Noel Wauchope 25 June 2013 Jean Isobelle Melzer died on June 18, 2013. An Australian Senator, Jean Melzer represented the Australian Labor Party and the state of Victoria. She was elected at the 1974 election, becoming the first woman Labor senator from Victoria . In 1978 she was the first woman elected as the Secretary of the Labor Caucus. She served two terms. In 1980, despite Melzer’s great popularity in the labor party and electorate, the ALP executive moved her to an unwinnable 3rd ticket position, replacing pro uranium Robert Ray at the top ticket. This ensured Melzer’s defeat at the 1980 election.
In 1984, Jean Melzer as Convener of the Movement Against Uranium Mining led the campaign opposing Labor’s move to a pro uranium mining policy.
She also stood unsuccessfully as the lead Victorian senate candidate for the Nuclear Disarmament Party in the 1984 election.
Jean Melzer was also a great campaigner for Aborigines, migrants, pensioners, and for anti discrimination in all areas. She stood up for the rights of the disadvantaged.
Pushed out of her Senate position by the pro nuclear ALP, Jean Melzer continued working in the community and in environmental protection.
In 2004 she was awarded the Medal of the Order of Australia (OAM).
Jean Melzer will be remembered for her many contributions to Australia, and for her warning:
“Don’t let Australia become the quarry and waste dump of the world”