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RAE, Arthur Edward George (1860–1943)<br /> <span class=subheader>Senator for New South Wales, 1910–14, 1929–35 (Labor Party; Lang Labor)</span>

RAE, Arthur Edward George (1860–1943)
Senator for New South Wales, 1910–14, 1929–35 (Labor Party; Lang Labor)

‘No Compromise’ and ‘No Surrender’ were statements which formed the basic political policy of diminutive labour militant Arthur Rae, and which encapsulate his long life of unremitting struggle on behalf of the working class. Bush worker, shearer, fanner, fruit grower, journalist, trade unionist, party official, peace activist, sometime poet and frequent politician, Rae was relentless in his avowal of socialism. Honest, forthright, combative and

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RAE, Peter Elliot (1934–  )<br /><span class=subheader>Senator for Tasmania, 1968–86 (Liberal Party of Australia)</span>

RAE, Peter Elliot (1934– )
Senator for Tasmania, 1968–86 (Liberal Party of Australia)

Peter Rae’s eighteen-year Senate career was characterised by an independent spirit of inquiry and an energetic application to committee work. First elected in 1967 as the second candidate on Tasmania’s Liberal Party ticket, he commenced his term in the Senate on 1 July 1968 as the youngest senator in what was at that time a chamber of elders. He was re-elected in 1974, 1975,

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RANKIN, Dame Annabelle Jane Mary (1908–1986)<br /> <span class=subheader>Senator for Queensland, 1947–71 (Liberal Party of Australia)</span>

RANKIN, Dame Annabelle Jane Mary (1908–1986)
Senator for Queensland, 1947–71 (Liberal Party of Australia)

Annabelle Jane Mary Rankin, the second woman to sit in the Senate, was born at South Brisbane on 28 July 1908, elder of two daughters of Colin Dunlop Wilson Rankin and his wife Annabelle Davidson Rankin, née Thomson, both born in Scotland. The family lived first near the small Queensland town of Childers where Colin was a sugar grower, and Annabelle rode her pony

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RANKIN, George James (1887–1957)<br /> <span class=subheader>Senator for Victoria, 1950–56 (Australian Country Party)</span>

RANKIN, George James (1887–1957)
Senator for Victoria, 1950–56 (Australian Country Party)

George James Rankin was a soldier first and a politician second. In some ways he was representative of the politics of his day. His status as a soldier—indeed a war hero—gave him an advantage in gaining entry into the federal Parliament during the late 1930s. Rankin was born on 1 May 1887 at Bamawm, a tiny hamlet near the town of Rochester in northern

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READY, Rudolph Keith (1878–1958)<br /><span class=subheader>Senator for Tasmania, 1910–17 (Labor Party)</span>

READY, Rudolph Keith (1878–1958)
Senator for Tasmania, 1910–17 (Labor Party)

Rudolph Keith Ready, draper and businessman, was born at Latrobe, Tasmania, on 15 December 1878, the son of Samuel, a saddler, and Mary Minnie Susanna, née Mumford, who were pioneers of the Latrobe district. After a primary school education, Ready studied at the Latrobe Commercial College and worked as a junior in a drapery store. At the age of nineteen, he was employed by

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REID, Albert David (1886–1962)<br /> <span class=subheader>Senator for New South Wales, 1950–62 (Australian Country Party)</span>

REID, Albert David (1886–1962)
Senator for New South Wales, 1950–62 (Australian Country Party)

Albert David Reid, a ‘long, lean, leathery’ Anzac, devoted virtually all of his adult life to public service. At municipal, state and federal government levels he was a dedicated member of the Australian Country Party. Committed to the needs of rural Australia, he made a significant contribution to the development of water conservation policy, and was a highly respected senator. He had a distinguished

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REID, David Donald (1933– )<br /> <span class=subheader>Senator for Western Australia, 1974 (Australian Country Party)</span>

REID, David Donald (1933– )
Senator for Western Australia, 1974 (Australian Country Party)

David Donald Reid, farmer and landcare practitioner, was born on 10 May 1933 at Bridgetown, Western Australia, the only son of Donald Phillip Reid, primary producer, and his wife Marion Fraser, née Davies. He was educated at Bridgetown Primary School and Denmark Agricultural College from which he graduated with a Diploma of Agriculture in 1949 (in later years he completed part of a postgraduate

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REID, Matthew (1856–1947)<br /> <span class=subheader>Senator for Queensland, 1917–35 (Nationalist Party; United Australia Party)</span>

REID, Matthew (1856–1947)
Senator for Queensland, 1917–35 (Nationalist Party; United Australia Party)

