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Bronwyn Bishop

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Bishop in 2012
29th Speaker of the Australian House of Representatives
In office
12 November 2013 – 2 August 2015
Deputy Bruce Scott
Preceded by Anna Burke
Succeeded by Tony Smith
Minister for Aged Care
In office
21 October 1998 – 26 November 2001
Prime Minister John Howard
Preceded by Peter Staples
Succeeded by Kevin Andrews
Minister for Defence Industry, Science and Personnel
In office
11 March 1996 – 21 October 1998
Prime Minister John Howard
Preceded by Gary Punch
Succeeded by Warren Snowdon
Member of the Australian Parliament
for Mackellar
In office
26 March 1994 – 9 May 2016
Preceded by Jim Carlton
Succeeded by Jason Falinski
Senator for New South Wales
In office
11 July 1987 – 24 February 1994
Preceded by Sir John Carrick
Succeeded by Bob Woods
Personal details
Born
Bronwyn Kathleen Setright

19 October 1942 (1942-10-19) (age 79)
Sydney, New South Wales, Australia
Political party Liberal
Spouse(s) Alan David Bishop (1966–1992, div.)
Residence Newport, New South Wales
Education Cremorne Girls High School
University of Sydney (no degree)
Occupation Solicitor and Company Director

Bronwyn Kathleen Bishop AO (née Setright; born 19 October 1942) is an Australian former politician. She was a member of federal parliament for almost 30 years, the longest period of service by a woman. A member of the Liberal Party, she was a minister in the Howard Government from 1996 to 2001 and Speaker of the House of Representatives from 2013 to 2015.

Bishop was born in Sydney and worked as a lawyer before entering politics. She served as state president of the New South Wales Liberals from 1985 to 1987, and then won election to the Senate at the 1987 federal election. She became the state's second female senator and the first to be popularly elected. In 1994 Bishop switched to the House of Representatives, winning a by-election for the Division of Mackellar. She was a shadow minister under John Hewson, Alexander Downer, and John Howard.

In 1996 Bishop was appointed Minister for Defence Industry, Science and Personnel in the newly elected Howard Government. She was made Minister for Aged Care in 1998, but lost her place in the ministry after the 2001 election. Bishop returned to the shadow ministry after the Liberal–National Coalition lost the 2007 election. In 2013, following the election of the Abbott Government, she was elected Speaker of the House, becoming the first non-Labor woman to hold the post. She resigned in mid-2015 after being caught in the centre of a travel-expenses scandal, and was defeated for Liberal preselection at the 2016 election, ending her parliamentary career. As of 2019 she is a political commentator at Sky News Live.

Personal life

Bishop is an amateur actress, having appeared in several charity productions including The Sound of Music (as Baroness Elsa), and Grease (as the Headmistress). In 2007, she sang a duet of Irving Berlin's A Couple of Swells with then Health Minister, Tony Abbott, and Deputy Leader of the Liberal Party, Julie Bishop, at a fund-raiser in Sydney. Bishop is also a patron of Opera Australia and was 2008 President of the Sydney International Piano Competition Committee.

In 1966, she married Alan David Bishop (20 April 1940 – 22 January 2010), with whom she studied law at the University of Sydney. Alan Bishop was a judge of the now defunct Compensation Court and the District Court of New South Wales and was instrumental in the establishment of the WorkCover Authority of New South Wales. He is honoured by the Bishops' alma mater with the Alan Bishop Scholarship for distinguished final-year undergraduate law students. Alan Bishop also served as an alderman of the City of Sydney and was involved in multiple committees and companies, including the public medical research company AGITG.

Bronwyn and Alan Bishop have two daughters; Angela, an entertainment reporter for Network Ten, and Sally. Bronwyn and Alan Bishop divorced in 1992.

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