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ABBOTT, Richard Hartley Smith (1859–1940)<br /><span class=subheader>Senator for Victoria, 1928–29 (Australian Country Party)</span>

ABBOTT, Richard Hartley Smith (1859–1940)
Senator for Victoria, 1928–29 (Australian Country Party)

Richard Hartley Smith Abbott, company director, was born, probably in Bendigo, Victoria, around 1859, the son of Richard Hartley Abbott, also a company director, and Ann, née Smith. The young Richard was educated at Bendigo High School and then at St Andrews, Scotland. Returning to Australia, he became proprietor of the Abbott Supply Company, a director of the Sandhurst Building Society, the Bendigo Gas

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ANDREW, David John (1866–1928)<br /><span class=subheader>Senator for Victoria, 1925–28 (Australian Country Party)</span>

ANDREW, David John (1866–1928)
Senator for Victoria, 1925–28 (Australian Country Party)

David Andrew’s election as a senator in 1925 points to some degree of dogged determination for it was his sixth attempt to enter Parliament either at the federal or state level. Born in Castlemaine, Victoria, on 10 November 1866, the son of James Sprunt Andrew, a stonemason and later an auctioneer, and his wife, Augusta Arabella, Andrew attended state schools before beginning a fitter’s

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BARKER, Stephen (1846–1924)<br /><span class=subheader>Senator for Victoria, 1910–20, 1923–24 (Australian Labor Party)</span>

BARKER, Stephen (1846–1924)
Senator for Victoria, 1910–20, 1923–24 (Australian Labor Party)

‘It was’, wrote the Bulletin at the time of Stephen Barker’s death, ‘the dream of his life to get into the Senate’. Barker, tailor and trade unionist, was born in 1846, in London, England, son of Stephen Barker, farmer, and his wife Hannah, née Nagle. It is likely the whole family migrated to Australia. From the age of twelve, Barker worked in Melbourne as

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BARNES, John (1868–1938)<br /> <span class=subheader>Senator for Victoria, 1913–20, 1923–35 (Australian Labor Party)</span>

BARNES, John (1868–1938)
Senator for Victoria, 1913–20, 1923–35 (Australian Labor Party)

‘The story of John Barnes’, said Albert Monk, ACTU president in 1938, ‘is also the history of the Australian Labor movement’. Barnes was born on 17 July 1868 at Hamilton, near Kapunda, South Australia, son of John Thomas Barnes, a labourer from Somerset, England, and his wife Mary, née Cummeford, from County Clare, Ireland. He acquired the basic elements of a primary education and

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BARRETT, John George (1858–1928)<br /><span class=subheader>Senator for Victoria, 1901–03 (Labor Party)</span>

BARRETT, John George (1858–1928)
Senator for Victoria, 1901–03 (Labor Party)

John George Barrett was born on 17 December 1858 at Carlton, Melbourne, the child of George Barrett, a carpenter, and Eliza Jane, née Elliot, both born in London. His father was active in party politics in Victoria. Barrett was educated at St Mary’s Church of England school at Hotham. On leaving school at the age of twelve he became an apprentice tinsmith, continuing to

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BEST, Sir Robert Wallace (1856–1946)<br /><span class=subheader>Senator for Victoria, 1901–10 (Protectionist)</span>

BEST, Sir Robert Wallace (1856–1946)
Senator for Victoria, 1901–10 (Protectionist)

Robert Wallace Best, described as ‘one of those excitable, exclamatory, vehement, enthusiastic men who continually give off heat like radium’, was born at Collingwood, Victoria, on 18 June 1856. His father, also Robert Best, was a farmer who became a customs officer; his mother was Jane, née Wallace. Both parents were Irish-born. The younger Robert Best was educated at the Templeton School in Fitzroy,

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BLAKEY, Albert Edward Howarth (1879–1935)<br /><span class=subheader>Senator for Victoria, 1910–17 (Labor Party)</span>

BLAKEY, Albert Edward Howarth (1879–1935)
Senator for Victoria, 1910–17 (Labor Party)

Albert Edward Howarth Blakey was born on 9 November 1879, at Balmoral, in the western district of Victoria, the son of William Henry, a fellmonger and later a wool-classer, and Louise, née Woodford. William appears to have emigrated to Australia from Huddersfield, Yorkshire, England, marrying Louise at Balmoral in 1878. The young Blakey read widely and later lent his support to government increases to

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BOLTON, William Kinsey (1860–1941)<br /><span class=subheader>Senator for Victoria, 1917–23 (Nationalist Party)</span>

BOLTON, William Kinsey (1860–1941)
Senator for Victoria, 1917–23 (Nationalist Party)

William Kinsey Bolton, soldier and foundation president of the Returned Sailors and Soldiers Imperial League of Australia, was born in Lostock Gralam, Cheshire, England, on 1 November 1860. The son of John Hammersley Bolton, corn dealer, and Hannah, née Kinsey, Bolton arrived in Australia with his parents in 1868. The family settled in the western district of Victoria, where his father became a storekeeper.

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BRAND, Charles Henry (1873–1961)<br /> <span class=subheader>Senator for Victoria, 1935–47 (United Australia Party; Liberal Party of Australia)</span>

BRAND, Charles Henry (1873–1961)
Senator for Victoria, 1935–47 (United Australia Party; Liberal Party of Australia)

Charles Hayman (Henry) Brand, schoolteacher and army officer, was born on 4 September 1873 at Mount Radford Reserve, Ipswich, Queensland, son of Charles Hayman Brand, farmer, of Devon, England, and his wife Elizabeth, née Elliott, of Londonderry, Ireland. Educated at state schools in Maryborough and Bundaberg, young Charles joined the Department of Public Instruction on 8 November 1887 as a pupil-teacher. He taught initially

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BREEN, