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Carmen Lawrence

Carmen Lawrence

Overview
Carmen Mary Lawrence is a retired Australia
Australia
Australia , officially the Commonwealth of Australia, is a country in the Southern Hemisphere comprising the mainland of the Australian continent, the island of Tasmania, and numerous smaller islands in the Indian and Pacific Oceans. It is the world's sixth-largest country by total area...

n politician; a former Premier of Western Australia
Premier of Western Australia
The Premier of Western Australia is the head of the executive government in the Australian State of Western Australia. The Premier has similar functions in Western Australia to those performed by the Prime Minister of Australia at the national level, subject to the different Constitutions...

 and the first woman to become Premier of a State of the Commonwealth of Australia.

After leaving the State Parliament of Western Australia
Parliament of Western Australia
The Parliament of Western Australia consists of the Legislative Council and the Legislative Assembly . The Parliament sits at Parliament House in Harvest Terrace, Perth....

 Lawrence became a Member of the House of Representatives
Australian House of Representatives
The House of Representatives is one of the two houses of the Parliament of Australia; it is the lower house; the upper house is the Senate. Members of Parliament serve for terms of approximately three years....

 in the Australian federal parliament
Parliament of Australia
The Parliament of Australia, also known as the Commonwealth Parliament or Federal Parliament, is the legislative branch of the government of Australia. It is bicameral, largely modelled in the Westminster tradition, but with some influences from the United States Congress...

.

Lawrence became the first directly elected Federal President of the Australian Labor Party
Australian Labor Party
The Australian Labor Party is an Australian political party. It has been the governing party of the Commonwealth of Australia since the 2007 federal election. Julia Gillard is the party's federal parliamentary leader and Prime Minister of Australia...

 in 2003. She retired from parliament in November 2007.

Carmen Lawrence was born in Northam
Northam, Western Australia
Northam is a town in Western Australia, situated at the confluence of the Avon and Mortlock Rivers, about north-east of Perth in the Avon Valley. At the 2006 census, Northam had a population of 6,009. Northam is the largest town in the Avon region...

, in the agricultural district of Western Australia
Western Australia
Western Australia is a state of Australia, occupying the entire western third of the Australian continent. It is bounded by the Indian Ocean to the north and west, the Great Australian Bight and Indian Ocean to the south, the Northern Territory to the north-east and South Australia to the south-east...

 and spent her early childhood in the towns of Gutha
Gutha, Western Australia
Gutha is a townsite in the Mid West region of Western Australia, north of Morawa.In 1913 it was decided to establish a train station there, on the Wongan Hills – Mullewa railway. The district surveyor suggested the name "Muthingutha", the Aboriginal name of a nearby rockhole. This was shortened to...

 and Dongara
Dongara, Western Australia
Dongara is a town located 351 km north-northwest of Perth on the Brand Highway. The town is located at the mouth of the Irwin River. In recent years the area has been marketed as the 'Rock lobster capital of Australia'....

.

She was one of seven children of Ernest Richard Lawrence, a farmer, and his wife Mary Norma (née Watson).

From the age of six she was educated at various Roman Catholic boarding schools: Marian Convent at Morawa
Morawa, Western Australia
Morawa is a town in the Mid West region of Western Australia. It is located within the Shire of Morawa, approximately 370 kilometres north of the state capital Perth, on the railway line between Wongan Hills and Mullewa.- History :...

