Margaret Elizabeth Reid

The Honourable, AO

28 May 1935
Crystal Brook, South Australia, Australia
Barrister, Lawyer, Parliamentarian and Solicitor

Margaret Reid is the first woman to have been elected President of the Senate. She held this position for six years, from 20 August 1996 to 18 August 2002. In 2004 she was appointed Officer of the Order of Australia for her service to the Australian Parliament and the community.

Margaret Reid obtained her Bachelor of Laws from Adelaide University and worked as a barrister and solicitor before entering Federal Parliament. She was Deputy Government Whip in the Senate from 18 November 1982 to 4 February 1983, Deputy Opposition Whip from 21 April 1983 to 14 September 1987 and Opposition Whip from 14 September 1987 to 9 May 1995. On 9 May 1995, Reid became Deputy President of the Senate and Chair of Committees and President of the Senate in August 1996.

Reid was awarded the Queen Elizabeth 11 Silver Jubilee Medal in 1977 and the Order of Polonia Restituta in 1987. She is married with two sons and two daughters.

Sources used to compile this entry: Australian Parliament House, 'The Hon. Margaret Reid, Senator for the Australian Capital Territory', 2001,; From Lady Denman to Katy Gallagher: A Century of Women's Contributions to Canberra, Australian Women's Archives Project, February 2013,; 'Canberra Liberal Women's Forum - Canberra Liberal Women',; Content previously available on the Parliament of Australia website at - no longer available.

Prepared by Anne Heywood