Woman Bryce, Quentin

Feminist, Governor, Governor-General, Lawyer and Public servant
Alternative Names
  • Strachan, Quentin (birth name)

Written by Nikki Henningham, The University of Melbourne

Quentin Bryce was Australia's 25th Governor-General, holding the position between September 2008 and March 2014. Previously, she had held the position of governor of the state of Queensland since 2003. Born in Brisbane, she was raised in Ilfracombe, with her family subsequently living in a number of country towns around Australia. She went to Moreton Bay High School and attended the University of Queensland, where she completed a Bachelor of Arts and a Bachelor of Laws, becoming one of the first women accepted to the Queensland Bar.

Bryce's catalogue of achievements and contribution to public life throughout the latter part of the twentieth century is long and substantial. The following list is partial and conveys the centrality of concerns about feminism, social justice and community to her professional and personal interests:

  • She has been a trailblazer for women in the law, having been appointed to an academic position in the T. C. Beirne School of Law at the University of Queensland in 1968, the first woman to be appointed to the faculty.
  • In 1978 she was appointed to the National Women's Advisory Council, taking on the role of convener in 1982. In 1984 she became the first director of the Queensland Women's Information Service under the umbrella of the Office of the Status of Women.
  • In 1987 she became the Queensland director of the Human Rights and Equal Opportunity Commission (HREOC).
  • Between 1988 and 1993 Bryce served as Federal Sex Discrimination Commissioner.
  • She has been the chair of the National Breast Cancer Advisory Council, sat on the Australian Women's Cricket Board, and been a member of organisations such as the YWCA, the Australian Children's Television Foundation and the Association for the Welfare of Children in Hospital.
  • Bryce was also a US State Department Visitor in 1978 and a Member of the Australian Delegation to the UN Human Rights Commission in Geneva, Switzerland from 1989 to 1991.

Published Resources

Magazine Articles

Newspaper Articles


Online Resources

Digital Resources

Joining the neighbourhood
3 November 2013
Australian Broadcasting Corporation (ABC)