; Dominican Ladies College at Dongara and Santa Maria College
Santa Maria College, Perth
Santa Maria College is a Roman Catholic, boarding and day school for girls, situated in Attadale, a southern suburb of Perth, Western Australia....

 at Attadale
Attadale, Western Australia
Attadale is a suburb of Perth, Western Australia, located within the City of Melville.It was the first subdivision of A.P. Matheson's Melville Water Park Estate. Attadale was named after an estate in Scotland situated on the south side of Loch Carron....

 from which she matriculated in 1964 with distinctions in six subjects, a General Exhibition for Academic Achievement and a Special Subject Exhibition in economics.
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Encyclopedia
Carmen Mary Lawrence is a retired Australia
Australia
Australia , officially the Commonwealth of Australia, is a country in the Southern Hemisphere comprising the mainland of the Australian continent, the island of Tasmania, and numerous smaller islands in the Indian and Pacific Oceans. It is the world's sixth-largest country by total area...

n politician; a former Premier of Western Australia
Premier of Western Australia
The Premier of Western Australia is the head of the executive government in the Australian State of Western Australia. The Premier has similar functions in Western Australia to those performed by the Prime Minister of Australia at the national level, subject to the different Constitutions...

 and the first woman to become Premier of a State of the Commonwealth of Australia.

After leaving the State Parliament of Western Australia
Parliament of Western Australia
The Parliament of Western Australia consists of the Legislative Council and the Legislative Assembly . The Parliament sits at Parliament House in Harvest Terrace, Perth....

 Lawrence became a Member of the House of Representatives
Australian House of Representatives
The House of Representatives is one of the two houses of the Parliament of Australia; it is the lower house; the upper house is the Senate. Members of Parliament serve for terms of approximately three years....

 in the Australian federal parliament
Parliament of Australia
The Parliament of Australia, also known as the Commonwealth Parliament or Federal Parliament, is the legislative branch of the government of Australia. It is bicameral, largely modelled in the Westminster tradition, but with some influences from the United States Congress...

.

Lawrence became the first directly elected Federal President of the Australian Labor Party
Australian Labor Party
The Australian Labor Party is an Australian political party. It has been the governing party of the Commonwealth of Australia since the 2007 federal election. Julia Gillard is the party's federal parliamentary leader and Prime Minister of Australia...

 in 2003. She retired from parliament in November 2007.

Early life


Carmen Lawrence was born in Northam
Northam, Western Australia
Northam is a town in Western Australia, situated at the confluence of the Avon and Mortlock Rivers, about north-east of Perth in the Avon Valley. At the 2006 census, Northam had a population of 6,009. Northam is the largest town in the Avon region...

, in the agricultural district of Western Australia
Western Australia
Western Australia is a state of Australia, occupying the entire western third of the Australian continent. It is bounded by the Indian Ocean to the north and west, the Great Australian Bight and Indian Ocean to the south, the Northern Territory to the north-east and South Australia to the south-east...

 and spent her early childhood in the towns of Gutha
Gutha, Western Australia
Gutha is a townsite in the Mid West region of Western Australia, north of Morawa.In 1913 it was decided to establish a train station there, on the Wongan Hills – Mullewa railway. The district surveyor suggested the name "Muthingutha", the Aboriginal name of a nearby rockhole. This was shortened to...

 and Dongara
Dongara, Western Australia
Dongara is a town located 351 km north-northwest of Perth on the Brand Highway. The town is located at the mouth of the Irwin River. In recent years the area has been marketed as the 'Rock lobster capital of Australia'....

.

She was one of seven children of Ernest Richard Lawrence, a farmer, and his wife Mary Norma (née Watson).

From the age of six she was educated at various Roman Catholic boarding schools: Marian Convent at Morawa
Morawa, Western Australia
Morawa is a town in the Mid West region of Western Australia. It is located within the Shire of Morawa, approximately 370 kilometres north of the state capital Perth, on the railway line between Wongan Hills and Mullewa.- History :...

; Dominican Ladies College at Dongara and Santa Maria College
Santa Maria College, Perth
Santa Maria College is a Roman Catholic, boarding and day school for girls, situated in Attadale, a southern suburb of Perth, Western Australia....

 at Attadale
Attadale, Western Australia
Attadale is a suburb of Perth, Western Australia, located within the City of Melville.It was the first subdivision of A.P. Matheson's Melville Water Park Estate. Attadale was named after an estate in Scotland situated on the south side of Loch Carron....

 from which she matriculated in 1964 with distinctions in six subjects, a General Exhibition for Academic Achievement and a Special Subject Exhibition in economics. Describing her childhood as a "convential Christian upbringing", Lawrence has stated she does not follow any particular religion and has no belief in a deity.