Matthew Reid was born at Dalmellington, Ayrshire, Scotland, on 30 September 1856; only the name of his mother, Elizabeth Reid, is known. In his early years Reid worked as a carpenter, serving his apprenticeship in Glasgow and working in London, where he married Mary Smart on 24 June 1879. He joined the Amalgamated Carpenters’ Union, and was a member of Henry Hyndman’s Social Democratic

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REID, Robert (1842–1904)<br /><span class=subheader>Senator for Victoria, 1903 (Free Trade)</span>

REID, Robert (1842–1904)
Senator for Victoria, 1903 (Free Trade)

Robert Reid, a shrewd, highly successful softgoods wholesaler, and a pillar of the Collins Street Baptist Church, was fond of the biblical passage: ‘Seest thou a man diligent in his business? he shall stand before kings’. Reid, born on 17 October 1842 at Leven, Fifeshire, Scotland, was the second son of Robert Reid, stationer and bookseller, and his wife Catherine, née Lambert. The family

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REYNOLDS, Margaret (1941–  )<br /><span class=subheader>Senator for Queensland, 1982–99 (Australian Labor Party)</span>

REYNOLDS, Margaret (1941– )
Senator for Queensland, 1982–99 (Australian Labor Party)

Margaret Reynolds, activist, educator and author, was born Margaret Lyne, in Hobart on 19 July 1941, the only child of Walter Rodis (Rod) Lyne and his wife Jess, née Montgomery, a teacher. Rod Lyne, who worked on his father’s farm before serving with the Australian Army in New Guinea, died in 1947. During the war Jess took Margaret to Launceston to live near her

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RICHARDSON, Graham Frederick (1949–  )<br /><span class=subheader>Senator for New South Wales, 1983–94 (Australian Labor Party)</span>

RICHARDSON, Graham Frederick (1949– )
Senator for New South Wales, 1983–94 (Australian Labor Party)

Graham Frederick Richardson, whose words over the telephone or across restaurant tables would make and unmake several political careers including his own, was born in Sydney on 27 September 1949, the only surviving child of Frederick James Richardson, a senior clerk in the Postmaster General’s Department, and his wife Catherine Maud (Peggy), née Graham. He grew up in Allawah and Kogarah, typical postwar suburbs

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RIDLEY, Clement Frank (1909–1988)<br /> <span class=subheader>Senator for South Australia, 1959–71 (Australian Labor Party)</span>

RIDLEY, Clement Frank (1909–1988)
Senator for South Australia, 1959–71 (Australian Labor Party)

While Clem Ridley was respected in the Senate for his knowledge of industrial affairs, his thoughtful contributions to debate, and his dignified bearing, his most significant achievements lay outside the parliamentary arena, as a dedicated and successful union leader, and as a steadying influence within the inner circles of the South Australian ALP during the time of the Split. Clem Ridley was born Frank

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ROBERTSON, Agnes Robertson (1882–1968)<br /> <span class=subheader>Senator for Western Australia, 1950–62 (Liberal Party of Australia; Australian Country Party)</span>

ROBERTSON, Agnes Robertson (1882–1968)
Senator for Western Australia, 1950–62 (Liberal Party of Australia; Australian Country Party)

Agnes Robertson Keay was born at Stepney, Adelaide, South Australia, on 31 July 1882, only daughter of David Kelly Keay, stonemason and building contractor, and his wife Mary Ann, née Thomson. A lone girl among seven brothers, Agnes soon learnt ‘to fight’ her way ‘with them all’. Her father was a well-read social commentator and regular contributor to contemporary journals. He revelled in controversial

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ROBERTSON, Edward Albert (1929–1991)<br /><span class=subheader>Senator for Northern Territory, 1975–87 (Australian Labor Party)</span>

ROBERTSON, Edward Albert (1929–1991)
Senator for Northern Territory, 1975–87 (Australian Labor Party)

Ted Robertson and Bernard Kilgariff were the first senators elected to the Australian Parliament to represent the Northern Territory. Born on 18 March 1929 in the port city of Albany, Western Australia, Edward Albert (Ted)Robertson was the only child of Scottish-born labourer Neil (Jock) Robertson and English-born Ethel Lucy Robertson, née Bamford. Ted’s parents separated before his birth and shortly afterwards his father left

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ROBINSON, Albert William (1877–1943)<br /><span class=subheader>Senator for South Australia, 1928 (Nationalist Party)</span>

ROBINSON, Albert William (1877–1943)
Senator for South Australia, 1928 (Nationalist Party)

