NEWCASTLE-born former Liberal Party minister and
the first female president of the NSW Legislative Coun
cil Virginia Chadwick has died aged 64.
Mrs Chadwick died in Lake Macquarie Private
Hospital at Toronto yesterday after battling cancer.
Mrs Chadwick was a teacher before being elected
to the NSW Legislative Council in 1978 at the age of 33. She retired from politics in 1999.
In this time she was not only the first
female president of the Legislative Council but the first female Opposition whip, first female Liberal minister and the first female Education Minister.
Over the course of her tenure as Education Minister she oversaw the establishment of selective schools such as Merewether High and Gateshead Sports High.
Mrs Chadwick was instrumental in the restructuring of dis
ability services, moving them from under the umbrella of
health, and ultimately into a
She lived in Newcastle for her entire political career before moving to Queensland in 1999 to take the
position as chief executive and chairwoman of the
Great Barrier Reef Marine Authorityuntil 2007.
Mrs Chadwick moved back to Bolton Point with
her husband Bruce after her retirement in 2007.