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BELL, Robert John (1950–2001)<br /><span class=subheader>Senator, Tasmania,  1990–96 (Australian Democrats)</span>

BELL, Robert John (1950–2001)
Senator, Tasmania, 1990–96 (Australian Democrats)

Most knowledge of Robert John Bell’s early life derives from his highly personal first speech to the Senate in May 1990. He was born in Hobart, Tasmania, on 22 July 1950. His parents were based at Bronte Park, his father employed on hydro-electricity works. Soon the couple separated, Robert remaining with his mother, Frances Ellen. While she qualified as a schoolteacher, the boy lived

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BOURNE, Victoria Worrall (1954–  )<br /><span class=subheader>Senator, New South Wales, 1990–2002 (Australian Democrats)</span>

BOURNE, Victoria Worrall (1954– )
Senator, New South Wales, 1990–2002 (Australian Democrats)

In 1973 when the Commonwealth Parliament amended the Electoral Act 1918 to lower the minimum voting age to eighteen, Vicki Bourne was a nineteen-year-old student. Inspired by the opportunity to vote, she looked at the environmental policies of each of the major political parties, rejecting the major parties in favour of the Australia Party. In 1977, when the Australia Party was merging with the

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CHIPP, Donald Leslie (1925–2006)<br /><span class=subheader>Senator, Victoria, 1978–86 (Australian Democrats)</span>

CHIPP, Donald Leslie (1925–2006)
Senator, Victoria, 1978–86 (Australian Democrats)

Don Chipp’s Senate career almost never happened. Dropped from Malcolm Fraser’s Liberal Party ministry in December 1975, he turned this career blow into an opportunity to fight for the causes in which he believed. The result of Chipp’s personal and political upheaval was the creation of a third force in Australian politics, the Australian Democrats.[1] Donald Leslie Chipp was born in Melbourne on 21

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COULTER, John Richard (1930–  )<br /><span class=subheader>Senator, South Australia, 1987–95 (Australian Democrats)</span>

COULTER, John Richard (1930– )
Senator, South Australia, 1987–95 (Australian Democrats)

John Richard Coulter was born in Perth, WA, on 3 December 1930, the elder of two children of English-born John Wolfe Stuckley Coulter, a clerk for the Vacuum Oil Company, and Constance Amelia Coulter, née Braddock, a nurse. Growing up in the then outer suburb of Nedlands, John walked each day through the bush to Nedlands Primary School. His mother wanted him to pursue

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EVANS, John Gordon (1928–2009)<br /><span class=subheader>Senator, Western Australia, 1983–85 (Australian Democrats)</span>

EVANS, John Gordon (1928–2009)
Senator, Western Australia, 1983–85 (Australian Democrats)

Although Jack Evans served in the Senate for only two years, he was a founding member of the Australian Democrats before entering Parliament and remained a key figure in the party afterwards. He was described as ‘the consummate Democrat’. John Gordon (Jack) Evans was born at Southern Cross, a goldfields town in Western Australia, on 28 November 1928, the eldest of three sons of

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HAINES, Janine (1945–2004)<br /><span class=subheader>Senator, South Australia, 1977–78, 1981–90 (Australian Democrats)</span>

HAINES, Janine (1945–2004)
Senator, South Australia, 1977–78, 1981–90 (Australian Democrats)

Janine Carter, later Haines, was born in Tanunda, South Australia, on 8 May 1945, the eldest of three children. Her father, Francis Claude Carter, a policeman, was posted to various South Australian country towns and later joined the Commonwealth Public Service; her mother, Beryl Madge Carter, née Winton, became a primary school teacher during the 1950s. Janine was educated at six primary schools; the

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JENKINS, Jean Alice (1938–  )<br /><span class=subheader>Senator, Western Australia, 1987–90 (Australian Democrats)</span>

JENKINS, Jean Alice (1938– )
Senator, Western Australia, 1987–90 (Australian Democrats)

Jean Jenkins was born Jean Alice Elliott on 16 March 1938 in Bristol, England, to Ernest Elliott and his wife Alice Elizabeth, née Jones. She was brought up by adoptive parents Daniel and Blanche Jones in Swansea, Wales. Jean attended Swansea Girls High School and completed a Bachelor of Arts (Hons) in languages at the University of Reading, majoring in Italian, French and German.

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KERNOT, Cheryl (1948–  )<br /><span class=subheader>Senator, Queensland, 1990–97 (Australian Democrats)</span>

KERNOT, Cheryl (1948– )
Senator, Queensland, 1990–97 (Australian Democrats)

Cheryl Kernot was born Cheryl Paton in Maitland, NSW on 5 December 1948, the eldest of four children of Mervyn Roydon Paton, a purchasing officer for the Maitland City Council, and his wife Zena, née Hunter. To help with the family budget, Merv took a second job as manager of the Princes Theatre in East Maitland. Although their parents were not regular churchgoers, all

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MACKLIN, Michael John (1943–  )<br /><span class=subheader>Senator, Queensland, 1981–90 (Australian Democrats)</span>

MACKLIN, Michael John (1943– )
Senator, Queensland, 1981–90 (Australian Democrats)

Michael John Macklin was born on 25 February 1943 in Cricklewood, London, the youngest of four sons born to his Irish father, James Joseph Macklin, and English mother, Vera Alice, née Headley. In 1949 the Macklins migrated to Australia on the SS Ormonde as ‘Ten Pound Poms’ under an assisted passage scheme, and landed in Melbourne. Later that year, the family moved to Ayr,

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MASON, Colin Victor James (1926–  )<br /><span class=subheader>Senator, New South Wales, 1978–87 (Australian Democrats)</span>

MASON, Colin Victor James (1926– )
Senator, New South Wales, 1978–87 (Australian Democrats)

Colin Victor James Mason was elected as a senator for New South Wales in the 1977 federal election. Don Chipp was elected as a senator for Victoria in the same election. As the first Australian Democrats elected to the Senate, they signalled the arrival of a new centrist parliamentary party that would go on to become a highly influential minor party in federal politics.