Further education and employment


In 1965, Lawrence enrolled at the University of Western Australia
University of Western Australia
The University of Western Australia was established by an Act of the Western Australian Parliament in February 1911, and began teaching students for the first time in 1913. It is the oldest university in the state of Western Australia and the only university in the state to be a member of the...

 in Perth
Perth, Western Australia
Perth is the capital and largest city of the Australian state of Western Australia and the fourth most populous city in Australia. The Perth metropolitan area has an estimated population of almost 1,700,000....

, and graduated as a Bachelor of Psychology with First Class Honours in 1968, having won five prizes including that for the most outstanding graduate throughout the Faculties of Arts, Economics and Commerce, Law, Architecture and Education. She was also Senior Student for that year from Saint Catherine's residential college.

She was politically active from an early stage. While at UWA she lobbied, successfully, to have the Campus Beauty Contest abolished. In Melbourne in the early 1970s she helped to found the Victorian Branch of the Women's Electoral Lobby.

She tutored at the University of Melbourne
University of Melbourne
The University of Melbourne is a public university located in Melbourne, Victoria. Founded in 1853, it is the second oldest university in Australia and the oldest in Victoria...

 in 1971 and 1972, tutored and lectured at Curtin University from 1973 to 1978 and was a lecturer with the Faculty of Medicine at the University of Western Australia from 1979 until 1983. During this period she continued with post-graduate research, having won two scholarships for PhD studies in psychology, and received the doctoral degree in 1983, for her dissertation Maternal Responses to Infant Crying.

From 1983 until her election to parliament in 1986, Lawrence was employed in the Research and Evaluation Unit of the Psychiatric Services Branch of the Department of Health of Western Australia.

Entry to State Parliament


During this period, Lawrence joined the Labor Party. She unsuccessfully contested the seat of East Melville
Electoral district of East Melville
East Melville was an electoral district of the Legislative Assembly in the Australian state of Western Australia from 1962 to 1989.The district was based in the inner southern suburbs of Perth. It was a safe Liberal Party seat.-History:...

 at the 1983 election
Western Australian state election, 1983
Elections were held in the state of Western Australia on 19 February 1983 to elect all 57 members to the Legislative Assembly and 18 members to the 34-seat Legislative Council....

 against sitting Liberal Party
Liberal Party of Australia
The Liberal Party of Australia is an Australian political party.Founded a year after the 1943 federal election to replace the United Australia Party, the centre-right Liberal Party typically competes with the centre-left Australian Labor Party for political office...

 member Antony Trethowan, but was more successful in 1986
Western Australian state election, 1986
Elections were held in the state of Western Australia on 8 February 1986 to elect all 57 members to the Legislative Assembly and 17 members to the 34-seat Legislative Council...

 when she won the seat of Subiaco
Electoral district of Subiaco
The Electoral district of Subiaco was a Legislative Assembly electorate in the state of Western Australia. The district was named for the inner western Perth suburb of Subiaco, which fell within its borders...

 following the retirement of long-serving Liberal-turned-independent Dr Tom Dadour. In 1988, following the sudden departure of Brian Burke
Brian Burke
Brian Thomas Burke was Labor premier of Western Australia from 25 February 1983 until his resignation on 25 February 1988...

 as Premier, she was appointed Minister for Education. At the 1989 election
Western Australian state election, 1989
Elections were held in the state of Western Australia on 4 February 1989 to elect all 57 members to the Legislative Assembly and all 34 members to the Legislative Council...

, her seat of Subiaco was abolished in a redistribution, and she won the new seat of Glendalough
Electoral district of Glendalough
The Electoral district of Glendalough was a Legislative Assembly electorate in the state of Western Australia. The district was named for the inner northern Perth suburb of Glendalough, which fell within its borders. The seat was abolished after two terms at the 1994 redistribution, taking effect...

