- 27 March 1948
Sydney, New South Wales, Australia
- Politician and Public servant
Rosemary Follett was born in Sydney in 1948 but is Canberra in her heart, describing herself as 'in lock step' with the city. (Interview) 'It's a peaceful, tolerant place' with a 'sense of spaciousness and community' she says. (Interview)
It is also the place where she, as the Australian Capital Territory's (ACT's) first chief minister, in 1989 became the first woman to lead an Australian state or territory government. As ALP leader, she presided over 3 ministries and remained in parliament until 1996 as the member of Molongolo. Her portfolio responsibilities included Social Justice, Treasury and Public Service, Attorney-General, Law Reform, Consumer Affairs, Police and Emergency Services.
Follett described herself as belonging to the Left faction of the ALP and came to power with a platform of open accountable government, social justice and a policy that half of all positions on government advisory boards and committees should be filled by women.
After leaving politics she served as the ACT Discrimination Commissioner from 1996 until 2004.