Larissa (Lara) Tahireh Giddings was born in Goroka in Papua New Guinea in November 1972, just before the election of the Whitlam Labor Government in December of that year. It was the dismissal of Gough Whitlam by the Governor General just before Lara’s third birthday in 1975 that first made her aware of politics, when she realised how upset her Labor supporting mother was.
The Giddings family returned to Tasmania in 1986 when they returned from PNG, and Lara relocated permanently in 1990 after completing high school in Melbourne. She studied Arts and Law at the University of Tasmania.
Attracted by Labor’s objectives – bringing better standards of living, greater opportunities for education and health care, and lending a helping hand to people in need – Lara first joined the ALP in 1990. She is a founding member of Emily’s List, an organisation that provides financial and mentoring support to progressive Labor women candidates across Australia.
Lara Giddings was first elected to the Tasmanian Parliament in 1996. At the age of 23, she was the youngest woman ever elected to an Australian Parliament.
After losing her House of Assembly seat in the electorate of Lyons in 1998, Lara was re-elected to the seat of Franklin in 2002. Lara has served in numerous ministerial portfolios. In January 2011 Lara became Tasmania’s 44th Premier, the first female to hold the position.