Queensland’s first female Premier (10th anniversary)

On September 13, 2007, Anna Bligh, member of the Legislative Assembly of Queensland seat of South Brisbane and Deputy Premier was sworn in as the 37th Premier of Queensland, following the retirement of longstanding Labor Premier Peter Beattie. In the 2009 state election she was elected in her own right after leading the Labor Party (ALP) to victory. Bligh served as Queensland Premier until the following election in March 2012 when the ALP lost the election to the Liberal National Party (LNP), led by Campbell Newman.

Queensland Premier Anna Bligh campaigning at the Coorparoo Bowls Club during the 2012 Queensland election campaign. From 28430 Dean Saffron Queensland Election Photographs 2012. John Oxley Library, State Library of Queensland. Image 28430-0002-0014

Queensland Premier Anna Bligh campaigning at the Coorparoo Bowls Club during the 2012 Queensland election campaign. From 28430 Dean Saffron Queensland Election Photographs 2012. John Oxley Library, State Library of Queensland. Image 28430-0002-0014

State Library holds several notable collections related to the former Premier. In 2008 Anna Bligh shared her thoughts on the Apology to the Stolen Generation in a short SLQ produced digital story.

State Library’s holds two digitised photograph collections containing images of the former Queensland Premier. Collection 27274 Proclamation Day Celebration Photographs was taken by then-SLQ photographer Reina Irmer during Proclamation Day celebrations on December 10, 2009. This collection includes several images of the Premier during the celebrations marking 150 years since the historic reading in Brisbane of the Letters Patent.

Premier Anna Bligh arrives at St. Johns Cathedral during Proclamation Day celebrations in Brisbane 2009. From 27274 Proclamation Day Celebration Photographs. John Oxley Library, State Library of Queensland. Image 27274-0001-0114

Premier Anna Bligh arrives at St. John’s Cathedral during Proclamation Day celebrations in Brisbane 2009. From 27274 Proclamation Day Celebration Photographs. John Oxley Library, State Library of Queensland. Image 27274-0001-0114

Premier Anna Bligh waves to the crowd during the Proclamation Day procession in Brisbane 2009. From 27274 Proclamation Day Celebration Photographs. John Oxley Library, State Library of Queensland. Image 27274-0001-0099

Premier Anna Bligh waves to the crowd during the Proclamation Day procession in Brisbane 2009. From 27274 Proclamation Day Celebration Photographs. John Oxley Library, State Library of Queensland. Image 27274-0001-0099

Another collection containing photographs of Anna Bligh can be found in 28430 Dean Saffron Queensland Election Photographs 2012 taken by professional photographer Dean Saffron. Several images from this collection follow Bligh during part of her 2012 Queensland election election campaign with visits to the Brisbane suburbs of Coorparoo, Paddington, Lutwyche and Bulimba. Notably former Australian Prime Minister Bob Hawke appears along side Anna Bligh in several images.

Anna Bligh exiting her media bus in Bulimba during the 2012 Queensland election campaign. From 28430 Dean Saffron Queensland Election Photographs 2012. John Oxley Library, State Library of Queensland. Image 28430-0002-0001

Anna Bligh exiting her media bus in Bulimba during the 2012 Queensland election campaign. From 28430 Dean Saffron Queensland Election Photographs 2012. John Oxley Library, State Library of Queensland. Image 28430-0002-0001

Anna Bligh entering the Casablanca Brasserie Bar Cafe & Cellar Club during the 2012 Queensland election campaign in Paddington. From 28430 Dean Saffron Queensland Election Photographs 2012. John Oxley Library, State Library of Queensland. Image 28430-0002-0019

Anna Bligh entering the Casablanca Brasserie Bar Cafe & Cellar Club during the 2012 Queensland election campaign in Paddington. From 28430 Dean Saffron Queensland Election Photographs 2012. John Oxley Library, State Library of Queensland. Image 28430-0002-0019

Bob Hawke and Anna Bligh conducting a press conference at the Lutwyche busway station during the 2012 Queensland election campaign. From 28430 Dean Saffron Queensland Election Photographs 2012. John Oxley Library, State Library of Queensland. Image 28430-0002-0026

Bob Hawke and Anna Bligh conducting a press conference at the Lutwyche busway station during the 2012 Queensland election campaign. From 28430 Dean Saffron Queensland Election Photographs 2012. John Oxley Library, State Library of Queensland. Image 28430-0002-0026

Anna Bligh observing Bob Hawke addressing journalists during the 2012 Queensland election campaign at the Lutwyche busway station. From 28430 Dean Saffron Queensland Election Photographs 2012. John Oxley Library, State Library of Queensland. Image 28430-0002-0033

Anna Bligh observing Bob Hawke addressing journalists during the 2012 Queensland election campaign at the Lutwyche busway station. From 28430 Dean Saffron Queensland Election Photographs 2012. John Oxley Library, State Library of Queensland. Image 28430-0002-0033

State Library digitised Anna Bligh’s handwritten notes of the speeches she delivered at press conferences on 10 and 13 January 2011 during the Queensland floods. One of the Premier’s speeches during this event became famous for the lines ‘It may break our hearts, but not our will’ and ‘We’re Queenslanders…We’re the ones they breed tough, north of the border…’. A digitised version of Anna Bligh’s handwritten speech notes can be viewed via our One Search catalogue with the original documents housed with Queensland State Archives.

28084 Premier Anna Bligh Speech Notes and Transcripts 2011. Digitised by SLQ

28084 Premier Anna Bligh Speech Notes and Transcripts 2011. Digitised by SLQ

SLQ has an extensive collection of historical Queensland political ephemera from across the political spectrum, which includes how-to-vote leaflets, posters, stickers and t-shirts. One item from Anna Bligh’s period is a pink t-shirt from her election campaign in 2009.

Anna 4 Qld t-shirt. From SLQ's Queensland political ephemera collection

Anna 4 Qld t-shirt. From SLQ’s Queensland political ephemera collection

Anna Bligh’s Twitter accounts (@TheQldPremier and @AnnaMBligh) were archived during periodic intervals in the National Library’s PANDORA electronic collection.

Myles Sinnamon – Project Coordinator, State Library of Queensland