• Entry type: Person
  • Entry ID: AWE0015

Levy, Anne

(1934 – )
  • Nationality Australian
  • Born 29 September, 1934, Perth Western Australia Australia
  • Occupation Parliamentarian


Anne Levy was the first woman to preside in any house of any Parliament in Australia. She was elected to the South Australian Legislative Council in 1975 where she remained until 1997. In 1986 she became the President of the Legislative Council – the first woman to be a Presiding Officer of a House of Parliament in Australia. She held various Ministerial positions between 1989-1993, including first ever Minister for the Status of Women in Australia.


Born in Perth, Anne Levy moved to Adelaide at the age of six and has since resided there. She was awarded her Bachelor of Science with Honours in 1957 and her Master of Science in 1963, both from the University of Adelaide. There she worked as a Tutor and Senior Tutor in Genetics from 1960-1975.

Levy was elected Member of the Legislative Council of the Parliament of South Australia in 1975. She was re-elected in 1982 and 1989. She served on many Parliamentary Committees, including the Industries Development Committee (of which she was Chair) 1983-85, and the Statutory Authorities Committee, 1994-97. She was elected President of the Legislative Council, 1986-88. From 1989-1993 she served with the Bannon and later Arnold Governments as Minister for the Arts, Minister of Local Government, Minister of State Supply, Minister of Consumer Affairs, and Minister for the Status of Women. She retired in 1997.

Levy was also a Member of the Council of the University of Adelaide, 1975-96; Patron of the Humanist Society, and 1986 Australian Humanist of the Year; Member of the Abortion Law Repeal Association, 1969 onwards; Founding member of the Family Planning Association, 1972-84; Patron of Supporting Mothers Association (SA); Founding and life member of the National Foundation for Australian Women (Board member 1993-95 and President 1996-99); Honorary Life Member of the Women’s Electoral Lobby; Elected member of the Management Committee of the Women’s Legal Service (SA); and Founding member of Emily’s List (Australia).

Levy worked primarily in areas of homosexual law reform, abortion law reform, euthanasia, rape law reform, childcare, maternity leave, equality in education for girls, equal pay and affirmative action. She married Keith Barley in 1956 and the pair had two children, Mathew (born 1959) and Rachel (born 1962).



  • 1965 - 1975

    Adelaide University

    Senior Tutor
  • 1975 - 1997

    Legislative Council, Australian Labor Party

  • 1986 - 1989

    Legislative Council

  • 1979 - 1979

    Joint Committee on Subordinate Legislation

  • 1994 - 1997

    Statutory Authorities Review Committee


Published resources

Archival resources

  • State Library of South Australia
    • Women in Politics: A Forum in the Centenary Year of Women's Suffrage [sound recording]
    • Mayor, R.A. Allen and Minister, Anne Levy MLC
    • Anne Levy and Frances Bedford at the International Women's Day lunch
  • National Library of Australia, Oral History and Folklore Collection
    • Anne Levy interviewed by Peter Donovan in the Don Dunstan Foundation oral history project [sound recording]
  • National Library of Australia
    • [Biographical cuttings on Anne Levy, politician, containing one or more cuttings from newspapers or journals]
  • Flinders University Library, Special Collections
    • Anne Levy elected to State Ministry
    • Anne Levy's Bill
    • Hungarian Uprising 30th Anniversary
    • Mitcham Scented Garden
    • Arts 1989
    • Correspondence - Resignation 1992 - 1993 L
    • Anne Levy celebration introducing Dr. Anne Summers
    • Electorate Office - Miscellaneous Correspondence October 1992 to June 1993
  • National Library of Australia, Pictures Collection
    • Portrait of Hon. Anne Levy, former member of the South Australian Legislative Council, first woman Presiding Officer of an Australian parliament and first Minister for the Status of Women in Australia, 6th August 2005 / Bob Givens
  • State Records of South Australia
    • GA1109 Hon. Anne Levy, Member of Parliament

Related entries

  • Related Organisations
    • National Foundation for Australian Women (1989 - )
    • EMILY's List Australia (1996 - )
    • Women's Electoral Lobby South Australia (1972 - )
  • Related Concepts
    • Women in Politics: Australian Labor Party