enid Lyons became the Member for Darwin (in Tasmania) in the House of Representatives, and Dorothy Tangney was elected to represent Western Australia in the Senate.

NFSA: 15242 Newsreel courtesy Cinesound Movietone Productions, NFSA


1. What does this short film clip show? Summarise what you see and hear.

2. Does the film appear to have a main purpose or message? If so, what do you think it is?

3. Who made the film clip and when was it made? Use this information to try to work out why the film was made. Does this change what you think about the purpose of the film?

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