.

The Western Australian Labor government was in a state of crisis as a result of corruption allegations against the cabinets of two successive premiers, Brian Burke
Brian Burke
Brian Thomas Burke was Labor premier of Western Australia from 25 February 1983 until his resignation on 25 February 1988...

 and Peter Dowding
Peter Dowding
Peter McCallum Dowding SC was the 24th Premier of Western Australia, serving from 25 February 1988 until his resignation on 12 February 1990 after an internal party dispute....

, the so-called "WA Inc
WA Inc
WA Inc was a political scandal in Western Australia. In the 1980s, the state government, which was led for much of the period by premier Brian Burke, engaged in business dealings with several prominent businessmen, including Alan Bond, Laurie Connell and Warren Anderson...

" period.

Premier of Western Australia


In February 1990, Dowding was forced by his colleagues to resign. Lawrence, a prominent opponent within the Labor Party of Brian Burke's Right faction, of which Dowding was a member, replaced him as Premier on 12 February 1990.

Carmen Lawrence was the first female Premier of an Australian State. However, she was not the first female head of government of a province of the Commonwealth of Australia; being preceded by Rosemary Follett
Rosemary Follett
Rosemary Follett AO , Australian politician, was the first Chief Minister of the Australian Capital Territory. She was the first woman to become head of government in an Australian state or territory....

, who became Chief Minister
Chief Minister
A Chief Minister is the elected head of government of a sub-national state, provinces of Sri Lanka, Pakistan, notably a state of India, a territory of Australia or a British Overseas Territory that has attained self-government...

 of the ACT
Australian Capital Territory
The Australian Capital Territory, often abbreviated ACT, is the capital territory of the Commonwealth of Australia and is the smallest self-governing internal territory...

 on 11 May 1989.

On 19 November 1990, Lawrence called a Royal Commission into matters related to the WA Inc deals, after considerable public and media pressure. The commission hearings began on 12 March 1991, and within months, the Labor party became a minority government as three left-wing MPs left the party to sit as independents. Coverage of the commission hearings dominated media headlines for most of the period from then until the 1993 election.

Two significant matters which characterised Lawrence's premiership were a public demand for a strong legislative response to juvenile crime and problematic investments in public transport infrastructure.

Juvenile crime


Between mid-1990 and early 1992, a number of high-speed chases involving cars stolen by repeat juvenile offenders resulted in the deaths of 10 people, including a businessman and several young parents. All received considerable media attention, most notably from 6PR
6PR
6PR, known as 882 6PR, is a commercial radio station based in Perth, Australia. Its focus is on news, talk and sport, and is Perth's only commercial talkback radio station. 6PR is owned by Fairfax Media, an Australian media company that owns television and radio businesses throughout Australia and...

's Howard Sattler. On 25 December 1991, 22-year-old Margaret Blurton and her infant son Shane were killed in a crash involving a 14-year-old offender in a stolen motor vehicle. Margaret's husband Peter survived, and gained public sympathy through bedside interviews to print and electronic media. A candlelight vigil was organised outside Parliament House on 4 January 1992, and exactly a month later, responding directly to the public call for action, Lawrence and deputy leader Ian Taylor
Ian Taylor (Australian politician)
Ian Taylor is a former Australian politician and Western Australian Deputy Premier and Opposition Leader.Taylor was elected to the Western Australian Legislative Assembly in 1981 as the Labor member for Kalgoorlie. In 1986 he was appointed Minister for Health and also held the Aged Care, Lands and...

 tabled the Crime (Serious and Repeat Offenders) Sentencing Bill 1992, which was rushed through parliament despite the advice of a committee that it was "unworkable and unsustainable". Peter Blurton established the Margaret and Shane Foundation to channel both his own grief and the immense public sympathy into a workable force to fight for the rights of crime victims. The law, however, turned out to be defective and Lawrence later declared it to have been a mistake. The Act was repealed in June 1994.

