Virginia Chadwick dies: A trailblazer in Parliament

Virginia Chadwick
Virginia Chadwick

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

separate portfolio

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.