'A trailblazer': Tributes flow for 'Minister of Courage'
TRIBUTES are continuing to flow for the 'Minister of Courage' - Jocelyn Newman AO - after the former Howard Government minister died on Easter Sunday.
The 80-year-old died in New South Wales following a long battle with Alzheimers.
Mrs Newman, once described, at the height of her political powers, as the most powerful woman in Australia has been lauded for bringing grit and determination to her 16-year political career.
"The Newman Team of Jocelyn and Kevin was legendary in their contribution for Tasmania and between both of them serving in the Federal Parliament for a quarter of the century," Liberal senator Eric Abetz said according to the Mercury.
"Jocelyn was an army wife, a mother, a women's shelter pioneer, a farmer, a tourism operator, a senator and a cabinet minister.
"She was renowned for her strength, resilience, vision and energy - along with a sense of humour."
Mrs Newman - the mother of former Queensland premier Campbell Newman - became a Tasmanian Liberal senator in 1986.
She joined the shadow ministry as defence science and personnel spokesperson in 1988 and then went into shadow cabinet as spokesman for family and health in 1993.
Tasmanian Premier Will Hodgman said she was "a trailblazer" for Australian politics.
However, her much-publicised battles with uterine and breast cancer forced her out of the shadow ministry, which she announced in an infamous press conference where she brandished a gift - a bread knife - for a disliked journalist.
But before she stepped down, she helped topple Liberal leader John Hewson in one last political act before entering hospital.
Five months later, Mrs Newman was back as Shadow Minister for Defence but when John Howard took power in 1996, she slipped into the role of social security minister.
A conservative force, she was known for sticking to her principles even if they irked her constituents, as they did when she riled feminists with her anti-equality comments: "It's not the intellectual pursuit of feminist rights so much as what's fair."