Transport infrastructure


The other matter which preoccupied the Government was the ongoing construction of the Northern Suburbs Transit System
Northern Suburbs Transit System
The Northern Suburbs Transit System is the name given to the project initiated and funded by the Government of Western Australia to provide high-speed passenger rail services to the northern corridor of metropolitan Perth, the capital city of Western Australia...

, later to be known as the Joondalup railway line, which proceeded throughout Lawrence's term as Premier. She officially opened the line on 20 December 1992 and travelled on it with community leaders and selected members of the public, but the line was not opened for regular services until 21 March 1993. The Perth City Busport (now known as the Esplanade Busport), was opened on 30 November 1991 in an effort to centralise services travelling through the central business district—however, due to its distance from St Georges Terrace
St Georges Terrace, Perth
St Georges Terrace is the main street in the city of Perth, Western Australia. It runs parallel to the Swan River and forms the major arterial road through the central business district....

, it was branded a "white elephant" by the media and failed to significantly impact on CBD
Central business district
A central business district is the commercial and often geographic heart of a city. In North America this part of a city is commonly referred to as "downtown" or "city center"...

 traffic. However, the station is still in use, and has since been integrated into the rail network following the opening of the Mandurah railway line in December 2007.

Easton petition


On 5 November 1992, a petition was tabled in the Legislative Council by Labor MLC John Halden
John Halden
Stanley John Halden , at Fremantle, Western Australia, is a former member of the Western Australian Legislative Council.Halden was educated in Western Australia and obtained a Bachelor of Arts degree majoring in Social Work...

 which contained an allegation that the Opposition Leader
Leader of the Opposition (Western Australia)
The Leader of the Opposition in Western Australia is the leader of the largest minority political party or coalition of parties in the Legislative Assembly of the Parliament of Western Australia. By convention, he or she is generally a member of the Legislative Assembly...

 Richard Court
Richard Court
Richard Fairfax Court AC , was a Western Australian politician, representing the seat of Nedlands in the Western Australian Legislative Assembly for the Liberal Party of Australia from 1982 to 2001. He served as Premier of Western Australia from 1993 to 2001.Court was born into an old political...

 had leaked confidential information to a party in a divorce case. The petitioner was Brian Mahon Easton, a former Western Australian public servant. The alleged recipient of the leaked information was his former wife, Penny Easton. On 9 November 1992, she committed suicide. In Parliament on the following day, in response to an Opposition question, Lawrence denied prior knowledge of the petition. This episode subsequently became known as the "Easton affair
Easton affair
The Easton affair was the name which came to be used to describe a Western Australian political scandal. A member of the Labor Party, then in government, tabled a document on 5 November 1992 in the Western Australian Legislative Council claiming that confidential information was improperly released...

".

Election defeat


In the election
Western Australian state election, 1993
Elections were held in the state of Western Australia on 6 February 1993 to elect all 57 members to the Legislative Assembly and all 34 members to the Legislative Council...

 held on 6 February 1993, the Lawrence government was defeated by the Liberal
Liberal Party of Australia
The Liberal Party of Australia is an Australian political party.Founded a year after the 1943 federal election to replace the United Australia Party, the centre-right Liberal Party typically competes with the centre-left Australian Labor Party for political office...

-National
National Party of Western Australia
The National Party of Western Australia is a political party in Western Australia. It is affiliated with the National Party of Australia but maintains a separate structure and identity....

 coalition and Richard Court, who had replaced Barry MacKinnon as opposition leader just a year earlier, became Premier. Lawrence remained as Opposition Leader
Leader of the Opposition (Western Australia)
The Leader of the Opposition in Western Australia is the leader of the largest minority political party or coalition of parties in the Legislative Assembly of the Parliament of Western Australia. By convention, he or she is generally a member of the Legislative Assembly...

 until early 1994.

