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The Speaker of the Legislative Assembly

The Speaker of the Legislative Assembly

​The Hon. Shelley Hancock MP was first elected Speaker of the New South Wales Legislative Assembly on 5 May 2011 and was re-elected to the role in April 2015. Mrs Hancock is the first female Speaker in the history of the New South Wales Parliament.


Madam Speaker - Members' sign-in (April 2016).JPG
The Speaker remains a member of the Liberal Party, representing her constituents as local member for the seat of South Coast: a seat she has held for over 12 years. Mrs Hancock is able to draw on her experience as a long-standing member of the Legislative Assembly, including time spent in Opposition, when presiding in the Chamber and undertaking her other duties as Speaker.  Administratively, the Speaker is responsible, in conjunction with the President, for the overall direction of the Parliament and, with the advice and assistance of the Clerk, for the operation of the Department of the Legislative Assembly.

The Speaker’s duties include representing the Legislative Assembly on official occasions, such as commemorative services, and meeting inter-parliamentary delegations, Heads of State, dignitaries and foreign officials. The Speaker contributes to conferences attended by Presiding Officers from various national and international jurisdictions, and supports the development of parliamentary institutions in other jurisdictions, for example, as a member of a NSW parliamentary delegation to the Solomon Islands. 


In undertaking her duties as Speaker, Mrs Hancock has supported initiatives aimed at fostering greater awareness about Parliament and maintaining the links between the Legislative Assembly, its elected members and the broader community. Such activities include: regularly addressing the participants in the Legislative Assembly’s public sector seminar program; speaking to school students and community groups; and supporting events held by charitable organisations working in the areas of childhood early intervention, mental health, and cancer research, prevention and support.


The Speaker’s parliamentary career

Mrs Hancock was elected to the Parliament of New South Wales as the Member for South Coast on 22 March, 2003, and was re-elected at the subsequent 2007, 2011 and 2015 State General elections. 
In her role as local member, Mrs Hancock has been a strong advocate for the South Coast region working to deliver additional infrastructure and frontline services. 
During her time as the local member, she has delivered much needed funding for upgrades to the Princes Highway at South Nowra, Falls Creek and Milton. She also has advocated for improved services and facilities at Shoalhaven District Memorial Hospital, the Shoalhaven Cancer Care Centre and has supported community organisations across the South Coast. 
 The Hon. Shelley Hancock MP - Speaker of the Legislative Assembly.jpg

Local Government 

Prior to entering Parliament, Mrs Hancock served as an elected representative in local government. First elected to Shoalhaven City Council as an Alderman in 1987, Mrs Hancock regards among her most rewarding achievements the Ulladulla and Sussex Inlet Leisure Centres, along with many upgrades to local sporting facilities. As a Councillor on Shoalhaven City Council, Mrs Hancock served in numerous roles including Deputy Mayor (2000-2001) and chairperson of a number of committees, for example, the Council’s Rural Fire Service Strategic Planning Committee.

Education and previous career

Mrs Hancock grew up in Chatswood and attended Chatswood and Artarmon Primary Schools and North Sydney Girls High School. She holds a Bachelor of Arts and Diploma of Teaching from the University of Sydney and her previous occupations include operating a small business and teaching English, History and Drama at Ulladulla High School for a period of 26 years.