National Conference on Reconciliation, Multiculturalism,Immigration and Human Rights

Senator Meg Lees
Leader, Australian Democrats


Prime Minister & Cabinet
Status of Women

Meg Lees has been a member of the Australian Democrats since the Party's foundation in 1977.

In 1990, she was chosen by the SA Division of the Democrats to fill the casual Senate vacancy created by the resignation of Janine Haines.

A year later, she was elected by Democrat members across Australia as Deputy Leader of the Party. Meg led the SA Senate ticket in 1993 and was elected for a six year term. Again following the 1993 and the 1996 elections she was elected Deputy Leader. She was elected as Parliamentary Leader in December 1997. In October 1998 Meg again led the SA Senate ticket and was re-elected for a further six year term. In November 1998 Meg was again voted Parliamentary Leader by the Democrats' members.

Meg began work as a laboratory assistant with ANL in 1966. She sat for matriculation the same year and gained a scholarship to Sydney Teachers College, graduating in 1969 with a Diploma in Physical Education.
Meg began teaching in 1970 and moved to Mt Gambier, in SA's south-east in 1974. While living there she completed a Bachelor of Education by correspondence and took 'time out' while her daughters were young.

Meg moved to Adelaide with her family in 1986 and taught until 1989, when she was endorsed to fill the Senate vacancy. She has taught in primary and secondary schools in Sydney, the Mount Gambier area and Adelaide.

Her major subject was physical education but she also taught maths, science, geography and art. Meg is a keen bushwalker and has an interest in ornithology. She also enjoys swimming, canoeing and tennis.

Meg is a former councillor with the Australian Conservation Foundation. She is a supporter of PLAN and Community Aid Abroad and a member of Amnesty International. Meg has devoted considerable time to issues including Australian Made and Product of Australia labelling schemes and improving Aboriginal health services. Meg is a committed environmentalist.

Information courtesy of Australian Democrats website

University of Technology, Sydney, 1-2 December 2000

Plenary Speakers