Name Fran Bladel
|Education University of Tasmania|
Party Australian Labor Party
|Full Name Frances Mary Payne|
Born 3 October 1933 (age 82) Hobart, Tasmania, Australia (1933-10-03)
Spouse(s) Erwin Bladel (m. 1954; wid. 1961)
Alma mater University of Tasmania
Political party Australian Labor Party
Frances Mary Bladel (born 3 October 1933) is a former Australian politician. She was a member of the Tasmanian House of Assembly from 1986 to 2002, representing the seat of Franklin for the Australian Labor Party.
Early life and teaching career
Born in Hobart, Tasmania, Bladel was raised in Moonah during the last years of the Great Depression. Her first job at the age of 15 was as a photographic assistant to a Russian portrait photographer. In 1954, she married young German immigrant Erwin Bladel, and they had a son, however Erwin died when their child was three years old, leaving her as a widow and single mother. Bladel worked as a cleaner and barmaid to support them, then gained mature-age entry to the University of Tasmania where she graduated with a Bachelor of Arts with Honours and a Teacher Training Certificate. She commenced a career as a teacher, working at Hobart High School and as senior English teacher at Bridgewater High School.
Inspired by the Vietnam War to get involved in politics, Bladel joined the Australian Labor Party, and in 1978, co-authored a study which surveyed the electoral consequences of the limited number of female Labor MPs in Australian parliaments.
In 1986, Bladel was elected to the Tasmanian House of Assembly as a Labor member for Franklin. In July 1989, she became a minister in the newly elected Labor government of Michael Field, as Minister Assisting the Premier on the Status of Women and Minister for Administrative Services. On 13 November 1989, Consumer Affairs was added to the Administrative Services portfolio, and on 8 February 1991 she was also made Minister for Construction.
In 1992, the Field Labor government was defeated by the Liberal Party. Bladel remained a member of the House of Assembly, and returned to the ministry when Labor regained office in 1998 as Secretary to Cabinet. From May 2000, she served as acting Minister of State Assisting the Premier, and from October 2001 to January 2002 was acting Minister for Education.
In 2002, she resigned her seat in the House of Assembly to contest the Legislative Council seat of Huon, where she was defeated. Her vacancy was filled by Neville Oliver in a countback, and Bladel retired from politics.
In 2006 Bladel was inducted to the Tasmanian Honour Roll of Women for service to Government, Education and the Community.