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Larissa Joy Waters (born 8 February 1977) is an Australian politician and member of the Australian Greens. She currently sits in the Australian Senate, representing the state of Queensland. Waters initially served in the Senate from 2011 until July 2017, and in that time was deputy leader of the Greens, though she resigned due to holding dual citizenship of Australia and Canada, in violation of Section 44 of the Constitution of Australia. She was re-appointed to the Senate in September 2018.[2][3] In 2017 she became the first politician to breastfeed a baby in the federal parliament of Australia when she breastfed her infant daughter in the Senate chamber.[4] Also in 2017, she became the first woman to breastfeed while moving a motion in that same Senate.[5]

Larissa Waters
Larissa Waters 2019.png
Deputy Leader of the Australian Greens
Assumed office
4 December 2018
Serving with Adam Bandt
LeaderRichard Di Natale
Preceded byRachel Siewert
In office
6 May 2015 – 18 July 2017
Serving with Scott Ludlam (Until 14 July 2017)
Preceded byAdam Bandt
Succeeded byAdam Bandt and Rachel Siewert (Acting)
Senator for Queensland
Assumed office
6 September 2018
Preceded byAndrew Bartlett
In office
1 July 2011 – 18 July 2017
Succeeded byAndrew Bartlett
Personal details
Larissa Joy Waters

(1977-02-08) 8 February 1977 (age 42)
Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada
Political partyGreens
Domestic partnerJeremy Gates
ResidencePullenvale, Queensland[1]
Alma materGriffith University
WebsiteLarissa Waters

Early lifeEdit

Waters was born in Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada, and grew up in Brisbane.[2] She has a Bachelor of Science and a Bachelor of Laws from Griffith University and a Graduate Diploma in Legal Practice from the New South Wales College of Law. From 2000–2001 she was a legal researcher at the Queensland Land and Resources Tribunal (predecessor of the Land Court of Queensland), from 2001–2002 a lawyer at Freehills, and from 2002–2011 was a lawyer with the Environmental Defenders Office.[6]

Political careerEdit

Waters was the Green's Brisbane Central Candidate[7] in the 2006 Queensland state election running against then Premier Peter Beattie, securing almost 5,000 votes [1]. Waters was the lead Senate candidate for the Greens in Queensland at the 2007 federal election. The party received 7.3 percent of the statewide vote (an increase of 1.9 points), but this was not enough to secure her election. Waters again stood for office at the 2009 Queensland state election, running for the seat of Mount Coot-tha. The seat was held by the sitting Treasurer of Queensland, Andrew Fraser of the Labor Party. She polled 23.1 percent on first preferences, with Ronan Lee (25.9 percent in Indooroopilly) the only Greens candidate with a higher percentage.[8]

Waters was again placed first on the Greens' senate ticket at the 2010 federal election. She was elected with 12.8 per cent of the vote, an increase of 5.4 percentage points.[9] In May 2015, Waters was elected to the Greens' "leadership triumvirate". She was made a "co-deputy leader" alongside Scott Ludlam, with Richard Di Natale replacing Christine Milne as the party leader.[10] Waters was re-elected to the senate at the 2016 double-dissolution election, winning a three-year term with 6.9 percent of the vote.[11]


Waters resigned from the Senate on 18 July 2017, after acknowledging that she was entitled to Canadian citizenship, thereby making her ineligible to be elected under section 44 of the Australian Constitution.[12] Her resignation came four days after her fellow Greens co-deputy leader Scott Ludlam had resigned from the Senate over dual citizenship, which prompted several other MPs and Senators to clarify their citizenship status.[13] Waters had been born to Australian parents in Canada, and returned with them to Australia as a baby. She stated that she had previously believed she was solely an Australian citizen, and if she had wished to gain Canadian citizenship she would have needed to take active steps before age 21—but now discovered she had in fact held dual citizenship since birth.[14] Her seat was filled by a recount, which saw former Australian Democrats leader Andrew Bartlett, who held the second position after Waters on the Greens' 2016 Senate ticket in Queensland, return to the Senate.[15]

On 8 August 2017, Waters announced that she had renounced her Canadian citizenship and declared her intent to stand for Greens preselection and return to parliament at the next federal election.[16] The High Court handed down its decision on 27 October 2017 and ruled that Waters was invalidly elected.[17]


