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Awarded for service to Government, service to Human Rights
Born: 31 August 1947
Entered on roll: 2009
Judith (Judy) Louise Jackson was born in Hobart on 31 August 1947, the daughter of Bill and Jean Perkins. She was educated at Glenorchy Primary School and Hobart High School. Judy graduated from the University of Tasmania with a Bachelor of Arts, Diploma of Education and Bachelor of Laws.
Judy was elected as a Member of Parliament in the Tasmanian Government in 1986. In her first speech to Parliament, Judy outlined her reasons for entering politics: “I joined the Australian Labor Party at 17 years of age and I was politicised by the tragedy of Australia's involvement in the Vietnam War”.
During her career, Judy pursued social justice for all with a particular emphasis on women’s issues, which she believed had been largely ignored by a male-dominated Parliament.
As the Minister for Health and Human Services from 1998 to 2002, Judy was instrumental in deinstitutionalising mental health and disabled services. In a combined effort with all women in Parliament, she achieved amendments to the Criminal Code to place the decision to terminate a pregnancy in the hands of women and their doctors.
In 2002, Judy became the first female Attorney-General in Tasmanian history, a position she held until 2006. In that portfolio she introduced some significant legislation, including the Relationships Act 2003 and the Family Violence Act 2004.
During her 20 year career, Judy held a number of Ministerial and Shadow Ministerial positions. In an interview before her retirement, Judy summed up her career:
In this job I'm able to do good things I've really wanted to do. That's why I am very fortunate that I've been able to do what I've wanted - achieve what I've wanted to achieve and I'm satisfied to leave on that note.