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Lyn Allison

I'm proud that as a result of the Senate committee, mental health services are now undergoing major reform.

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As an outspoken campaigner on women's issues, Lyn Allison was elected to the Australian Parliament in 1996. In 2004, she became leader of the Australian Democrats.

Lyn held the education, health and environment portfolios for the Democrats, for most of the 12 years she served as a Senator.

She initiated the bill to remove the veto over approval of RU486, the medical alternative to surgical abortion. This made parliamentary history as one of the few private bills to be passed in both houses, and as the only bill to be sponsored by women from four parties.

Lyn is highly respected for her contribution to environmental reform. She strengthened national environment and heritage legislation, and was instrumental in the introduction of national fuel and vehicle standards as part of the GST reforms.

She initiated and chaired the Senate Select Committee on Mental Health (2006), which triggered major reform and additional spending on mental health.

In her time in the Senate, Lyn exposed the inadequacy of the Maralinga nuclear test cleanup. She is part of an international network of organisations working for justice for nuclear test veterans.

Until recently, Lyn was the Director of Women's Health Victoria. She is a patron of Marie Stopes International Australia and serves on many boards including Vision Australia, Orygen Youth Health Research, the Mental Illness Fellowship of Victoria and Alzheimer's Australia.

In 2008, Lyn was awarded the Australian Humanist of the Year.