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Who is EMILY?

EMILY is an acronym which stands for Early Money Is Like Yeast – it makes the dough rise.

Giving women candidates financial support early in their campaigns provides the foundations on which to build a successful campaign and attract more financial support.



EMILY’s List provides a financial, political and personal support network for progressive Labor women in Australian politics.

We do this through financial support, mentorship, training, campaigning, mission lobbying and networking.

Learn more about what we do



We believe women must have control over their own bodies and choices in their lives.

Reproductive freedom empowers women and men to choose if, when and how to begin the important journey into parenthood, without fear of discrimination, coercion or violence.


We believe society needs to increase the value it places on the work of women – both in the paid workforce and in the home. We believe in challenging long held perceptions of the inferiority of "women's work", particularly in the provision of care to vulnerable people in our society like children, young people, the disabled and elderly.

We believe the difference in the nature and way women work, including time out for caring, should not lead to significantly lower wages or superannuation for women.


We believe work-life balance is crucial to women, men and families. For women and men to achieve fulfilment professionally and personally, they need affordable, quality, flexible early childhood education & care for their children.


We strongly believe in the right of every woman to enjoy equal rights and privileges before the law, regardless of sexual orientation and gender identity. This is because equality is a fundamental human right that should be enjoyed by all.


We believe democracy is enhanced through the diversity of people participating in it. More women in parliament, on corporate boards and in our courts lead to greater diversity of views and therefore better public policy outcomes. Women are a diverse group and considering the needs of all kinds of women is essential.


We believe that all women and children have a right to live free from the fear of violence in their homes, workplaces, schools, and all environments. 



EMILY's List Australia has supported 651 progressive Labor women, with 315 elected into state and federal parliaments. Our members, candidates and MPs have had an incredible impact on bringing about legislative and policy change of benefit to women, children and families.
Significant progress has been made in the areas of abortion law reform, gender equality, women’s health and safety, paid parental leave, equal pay, early childhood education and care.

EMILY’s List regularly analyses the impact of its endorsed progressive women MPs in parliament. Our research show having women at Caucus and Cabinet decision-making tables brings about a broader, more representative legislative program.

Read our reports

Report Cover Impact Analysis Tasmania 1998-2014 Report Cover - Impact Analysis SA March 2016 Impact-Analysis-Federal-2007-2013-Cover Impact Analysis Victoria Report Cover

See more EMILY's List publications


In the early 1990s, it became clear to many women within the ALP and broader labour movement that structural change within the ALP was needed to ensure sufficient opportunities for women to become candidates and MPs. Australian Parliamentary Library research showed that, after almost a century of suffrage in Australia, women's participation in many state and territory parliaments was barely over single figures, with women making up just 14% of the national legislature.

Long-term Labor community and women's campaigner Leonie Morgan AM had seen the work of EMILY's List – an organisation established in the US in 1985 to fund campaigns for pro-choice Democratic women – and advocated strongly for the establishment of a similar network to support Australian progressive women candidates. Leonie joined with women such as Kay Setches, Joan Kirner AC and Candy Broad to build support for the idea in Victoria first and then nationally.

Read more about HERstory