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McLEAN, Paul Alexander (1937–  )<br /><span class=subheader>Senator, New South Wales, 1987–91 (Australian Democrats)</span>

McLEAN, Paul Alexander (1937– )
Senator, New South Wales, 1987–91 (Australian Democrats)

‘Although I was not raised in poverty, I saw enough of it to understand it’ admitted Paul Alexander McLean. Born to Harold Penrose McLean and Kathleen McLean, née Collins, on 13 March 1937 in the Lake Macquarie suburb of Belmont in the Hunter region of NSW, he was raised by parents—’a coal miner and … the daughter of a tin miner’—who instilled in their

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POWELL, Janet Frances (1942–2013)<br /><span class=subheader>Senator, Victoria, 1986–93 (Australian Democrats, Independent)</span>

POWELL, Janet Frances (1942–2013)
Senator, Victoria, 1986–93 (Australian Democrats, Independent)

Janet Frances McDonald (later Powell), was born in Nhill, Victoria, on 29 September 1942, the second of three children of Colin George McDonald and his wife Frances May, née Kilpatrick. Her parents were wheat and sheep farmers at the small town of Propodollah in north-western Victoria. Janet attended the local primary school until it closed, then continued her education at Nhill Primary School, Queen’s

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SANDERS, Norman Karl (1932–  )<br /><span class=subheader>Senator, Tasmania, 1985–90 (Australian Democrats)</span>

SANDERS, Norman Karl (1932– )
Senator, Tasmania, 1985–90 (Australian Democrats)

Norman Karl (Norm) Sanders was born in Cleveland, Ohio, USA, on 15 October 1932, elder child of Karl Wilhelm Sanders, a commercial artist born in Riga, Latvia, and his wife Mary Doris, née Schenck, teacher and journalist. His family later lived in Chicago before settling in Los Angeles, where Sanders attended Florence Nightingale Junior High School. He received little emotional support from his parents,

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SIDDONS, John Royston (1927–2016)<br /><span class=subheader>Senator, Victoria, 1981–83; 1985–87 (Australian Democrats; Independent; Unite Australia Party)</span>

SIDDONS, John Royston (1927–2016)
Senator, Victoria, 1981–83; 1985–87 (Australian Democrats; Independent; Unite Australia Party)

John Royston Siddons was born in Melbourne, Victoria on 5 October 1927, the middle child and only son of Royston and Agnes Emily Siddons, née Smith. Agnes was a schoolteacher and Royston an electrical engineer. In 1931 Royston bought a disused metal casting factory in Fitzroy, moving his operations to Clifton Hill in 1934. Initially making cabinet hardware, he later expanded into die-cast padlocks

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SOWADA, Karin Nicole (1961–  )<br /><span class=subheader>Senator, New South Wales, 1991–93 (Australian Democrats)</span>

SOWADA, Karin Nicole (1961– )
Senator, New South Wales, 1991–93 (Australian Democrats)

Karin Nicole Sowada was born in Sydney on 1 November 1961, the daughter of migrant parents: Helen, born in England, and Valentin, a Swiss photojournalist. Her parents had first met in Sydney in 1957. By Sowada’s own account, while her parents were not involved in party politics, they ‘were intimately concerned with political issues’, which were discussed around the table at night. In 1975

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SPINDLER, Siegfried Emil (1932–2008)<br /><span class=subheader>Senator, Victoria, 1990–96 (Australian Democrats)</span>

SPINDLER, Siegfried Emil (1932–2008)
Senator, Victoria, 1990–96 (Australian Democrats)

Siegfried Emil (Sid) Spindler, businessman, lawyer and philanthropist, was born on 9 July 1932 at Lodz, Poland. He was the son of Oskar Karl Spindler, business manager, and Gertrud Alma Spindler, née Bernewitz. Sid Spindler’s life was shaped by his experiences in occupied Poland during World War II. The Spindler family were Volksdeutsche, ethnic Germans who held Polish citizenship and lived within a multicultural

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VIGOR, David Bernard (1939–1998)<br /><span class=subheader>Senator for South Australia, 1985–87 (Australian Democrats; Unite Australia Party)</span>

VIGOR, David Bernard (1939–1998)
Senator for South Australia, 1985–87 (Australian Democrats; Unite Australia Party)

David Vigor was born on 24 June 1939 in Elbeuf, Normandy, in northern France. His English mother, Doris Marjorie Emma, née Hedges, and French father, Bernard Frederic Vigor, had married in June 1938, settling in France. Shortly after David’s birth mother and child caught the last ferry to England before the declaration of war. Bernard was taken prisoner but escaped to Marseilles in ‘free

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WOODLEY, John (1938–  )<br /><span class=subheader>Senator, Queensland, 1993–2001 (Australian Democrats)</span>

WOODLEY, John (1938– )
Senator, Queensland, 1993–2001 (Australian Democrats)

In her valedictory speech after John Woodley’s retirement from the Senate, Australian Democrats Senator Vicki Bourne suggested that he had always followed the advice of Proverbs 25:21 to comfort enemies with food and drink. It was natural that Senator Bourne should turn to the Bible in speaking of Senator Woodley, a Uniting Church minister who was sometimes called ‘Rev’ by his parliamentary colleagues. John

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