On 3 April 2018, Waters was announced as the Queensland Greens lead Senate candidate for the next federal election, with Andrew Bartlett instead opting to contest the lower house seat of Brisbane.[18] On 16 June 2018, Bartlett announced that he would resign from the senate at the end of August, and Waters was preselected to fill the resulting casual vacancy ahead of the election.[19] On 6 September 2018, the Parliament of Queensland re-appointed Waters to the Senate.[20] The Greens party room returned Waters to the co-deputy leadership on 4 December 2018.[21]

Waters was re-elected as a Senator for Queensland at the 2019 federal election, where she received 9.9% of the state's vote, as well as a 3.12% swing in her favour.[22]

Personal lifeEdit

As of 2010 Waters lived in Bardon with her partner Jeremy Gates and their daughter.


  1. ^ Glasgow, Will; Lacy, Chris (9 February 2017). "Aussie Post chief Ahmed Fahour loves his privacy". The Australian. Retrieved 14 August 2017.
  2. ^ a b Dennehy, Kate (25 July 2010). "History beckons for Greens Senate contender". Brisbane Times. Fairfax Media. Retrieved 19 August 2010.
  3. ^ "Senator milks new breastfeeding rules".
  4. ^ "This politician just became the first woman to breastfeed in Australia's federal parliament". 9 May 2017.
  5. ^ "Super mom! Aus senator becomes the first woman to breastfeed while moving motion | world-news". Hindustan Times. 2017. Retrieved 23 June 2017.
  6. ^ Gillett, Patrick (5 February 2009). "Queensland state Green party to run environmental lawyer in treasurer's electorate". Wikinews. Wikimedia Foundation. Retrieved 31 August 2011.
  7. ^ "Elections - 2006 State General Election - Brisbane Central - District Summary". Retrieved 29 December 2018.
  8. ^ "QLD State Election Results – Mount Coot-tha". Archived from the original on 20 March 2012. Retrieved 7 December 2011. Cite uses deprecated parameter |dead-url= (help)
  9. ^ "Senate Results – Queensland – 2010 Federal Election". Retrieved 23 August 2010.
  10. ^ "Newly elected co-deputy Larissa Waters wants Greens to stick to environmental ethos", ABC News, 7 May 2015. Retrieved 1 December 2016.
  11. ^ "Federal Election 2016: Senate Results". Australia Votes. Australian Broadcasting Corporation. 3 July 2016. Retrieved 4 July 2016.
  12. ^ Jabour, Bridie (17 July 2017). "Larissa Waters quits as Greens senator over dual citizenship with Canada". The Guardian. ISSN 0261-3077. Retrieved 18 July 2017.
  13. ^ Berlinger, Joshua (18 July 2017). "Larissa Waters, other Australian senator resign for citizenship violations". CNN. Retrieved 18 July 2017.
  14. ^ Waters, Larissa. "Statement from Senator Larissa Waters". GreensMPs. Australian Greens. Retrieved 26 July 2017.
  15. ^ Belot, Henry (18 July 2017). "Larissa Waters, deputy Greens leader, quits in latest citizenship bungle". Retrieved 19 July 2017.
  16. ^ Yaxley, Louise (8 August 2017). "Larissa Waters: Former Greens deputy plans Senate comeback after renouncing Canadian citizenship". ABC News. Retrieved 8 August 2017.
  17. ^ "Live: Turnbull loses majority but keeps control as High Court boots Joyce out". ABC News. 27 October 2017. Retrieved 27 October 2017.
  18. ^ Remeikis, Amy (3 April 2018). "Larissa Waters closer to Senate return after winning Greens preselection". Guardian Australia. Retrieved 15 April 2018.
  19. ^ Gribbin, Caitlyn (16 June 2018). "Andrew Bartlett to quit as Greens senator to make way for Larissa Waters' return". ABC News. Retrieved 16 June 2018.
  20. ^ "Waters to return to Senate". Illawarra Mercury. 6 September 2018. Retrieved 6 September 2018.
  21. ^ "Larissa Waters returns to Greens Co-Deputy Leader role". Australian Greens. 4 December 2018.
  22. ^ "Senate Results - ABC News (Australian Broadcasting Corporation)". ABC News. Retrieved 21 July 2019.

External linksEdit