Joanna Gash

Joanna Gash
Member of the Australian Parliament
for Gilmore
In office
2 March 1996  5 August 2013
Preceded by Peter Knott
Succeeded by Ann Sudmalis
Mayor of the City of Shoalhaven
In office
8 September 2012  17 September 2016
Preceded by Paul Green
Succeeded by Amanda Findley
Majority 13.2%
Personal details
Born (1944-07-21) 21 July 1944
Groningen, Netherlands
Nationality Australian
Political party Liberal Party of Australia
Religion Christianity

Joanna Gash (born 21 July 1944), an Australian politician, was a member of the House of Representatives representing the Division of Gilmore for the Liberal Party from 1996 to 2013. In 2012, Gash was directly elected as the Mayor of the City of Shoalhaven, a local government area in the south-eastern coastal region of New South Wales. In 2016, Gash lost the direct election for Mayor of the City of Shoalhaven to Amanda Findley. She was elected as a Ward 2 Councillor for the City of Shoalhaven.


Gash was born in Groningen in the Netherlands, and emigrated to Australia when she was six. She was educated at Institute of Administration in Sydney. Before entering politics she was a Regional Manager with the Tourism Commission of New South Wales, a guest house co-proprietor,[1] and a Councillor of the Wingecarribee Shire Council. She was for many years a scripture and Sunday School teacher and spent many weekends at the Church of England Camps at the Port Hacking River (Camp Howard).

Political career

Gash was elected to Federal Parliament at the 1996 federal election.

In January 2012, Gash announced that she would not be contesting the next federal election. At the same time, she announced her intention to stand for mayor at the Shoalhaven City Council elections, due to be held in September 2012.[2] Gash was successful, winning the directly elected role with 63.19% of the vote.[3] Gash also led a ticket that saw nine other Councillors elected to the thirteenmember Shoalhaven City Council.[4] Following her election as mayor, there was criticism about her constitutional ability to hold office as a federal Member of Parliament and to hold an office of profit under the crown, as Mayor.[5] Gash vigorously defended her position.[6]

She sought reelection for the Mayor of City of Shoalhaven at the 2016 NSW Local Council Elections. She lost the position of Mayor following massive swings away from her: losing about half the number of people who voted for her in the 2012 election. Amanda Findley from the Australian Greens was elected as Mayor.[7] Joanna Gash was elected as a Ward 2 councillor on the council.


  1. "Mrs Joanna Gash MP". Senators and Members. Parliament of Australia. 2012. Retrieved 6 October 2012.
  2. Wright, Jessica (26 January 2012). "After 15 years, MP to swap national for local". The Sydney Morning Herald. Retrieved 6 October 2012.
  3. "Mayor Tally Sheet" (PDF). Shoalhaven City Council Election 2012. Australian Election Company. September 2012. Retrieved 6 October 2012.
  4. Arnold, Alex (21 September 2012). "Team Gash to control Shoalhaven council". Illawarra Mercury. Retrieved 6 October 2012.
  5. Williams, George (7 September 2012). "MP's aim to become mayor runs a legal risk". The Sydney Morning Herald. Retrieved 6 October 2012.
  6. Packham, Ben; Vasek, Lanai (10 September 2012). "Liberal MP Joanna Gash defends dual role". The Australian. Retrieved 6 October 2012.
Parliament of Australia
Preceded by
Peter Knott
Member for Gilmore
Succeeded by
Ann Sudmalis
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