In December 1993, Carmen Lawrence, Jim McGinty
Jim McGinty
James Andrew McGinty is an Australian politician. He was a Labor member of the Western Australian Legislative Assembly from 1990 to 2009, representing the district of Fremantle. He was Labor Party leader and Leader of the Opposition from 1994 to 1996...

 and Geoff Gallop
Geoff Gallop
Geoffrey Ian Gallop, AC is an Australian academic and former politician. He was the Premier of Western Australia from 2001 to 2006. He currently resides in Sydney.-Early life and education:...

 joined in a petition to the High Court of Australia
High Court of Australia
The High Court of Australia is the supreme court in the Australian court hierarchy and the final court of appeal in Australia. It has both original and appellate jurisdiction, has the power of judicial review over laws passed by the Parliament of Australia and the parliaments of the States, and...

 to challenge the franchise system for the Western Australian Legislative Council
Western Australian Legislative Council
The Legislative Council, or upper house, is one of the two chambers of parliament in the Australian state of Western Australia. Its central purpose is to act as a house of review for legislation passed through the lower house, the Legislative Assembly. It sits in Parliament House in the state...

. The system of vote-weighting tended to favour the conservative parties and was a long-term obstacle to the ALP gaining control of the Council. On 20 February 1996, the High Court rejected the challenge on the basis that the law was not unconstitutional.

Entry to Federal Parliament and Cabinet Ministry


On 12 March 1994, following the resignation of former Federal treasurer and member for Fremantle
Division of Fremantle
The Division of Fremantle is an Australian Electoral Division in Western Australia.The division was created at Federation in 1900 and was one of the original 75 divisions contested at the first federal election...

, John Dawkins
John Dawkins
John Sydney "Joe" Dawkins, AO , Australian politician, was Treasurer in the Keating Labor government from December 1991 to December 1993...

, she won a by-election
Fremantle by-election, 1994
The 1994 Fremantle by-election was held in the Australian federal electorate of Fremantle in Western Australia on 12 March 1994. The by-election was triggered by the retirement of the sitting member, the Australian Labor Party's John Dawkins, on 4 February 1994...

 for the seat and entered federal politics. Fremantle is a safe Labor seat which had once been held by Labor Prime Minister John Curtin
John Curtin
John Joseph Curtin , Australian politician, served as the 14th Prime Minister of Australia. Labor under Curtin formed a minority government in 1941 after the crossbench consisting of two independent MPs crossed the floor in the House of Representatives, bringing down the Coalition minority...

, and later, Whitlam-era
Gough Whitlam
Edward Gough Whitlam, AC, QC , known as Gough Whitlam , served as the 21st Prime Minister of Australia. Whitlam led the Australian Labor Party to power at the 1972 election and retained government at the 1974 election, before being dismissed by Governor-General Sir John Kerr at the climax of the...

 Education Minister Kim Beazley senior
Kim Edward Beazley
Kim Edward Beazley, AO , known as Kim Beazley during his career, Australian politician, was Minister for Education in the government of Gough Whitlam and a Labor member of the Australian House of Representatives for 32 years, from 1945 to 1977.Beazley, the youngest of seven children, was born in...

.

On 25 March 1994, she was appointed Minister for Human Services and Health
Minister for Health and Ageing (Australia)
The Minister for Health and Ageing is a portfolio in the Government of Australia with the responsibility for national health policy. The current Minister for Health and Ageing is Nicola Roxon...

 and Minister assisting the Prime Minister for the Status of Women
Minister for the Status of Women (Australia)
The Australian Minister for Status of Women is Kate Ellis, who was appointed on 14 September 2010. The ministry is administered through the Department of Families, Housing, Community Services and Indigenous Affairs....

 in the Keating government
Second Keating Ministry
The Second Keating Ministry was the sixtieth Australian Commonwealth ministry. It was led by Paul Keating of the Australian Labor Party, and held office from 24 March 1993 to 11 March 1996...

