Larissa Tahireh Giddings
- 14 November 1972
Goroka, Papua New Guinea
- Electorate officer, Lawyer and Parliamentarian
- Alternative Names
- Giddings, Lara (also known as)
A member of the Australian Labor Party, Lara Giddings was elected as the first woman Premier of the state of Tasmania on 24 January 2011 on the resignation of David Bartlett. She began her parliamentary career in 1996 when she was elected to the House of Assembly in the Parliament of Tasmania representing the electorate of Lyons, but was defeated in 1998. In 2002 she was elected to the seat of Franklin, was re-elected in 2006 and in 2010 and held the ministerial portfolios of Justice and Health, Attorney-General and was Deputy Premier. She assumed the role of Treasurer in December 2010 before taking on the role of premier.
"Lara Giddings was first elected to the Tasmanian Parliament in 1996. At the age of 23, she was the youngest woman ever elected to an Australian Parliament.
After losing her House of Assembly seat in the electorate of Lyons in 1998, Lara was re-elected to the seat of Franklin in 2002. In March 2004 she was elevated to the front bench as Minister for Economic Development and the Arts. In April 2006 Lara became Minister for Health and Human Services.
In 2008 Lara was promoted to the position of Deputy Premier under incoming Premier David Bartlett, and also became Attorney General and Minister for Justice. From January 2011 until March 2014, Lara became Tasmania's 44th Premier, the first female to hold the position, after the resignation of Premier Bartlett for family reasons. Lara is currently the Labor Member for Franklin in Tasmania."
"Larissa Tahireh Giddings was born in Goroka in Papua New Guinea in November 1972, just before the election of the Whitlam Labor Government in December of that year. It was the dismissal of Gough Whitlam by the Governor General just before Lara's third birthday in 1975 that first made her aware of politics, when she realised how upset her Labor supporting mother was.
On her mother's side, Lara's connection to Tasmania dates back to 1830 with the arrival of free settlers who settled in the Midlands. Another branch of the family lived in Launceston after arriving in 1881.
The Giddings family resumed the Tasmanian connection in 1986 when they returned from PNG, and Lara relocated permanently in 1990 after completing high school in Melbourne. She studied Arts and Law at the University of Tasmania.
Attracted by Labor's objectives - bringing better standards of living, greater opportunities for education and health care, and lending a helping hand to people in need - Lara first joined the ALP in 1990. She is a founding member of Emily's List, an organisation that provides financial and mentoring support to progressive Labor women candidates across Australia."
Sources used to compile this entry: Smart, Judith and Swain, Shurlee (eds), 'Giddings, Larissa (Lara) Tahireh', The Encyclopedia of Women and Leadership in Twentieth-Century Australia, Australian Women's Archives Project, 2 May 2014, http://www.womenaustralia.info/leaders/biogs/WLE0310b.htm; http://www.parliament.tas.gov.au/ha/giddings/giddings.htm; http://taslabor.com/people/lara-giddings/ (2 August 2016).
Prepared by Rosemary Francis
Created: 15 September 2009, Last modified: 2 August 2016