Australian Women's Register

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

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


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Guilfoyle, Margaret Georgina (1926 - )

The Honourable Dame, DBE, LLB, FCPA, FCIS

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 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.



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
Trustee, Mark Fitzpatrick Trust
Director, Jack Brockhoff Foundation
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

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

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  • Coleman, Marie Yvonne

    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, 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

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