Dame Quentin Bryce AD CVO
Australian lawyer, educator, and politician, who was the first woman to serve as Governor-General of Australia from 2008 – 2014.
Dame Bryce grew up in Ilfracombe, which she described as “a little bush town in western Queensland of two hundred people.” While attending the University of Queensland, she married architect and graphic designer Michael Bryce in 1964 (the couple eventually had five children). The following year she earned Bachelor of Arts and Bachelor of Laws degrees and was admitted to the Queensland bar. From 1968 to 1983 she served as a lecturer in law at the University of Queensland, and in 1984 she was named the first director of the Queensland Women’s Information Service. In the late 1980s and early ’90s, Bryce worked for the Australian Human Rights and Equal Opportunity Commission, first as the commission’s Queensland director and then as the organisation’s federal sex discrimination commissioner.
In 1993 Bryce became the founding chairperson and CEO of the National Childcare Accreditation Council, in which position she led efforts to ensure and improve the quality of child-care services in Australia. She later served (1997–2003) as the principal and CEO of the Women’s College at the University of Sydney. Bryce was appointed governor of Queensland in 2003, the same year that she was made a Companion of the Order of Australia. Her five-year appointment as governor was extended for an additional two years in January 2008. However, three months later Prime Minister Kevin Rudd announced his selection of Bryce for the governor-general’s post.