.

The Royal Commission


In May 1995, Premier Court requested the establishment of a Royal Commission
Royal Commission
In Commonwealth realms and other monarchies a Royal Commission is a major ad-hoc formal public inquiry into a defined issue. They have been held in various countries such as the United Kingdom, Australia, Canada, New Zealand, and Saudi Arabia...

 to determine the circumstances of the tabling of the Easton affair petition. On 14 November 1995, the Royal Commission released a report which found that Lawrence had misled the Western Australian Parliament concerning her knowledge of and role in the tabling of the petition. Paul Keating denounced the Commission as a political stunt and accused the Commissioner, Kenneth Marks QC, of bias.

At the 1996 federal election, the Keating government lost office and, following Paul Keating's resignation of the leadership, Kim Beazley
Kim Beazley
In the October 1998 election, Labor polled a majority of the two-party vote and received the largest swing to a first-term opposition since 1934. However, due to the uneven nature of the swing, Labor came up eight seats short of making Beazley Prime Minister....

, a Western Australian, became the new Leader of the Opposition.

Lawrence was appointed to the Opposition frontbench as Shadow Environment Minister. On 21 February 1997, she was charged with three counts of perjury resulting from the findings of the Marks Royal Commission. She stood down from the shadow ministry pending her trial. She was acquitted on 23 July 1999.

Later political life


In September 2000 Beazley approved her reappointment to the Labor frontbench, and appointed her shadow minister for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Affairs, the Arts and Status of Women.

During the 2001 federal election campaign, Lawrence strongly disapproved of Beazley's support for the government's policy of detaining asylum
Right of asylum
Right of asylum is an ancient juridical notion, under which a person persecuted for political opinions or religious beliefs in his or her own country may be protected by another sovereign authority, a foreign country, or church sanctuaries...

-seekers (see Tampa affair
Tampa affair
In August 2001, the Howard Government of Australia refused permission for the Norwegian freighter MV Tampa, carrying 438 rescued Afghans from a distressed fishing vessel in international waters, to enter Australian waters...

). In December 2002 she resigned from the Shadow Cabinet, describing the party's policies on asylum and immigration
Immigration
Immigration is the act of foreigners passing or coming into a country for the purpose of permanent residence...

 as "brutal and inhumane".

She announced on 29 March 2007 that she would not recontest her seat in the Parliament at the 2007 Australian federal election.

Presidency of the ALP


During 2002 the Labor Party approved a series of reforms proposed by new Opposition leader Simon Crean
Simon Crean
Simon Findlay Crean is an Australian politician, and the current Minister for the Arts and Minister for Regional Australia, Regional Development and Local Government in the Australian Federal Government. He was leader of the Australian Labor Party and Leader of the Opposition at the Federal level,...

, among them the direct election of the party's National President by the party membership (the post had previously been filled by election at the party's National Conference) and a reduction of the union's representation at party conferences from 60% to 50%. Lawrence emerged as the candidate of the party's Left faction for the post, and the election took place in November 2003. Although she did not win an absolute majority of the votes, Lawrence topped the poll and was elected President, taking office on 1 January 2004, shortly after Mark Latham
Mark Latham
Mark William Latham , an author and former Australian politician, was leader of the Federal Parliamentary Australian Labor Party and Leader of the Opposition from December 2003 to January 2005....

 succeeded Crean as party Leader. She used the position to campaign in favour of a policy of better treatment for asylum-seekers entering Australia. Her term as National President ended on 1 January 2005, when she was succeeded by Barry Jones
Barry Jones (Australian politician)
Barry Owen Jones AO, FAA, FASSA, FAHA, FTSE, FACE is a writer, lawyer, social activist, quiz champion and former politician. He campaigned against the death penalty throughout the 1960s, particularly against the execution of Ronald Ryan, and remains against capital punishment...

.