Albert William Robinson was an effective representative of the rural sector, both inside and outside Parliament, for over thirty years. Robinson was born at Lyndoch, South Australia, on 20 May 1877, the only son of George Septimus Robinson, a publican and grazier, and his wife Lucy, née Ridgway. He was educated at the Balaklava State School, the Clare Advanced School, of which he was

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ROBINSON, William Charles (1907–1981)<br /> <span class=subheader>Senator for Western Australia, 1952–53 (Australian Country Party)</span>

ROBINSON, William Charles (1907–1981)
Senator for Western Australia, 1952–53 (Australian Country Party)

William Charles Campbell Bignall Robinson was born in Hertford, England, on 4 October 1907, the son of William Robinson, publican, and Alice, née Bolton. Around 1911, the family arrived in Western Australia, and settled as farmers in the Williams district. Bill, as young Robinson was known, was educated at Tarwonga State School and Northam Senior High School before following his father onto the land.

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ROCHER, Allan Charles (1936–2016)<br /><span class=subheader>Senator for Western Australia, 1978–81 (Liberal Party of Australia)</span>

ROCHER, Allan Charles (1936–2016)
Senator for Western Australia, 1978–81 (Liberal Party of Australia)

Allan Charles Rocher was one of a select band of federal parliamentarians who served in both the Senate and the House of Representatives. Before election to the Senate in 1977 he was hardly known in Liberal Party circles, yet he was pre-selected ahead of some twenty-two candidates, and went on to win a Senate seat from the notoriously difficult third position on the party

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ROWELL, James (1851–1940)<br /><span class=subheader>Senator for South Australia, 1917–23 (Nationalist Party)</span>

ROWELL, James (1851–1940)
Senator for South Australia, 1917–23 (Nationalist Party)

Colonel James Rowell was the epitome of the turn of the century military man: composed in manner, dignified in bearing and of distinguished appearance. He was born at Cambridge, England, on 20 January 1851, the son of John Rowell, a gardener, and his wife Susan, previously Smith, née Hall. In 1855, he came to South Australia with his parents where they established an orchard

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RUSSELL, Edward John (1878–1925)<br /><span class=subheader>Senator for Victoria, 1907–25 (Labor Party; National Labour Party; Nationalist)</span>

RUSSELL, Edward John (1878–1925)
Senator for Victoria, 1907–25 (Labor Party; National Labour Party; Nationalist)

Socialist firebrand and federal minister, Edward John Russell, was born on 10 August 1878 at Warrnambool, Victoria, the son of Joseph Russell, a baker born in Ireland, and his wife, Melbourne-born Mary Frances, née Conway. Russell arrived in Melbourne with his family in 1890, during the great maritime strike, and was educated at Newport State School and St Mary’s Roman Catholic school at Williamstown.

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RUSSELL, William (1842–1912)<br /><span class=subheader>Senator for South Australia, 1907–12 (Labor Party)</span>

RUSSELL, William (1842–1912)
Senator for South Australia, 1907–12 (Labor Party)

Known for his ‘rugged native eloquence’, William Russell, a ‘practical farmer’, came to the South Australian and Commonwealth parliaments through his empathy with the farming communities of South Australia and his consequent involvement in rural politics. He was born in Glassford, Lanarkshire, Scotland, on 20 October 1842. That his father’s name was Matthew Russell is all that is known of his parents, who died

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RYAN, John Victor (1890–1974)<br /> <span class=subheader>Senator for South Australia, 1950–59 (Australian Labor Party)</span>

RYAN, John Victor (1890–1974)
Senator for South Australia, 1950–59 (Australian Labor Party)

John Victor Ryan, baker, footballer and trade union official, was called John Lattin at the time of his birth on 2 December 1890 at the Destitute Asylum, Adelaide. He was the son of Rose Lattin. Later Rose married John Ryan, a labourer, her son taking the surname of Ryan. Six years after becoming a senator, John Victor Ryan established his name by deed poll. John Victor,

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RYAN, Susan Maree (1942–2020)<br /><span class=subheader>Senator for Australian Capital Territory, 1975–88 (Australian Labor Party)</span>

RYAN, Susan Maree (1942–2020)
Senator for Australian Capital Territory, 1975–88 (Australian Labor Party)

Susan Maree Ryan was born on 10 October 1942 at Camperdown, Sydney, the third of four children of Arthur Francis Aloysius Ryan, a clerk in the state public service, and his wife Florence Ena, née Hodson, who worked as a sales assistant. Growing up in Maroubra, Susan was educated at its Brigidine Convent, where she completed the Leaving Certificate. Although she was to move

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