Joan Kirner

Joan Kirner AC (née Hood)

Joan KirnerJoan Kirner AC (20 June 1938 – 1 June 2015) was an Australian politician and Victoria’s first and only female premier, serving from 1990 to 1992.

Joan’s legacy is characterised by her commitment to empowering women and reforming education and environmental policy. Her values of inclusion, equality and recognition of individual talents have informed her leadership.

Originally trained as a teacher, during her time as education minister Joan oversaw the introduction of the Victorian Certificate of Education, substantially reduced class sizes, and saw school retention rates soar.

Joan was known to forge relationships across political divides, and in her role as minister for conservation she established the Landcare movement and the Rural Women’s Network. She also fought passionately to grow health services in Melbourne’s west.

In 1996, after her retirement from politics, Joan established EMILY's List Australia—an organisation that supports female representation in politics. In 2012 Joan was named a Companion of the Order of Australia for eminent service to the Parliament of Victoria and to the community through conservation initiatives, contributions to gender equality, the development of education and training programs and the pursuit of civil rights and social inclusion.