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Kay Janet Denman

Tasmanian Honour Roll of Women logo
Denman, Kay Janet

Awarded for service to the Community

Born: 22 July 1937

Entered on roll: 2011


Although my election to this place was not anticipated, I did arrive here with some fairly definite aims and objectives in mind. Then, as now, I was absolutely committed to the implementation of social justice and a more equitable society. (Kay Denman, Valedictory Speech, June 2005)

Kay Denman was born in Latrobe on 22 July 1937, and attended Railton Primary and Devonport High Schools. She graduated from Launceston Teachers College and started teaching in 1958. Kay left teaching between 1961 and 1965 during which time she had her two children, Paul and Janet.

In the late seventies in conjunction with teaching and her family commitments she became a volunteer member of the Mersey Leven Community Welfare Planning Group. The group had an extensive brief focussing on social welfare issues. This led to her involvement with the inaugural committee of Mersey Leven Family Day Care and she fought for children with disabilities to be cared for in day care facilities. Kay also became involved with Family Planning Tasmania at that time.

This voluntary work opened up Kay’s interest in social justice issues and her Senate career reflects her concern for justice, an example being her support of gay and lesbian rights during the mid-1990s.

Kay has also been a staunch advocate for those suffering from mesothelioma and other asbestos-related diseases. Having grown up in Railton, she has seen first-hand the devastating effect these diseases have on the community. Kay’s Senate Valedictory Speech reflects her concern that those suffering asbestos-related diseases be looked after.

Since leaving the Senate in 2005, Kay has been a Board Member of Devonfield Enterprises, was a Member of the Tasmanian Community Advisory Group (TasCAG) Mental Health Advisory Committee before it ceased operation in 2009, is on the inaugural North-West Area Health Services Network Advisory Group and is a Life Member of the Tasmanian Council for AIDS and Related Diseases (TasCARD).

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