Elise Archer was first elected as the Liberal Member for Clark (formerly Denison) in the Tasmanian House of Assembly in 2010.
In her first term of Parliament, Elise was Opposition Whip and the Shadow Minister for Police and Emergency Management, Planning, Community Development (with responsibility for women, child/youth affairs, seniors, multiculturalism and the Disability Bureau) and Aboriginal Affairs. Also, she was the Opposition Spokesperson for Corrections in the House of Assembly.
After the Liberals’ historic landslide win in the 2014 State election, Elise was named as the Government Nominee for the Speaker of the House of Assembly, and was formally elected unopposed by the House on Tuesday, 6 May 2014.
Elise was the first female Speaker in Tasmania in the House of Assembly’s 158 year history.
As the Speaker, Elise Chaired the Standing Orders Standing Committee, Privileges Standing Committee, House Joint Sessional Committee, Library Joint Sessional Committee, the Printing Select Committee and had overall responsibility for the administration of the House of Assembly as the Presiding Officer.
During her time as Speaker, Elise introduced significant changes to the Standing Orders of the House of Assembly allowing automatic maternity leave and more flexibility for female Members with infants upon their return to work. As well, Elise updated and streamlined a raft of rules and procedures, and introduced the highly successful education program allowing role-plays by school students in the Chamber for the first time. She also welcomed and hosted individuals, community and other groups at Parliament, allowing greater access to the 'people's House.’ Elise instigated and implemented significant security upgrades and the House of Assembly’s section of the new Parliament Square development.
On 2 October 2017, Elise joined the Cabinet as Minister for Justice, Minister for Corrections, Minister for Environment and Parks, and Minister for the Arts. In her first six months as a Minister, Elise implemented significant legislative reform in the Arts and Justice, and delivered significantly increased investments in Corrections, Parks and Environment.
After the Liberals’ March 2018 election win, Elise was elevated further to one of the most senior roles of the Tasmanian Government as Attorney-General, the First Law Officer for the State of Tasmania. In addition to taking on the role of the Attorney-General, Elise has retained her Ministerial portfolios for Justice, Corrections, Environment and the Arts. On 31 October, 2018 Minister for Racing was also added to her list of portfolios.
Elise’s decision to enter state politics stemmed from a passion to improve the lives of those less fortunate in her community; an ethos she developed early in life while volunteering for a number of charities and working in her family’s small businesses throughout her school and university years. She has a strong focus on creating a strong economy to create jobs, to support our health and education systems and Tasmanians in need.
Educated at Waimea Heights Primary School, Fahan School and the University of Tasmania, Elise completed a Bachelor of Laws Degree before obtaining her Certificate of Legal Studies. She was admitted to practise as a Barrister and Solicitor in the Supreme Court of Tasmania in 1994, as well as the Federal Courts and High Court of Australia.
Elise practised law for 17 years prior to entering Parliament, predominantly in the areas of employment (industrial relations), anti-discrimination and insurance law, and was a member of the Employment and Equal Opportunity Committee, the Litigious Issues Committee of the Law Society of Tasmania, and the Tasmanian Bar Association. Additionally, she has had extensive experience in civil and criminal trials. Immediately before her election to Parliament Elise was a senior associate, senior litigation lawyer at Dobson Mitchell & Allport in Hobart (2004 - 2010).
Elise was an Alderman of the Hobart City Council from October 2007- April 2010 and Chairperson of its Finance & Corporate Services Committee (2009 - 2010).
Elise has been a board member of a number of not for profit organisations in Tasmania, including Community Transport Services Tasmania Inc, a director of the Salamanca Arts Centre, and she has performed pro bono legal work for numerous charitable and not for profit organisations.
Married to Dale, they both strongly value community responsibilities. Elise maintains a strong personal and professional interest in the law, arts, business, science, sport and recreation, economics, and is very community focused.