Designation: Former Governor-General
Quentin Bryce (Dame Quentin Alice Louise Bryce) (December 23, 1942) is an Australian scholar who served as Australia’s 25th Governor-General from 2008 until 2014. She was the 24th Governor of Queensland from 2003 to 2008 and is the first woman to hold the position.
Bryce was the second of four girls born in Brisbane in 1942. She met her future husband, Michael Bryce while attending Camp Hill State School. She was a Brownie in the Girl Guides of Australia.
She started boarding school at Moreton Bay College in Wynnum, Brisbane, in 1956. After graduating from high school, she began her studies at the University of Queensland, initially enrolling in social work and arts degree before transferring to the law in her third year. She earned a Bachelor of Arts in 1962 and a Bachelor of Laws in 1965 from the university. She was one of the first women admitted to the Queensland Bar that year, despite never practicing professionally.
After residing for some time in London, Bryce returned to Australia in 1968 and accepted a part-time tutoring job at the University of Queensland’s T. C. Beirne School of Law, making her the first woman to be appointed into the faculty. She began teaching at the university’s law school in 1969 and remained there until 1983.
During the Hawke Labor government, Bryce served as Federal Sex Discrimination Commissioner for five years (1988–1993). She became the founding chair and chief executive officer of the National Childcare Accreditation Council after ending her term as the Sex Discrimination Commissioner, a position she held for three years.
Bryce has served on the Australian Women’s Cricket Board and the National Breast Cancer Advisory Council and been a member of the YWCA, the Association for the Welfare of Children in Hospital, and the Australian Children’s Television Foundation. In 1978, she was a US State Department Visitor, and from 1989 to 1991, and was a member of the Australian Delegation to the UN Human Rights Commission in Geneva, Switzerland.
In 2003, Elizabeth II, Queen of Australia, appointed Bryce as Governor of Queensland on the nomination of Queensland Premier Peter Beattie, making her the second woman to hold the role. On April 13, 2008, it was declared that Queen Elizabeth II had confirmed Bryce’s nomination as the next Governor-General of Australia, based on the recommendation of Labor Prime Minister Kevin Rudd. On September 5, 2008, she was sworn in. On October 24, 2012, she was given an extension to her tenure, which would end in March 2014.
Bryce is a member of the Australian Academy of Law as a Life Fellow. In 2010, she was awarded an Honorary Fellow of the Australian Academy of Social Sciences. In 2003, Griffith University awarded her the honorary degree of Honorary Doctor of the University (Hon.DUniv). She received numerous honors throughout her professional career, including the Honorary Doctor of James Cook University award and the Queensland Greats Awards.
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