KELLY VINCENT WAS THE FIRST AUSTRALIAN POLITICIAN elected on the platform of rights for people with a disability, in 2010. Vincent, at 21, was the youngest woman in an Australian parliament when elected and the first South Australian parliamentarian to use a wheelchair. She lost her parliamentary place in the 2018 state election.
Vincent, who represented the Dignity for Disability Party (SA), has cerebral palsy and attended parliament in a wheelchair as a member of the upper Legislative Council where she had a specially designed desk and a red light to indicate to the president that she is ‘standing’ to speak. Wheelchair access toilets and ramps were also installed at Parliament House.
Vincent was a playwright and actress before being elected to parliament. She wrote and appeared in several No Strings Attached productions, a company dedicated to people with disabilities. She is also fluent in the French and Spanish, and began language studies at university after Year 12 before returning to writing plays.
Dignity for Disability Party’s upper house vote doubled from 0.6 percent to 1.2 percent at the 2010 state election. Vincent was listed second on the party's upper house ticket but received the preferences of first candidate Paul Collier who died of a brain haemorrhage 11 days before the election.
Vincent was a member of parliamentary committees including the social development committee, access to and interaction with the justice system for people with disabilities, disability services funding, electoral matters in South Australia, joint committee on the operation of the Transplantation and Anatomy Act 1983, access to the education system for students with disabilities, and the joint committee on matters relating to elder abuse.