Formerly a teacher, Lyn Allison represented Victoria in the Australian Senate from 1996 to 2008 and was leader of the Australian Democrats from 2004.
Lyn held the education, health and environment portfolios for her party for most of those 12 years. She chaired the Senate Environment References Committee and presided over 10 major inquiries, including those on greenhouse and water management, which she initiated. She initiated and chaired the Senate select committee inquiry into mental health which led to major improvements in services. She initiated the removal of the ministerial veto over the abortion pill RU486 which made history as the only bill to have been sponsored by women from four political parties. Lyn now serves on the boards of Vision Australia, Orygen Centre of Excellence in Youth Mental Health, Berry Street and Claremont & South Port Aged Care.
Lyn was awarded Humanist of the Year in 2008 and is a keen photographer.