After Parliament


As foreshadowed in her announcement of March 2007, Lawrence did not contest the federal election held on 24 November 2007, thereby retiring from Parliament.
She was succeeded as Member for Fremantle by Melissa Parke
Melissa Parke
Melissa Parke is an Australian Labor parliamentarian representing the Division of Fremantle, Western Australia, in the Australian House of Representatives. She was elected to office in November 2007 and re-elected in August 2010...

, also of the ALP.

Following her departure from the federal Parliament, Lawrence was engaged for a term, in 2008, as a Professorial Fellow at the University of Western Australia. Her brief was to conduct collaborative research with a focus on the origins of fanaticism and extreme behaviour, including terrorism, under the auspices of the University's Institute of Advanced Studies.

Notable public appearances and other engagements

  • Lawrence delivered the John Curtin Memorial Lecture in 1994, speaking on the theme Women and Labor – A Future Perspective.
  • On 24 November 1994, Lawrence delivered a lecture at Curtin University titled, "My Invalid Carrot is the Prettiest of Them All" as part of the Elizabeth Jolley
    Elizabeth Jolley
    Monica Elizabeth Jolley AO was an English-born writer who settled in Western Australia in the late 1950s. She was 53 when her first book was published, and she went on to publish fifteen novels , four short story collections and three non-fiction books, publishing well into her 70s and achieving...

     Lecture Series.
  • In 1995/96 Lawrence was named "Number One Ticket-Holder" for the Fremantle Football Club
    Fremantle Football Club
    The Fremantle Football Club, nicknamed The Dockers, is an Australian rules football team which plays in the Australian Football League . The club is based in the port city of Fremantle at the mouth of the Swan River in Western Australia...

    .
  • In 2002, in her capacity as Shadow Minister for the Status of Women, Lawrence took part in the Canberra launch of the National Maternity Action Plan
    National Maternity Action Plan
    The National Maternity Action Plan is an Australian document prepared by maternity consumer groups to alter the way Governments fund and resource maternity services.-History:...

    .
  • From 2000 to 2004, she was a contributor to the Internet journal Online Opinion.
  • From 2002 to 2005, she was an intermittent contributor to Margo Kingston
    Margo Kingston
    Margo Kingston is an Australian journalist, author and commentator. She is best known for her work at The Sydney Morning Herald and her weblog, .Kingston was born in Maryborough, Queensland and was raised in Mackay...

    's Webdiary.
  • In 2005 she spoke in the Eminent Lecturer Series for the Herbert and Valmae Freilich Foundation which is hosted by the Australian National University
    Australian National University
    The Australian National University is a teaching and research university located in the Australian capital, Canberra.As of 2009, the ANU employs 3,945 administrative staff who teach approximately 10,000 undergraduates, and 7,500 postgraduate students...

    . Her lectures on the theme Fear and Public Policy have since been published as a book titled Fear and Politics (listed in Publications section, below).
  • On 19 February 2007, Lawrence was the principal guest at the launch of the web publication The federal electorate of Fremantle: A history since 1901, an initiative of the John Curtin Prime Ministerial Library.

External links

  • Australian Women Fact File on Carmen Lawrence
  • Carmen Lawrence page at Website for John Curtin Prime Ministerial Library.
  • Western Australian Electoral Commission data for the 1993 W.A. State Election
  • Transcript of item from The 7:30 Report broadcast of 23 July 1999, concerning the perjury trial acquittal of Carmen Lawrence.
  • Article from the Australian newspaper of 30 March 2007 by Patricia Karvelas, on Carmen Lawrence's announcement of retirement from parliament: "Carmen leaves it to Kevin"
  • A Talk With Carmen Lawrence Podcast interview on La Trobe University
    La Trobe University
    La Trobe University is a multi-campus university in Victoria, Australia. It was established in 1964 by an Act of Parliament to become the third oldest university in the state of Victoria. The main campus of La Trobe is located in the Melbourne suburb of Bundoora; two other major campuses are...

     website.


----