After training as a research psychologist at the University of Western Australia and lecturing in a number of Australian universities, Dr Carmen Lawrence entered politics in 1986 serving at both State and Federal levels for 21 years. She was at various times WA Minister for Education and Aboriginal Affairs and was the first woman Premier and Treasurer of a State government. She shifted to Federal politics in 1994 when she was elected as the Member for Fremantle and was appointed Minister for Health and Human Services and Minister assisting the Prime Minister on the Status of Women. She has held various portfolios in opposition including Indigenous Affairs, Arts and Heritage, Environment, Industry and Innovation and was elected national President of the Labor Party in 2004. She retired from politics in 2007. Dr Lawrence was, for several years, a board member of Deckchair Theatre and is currently chair of Collegium Symphonic Chorus and chair of the publishing committee for UWA Publishing as well as a member of its Advisory Board. Dr Lawrence is now director of the Centre for the Study of Social Change in the School of Psychology at the University of Western Australia and chair of the Australian Heritage Council.