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Awarded for service to government
Born: 14 November 1972 - Goroka, Papua New Guinea
Entered on roll: 2017
Lara Giddings was born in Papua New Guinea in 1972. She undertook her primary education in Goroka before having to leave for boarding school at the Methodist Ladies College in Melbourne for her secondary years.
At the end of 1990, she moved to Tasmania where upon she completed her Arts/Law degree at the University of Tasmania. It was at this time she joined the Australian Labor Party beginning a life in politics, which culminated in her becoming Tasmania’s first female and 44th Premier, a position she held from January 2011 to March 2014.
Initially elected to the Tasmanian Parliament in 1996, at the age of 23, Lara was the youngest woman ever elected to an Australian Parliament. After losing her House of Assembly seat of Lyons in 1998, she 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. Subsequently, Lara enjoyed great success in a number of ministerial positions including Minister for Health and Human Services, Attorney General and Minister for Justice, Minister for Infrastructure and Economic Development, Deputy Premier and Treasurer. In these roles she drove reform in health, disabilities, children’s services, housing and the law (social and governance). She also initiated the State’s first comprehensive Economic Development Plan.
During her period as Premier and Treasurer, Tasmania faced difficult economic and financial conditions that required strong decisions from the government. With plans in action to diversify the State’s economy, Lara led the way in focussing the Tasmanian business sector and economy towards the opportunities that lay in the Asian Century, particularly in China and Indonesia.
In addition to her work, Lara is a founding member of Emily’s List, a national organisation that provides financial and mentoring support to progressive Labor women candidates. She is also a founding member of the International Women’s Forum in Australia.