|00:00:00||Joan Sheldon discusses her childhood in Clayfield and schooling with the Brigidine nuns, first at St Bernadette's and then at Soubirous. She recalls how she enjoyed school and also studied speech, drama and singing, and her decision to study physiotherapy. She discusses career options then and now.|
|00:03:35||Joan Sheldon notes the influence of her family and early years on her political views. She relates how the Whitlam years spurred her to join the Liberal Party.||Vincent Gair, Whitlam Government 1972-75|
|00:06:19||Joan Sheldon discusses her rise through the Liberal Party and involvement with the party's state executive. She relates how she ran for the BCC on two weeks notice and lost by one vote, and her decision to stand for a state seat when Mike Ahern stood down. She discusses the opponents she faced in the by-election.||Australian Democrats, Brisbane, Brisbane City Council, Francis Nicklin, gun laws, Mike Ahern, Rona Joyner, Sallyanne Atkinson|
|00:10:27||Joan Sheldon describes her campaign experiences and how the committee from the Chamber of Commerce formed the core of her campaign team.||1998 election, campaign strategy, gun laws, Mike Ahern, One Nation|
|00:16:48||Joan Sheldon discusses the 1992 electoral redistribution and her decision to continue as the member for Caloundra.||electoral redistribution, Mike Ahern|
|00:17:45||Joan Sheldon relates her early experiences as a Member of Parliament and the lack of induction processes. She describes how she was immediately appointed to the shadow ministry. She recalls support she received from the medical fraternity and the lack of access to the public service.||Aboriginal and Islander Affairs, Denver Beanland, Family Services, Health Department, induction, relationship with public service|
|00:19:38||Joan Sheldon outlines her commitment to her shadow portfolios, in particular her determination to listen to the experiences of Aboriginal women.||Health Department, Ian Macdonald, Indigenous issues|
|00:20:31||Joan Sheldon describes her efforts to support Aboriginal women.||Brisbane, Indigenous issues, Murrandoo Yanner, sexual abuse|
|00:25:15||Joan Sheldon discusses her commitment to the arts.||Arts, Treasury|
|00:27:02||Joan Sheldon describes her role in the establishment of GOMA and improvements to the arts precinct. She states that her efforts were largely supported by the Borbidge Government.||Art Gallery, Arts, GOMA, Matt Foley|
|00:31:14||Joan Sheldon discusses the difficulties she faced when establishing the Office for Women and her efforts to promote gender equality more generally, particularly on boards.||equity, media, Meredith Jackson, Office for Women, Rob Borbidge, women|
|00:34:07||Joan Sheldon describes the main sources of revenue during her time as Treasurer and explains the origins of the petrol subsidy.||Anna Bligh, taxation, tobacco tax, Treasury|
|00:37:48||Joan Sheldon discusses the balance between infrastructure and human services costs.||Cabinet Budget Review Committee, health, hospitals, Peter Beattie|
|00:41:08||Joan Sheldon discusses education funding and the importance of education. She states her views on privatisation in the context of the debate surrounding the privatisation of school cleaners. She discusses the devolution of power to schools and principals.||Bob Quinn, education, education reform, infrastructure, private schools, privatisation, Suncorp Metway|
|00:44:41||Joan Sheldon outlines the debate surrounding the privatisation of Suncorp, QIDC and Metway Bank. She discusses the controversy surrounding the government decision to buy Metway so it could become part of a package with Suncorp.||Doug McTaggart, Keith De Lacy, Mark Gray, privatisation, QIDC, Suncorp Metway, Tony Bellas, Wayne Goss|
|00:49:18||Joan Sheldon outlines her approach to staffing and the politicisation of the public service.||Doug McTaggart, Leo Hielscher, Queensland Treasury Corporation, Treasury|
|00:52:58||Joan Sheldon describes federal-state relations during the Borbidge years. She comments that while there were advantages to dealing with a coalition federal government there was still conflict.||COAG, Peter Costello, superannuation legislation|
|00:56:05||Joan Sheldon discusses Queensland's status as a low tax state. She outlines her views on asset sales, with specific reference to electricity, water and airports.||death duties, economic rationalism, Gold Coast Motorway, hospitals, Joh Bjelke-Petersen, Suncorp Metway, taxation|
|00:59:28||Joan Sheldon outlines her commitment to maintaining regional services.||Goss Government 1989-96, regions|
|01:00:46||Joan Sheldon describes the challenges she faced as a woman in the Liberal Party.||women|
|01:02:11||Joan Sheldon outlines her support for the decriminalisation of homosexuality.||Denver Beanland, homosexuality|
|01:03:49||Joan Sheldon claims her greatest achievements as the building of basic infrastructure while balancing the budget with low levels of debt. She discusses the promotion of women and the rise and fall of One Nation.||One Nation, Pauline Hanson, racism, women|
|01:06:52||Joan Sheldon discusses the animosity between the Liberal and National parties and importance of reforming the coalition.||Coalition, Rob Borbidge, Russell Cooper|
Liberal politician Joan Sheldon was the first woman Deputy Premier and first woman Treasurer of Queensland in the Borbidge Government.
Joan Sheldon was born in Bundaberg in 1943 but grew up in greater Brisbane area. She trained and worked as a physiotherapist but in 1990 she decided to seek preselection as the Liberal member for Landsborough. Sheldon and her husband joined the Liberal Party during the Whitlam Government era when, she says, ‘things were in a total mess’. She was successful and rose quickly through the depleted Liberal Party ranks. In 1991 she became the leader of the Liberal Party in Queensland, a position she retained until 1998.
The 1996 Mundingburra by-election precipitated the fall of the Goss Government. In the new Borbidge Government Sheldon became the Deputy Premier, Treasurer and Minister for the Arts. As Treasurer she grappled with a range of challenging issues, including debates around privatisation, Queensland’s status as a low tax state and difficulties associated with balancing infrastructure and human service priorities.
In government she continued to promote the arts and instigated the conceptual and site development of the Gallery of Modern Art (GOMA). Sheldon also advocated equality of employment for women, and supported the decriminalisation of homosexuality.
After the fall of the Borbidge Government Sheldon continued to serve on the opposition benches. She held numerous shadow portfolios: the Arts, Fair Trading and Consumer Affairs, Employment, Training, Industrial Relations, Tourism, Health, and Indigenous Affairs. In 2004 she retired from parliament and since then has held positions on several boards. In 2006 she became an Adjunct Professor at the University of the Sunshine Coast. In 2010 she became a Member of the Order of Australia.
Copyright © The Centre for the Government of Queensland, the University of Queensland, 2011.
The copyright holder of this material grants users permission to access the material on this website for the following purposes only: research and study, education, other non-commercial and non-public uses.