The Honourable Dame Quentin Bryce AD CVO (nee Strachan)

MBC 1956-1959Quentin Bryce

Governor-General of the Commonwealth of Australia  2008-2014

BA. LLB (Qld). Hon LLD (Macquarie). Hon DLitt (Charles Sturt). Hon DUniv (Griffith). Hon DU (QUT). Hon LLD (Qld). Hon DUniv (JCU). Doctor of Laws (honoris causa) (Syd). Doctor of Letters (honoris causa) (UWS). Doctor of Laws (honoris causa) University of Melbourne

Quentin Bryce (nee Strachan) was born in Brisbane in 1942 and spent her early years in Ilfracombe, a small town in Central Western Queensland. In 1965, she graduated with the degrees of Bachelor of Arts and Bachelor of Laws from The University of Queensland and, in the same year, was admitted to the Queensland Bar. She has since enjoyed a rich and distinguished career as an academic, lawyer, community and human rights advocate, senior public officer, university college principal, and vice-regal representative in Queensland, and now Australia.

Ms Bryce's former roles – some, among firsts for women in this country – include:

  • Lecturer and Tutor in Law, The University of Queensland, 1968-1983
  • Convenor, National Women's Advisory Council, 1982-1984
  • Inaugural Director, Queensland Women's Information Service, Office of the Status of Women, Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet, 1984-1987
  • Director, Human Rights and Equal Opportunity Commission, Queensland, 1987-1988
  • Federal Sex Discrimination Commissioner, Human Rights and Equal Opportunity Commission, 1988-1993
  • Founding Chair and CEO, National Childcare Accreditation Council, 1993-1996
  • Principal and CEO, The Women's College, University of Sydney, 1997-2003
  • Governor of Queensland, 2003-2008

Quentin Bryce's contribution to advancing human rights and equality, the rights of women and children, and the welfare of the family was recognised in her appointment as an Officer of the Order of Australia in 1988 and a Companion of the Order of Australia in 2003. Also in 2003, she was invested as a Dame of Grace of the Most Venerable Order of the Hospital of St John of Jerusalem.

Ms Bryce was awarded an Honorary Doctorate of Laws by Macquarie University (New South Wales) in 1998, an Honorary Doctorate of Letters by Charles Sturt University (New South Wales) in 2002, and an Honorary Doctorate of Laws by The University of Queensland in 2006. She was conferred with the degrees of Honorary Doctor of the University by Griffith University (Queensland) in 2003, Queensland University of Technology in 2004 and an Honorary Doctorate from James Cook University in 2008.

In her civic role as Governor of Queensland, Ms Bryce continued her work with women, families and young people while extending her influence across the State's broad and diverse spectrum, including the rural, regional, aged, indigenous, migrant, and disability sectors.

As a mother and grandmother, Ms Bryce is a role model and mentor to women at every stage of their lives. She values and encourages women's capacity to form strong and enduring bonds of friendship, intellectual and emotional enrichment, and mutual support in their roles within the family, workplace and community.

On 5 September 2008 Quentin Bryce was sworn in as Australia's twenty-fifth Governor-General. As the first woman to take up the office, she remains a pioneer in contemporary Australian society, and yet one who brings more than forty years of experience in reform, community building and leadership to the role. She was succeeded by General Sir Peter Cosgrove as Governor-General on 28 March 2014.

Quentin Bryce and her husband, Michael, were married in 1964. They have two daughters and three sons, and ten grandchildren.

Quentin was awarded the Moreton Bay College Medal in 2004.

A selective record of Ms Bryce's career, and professional and community service is available here.

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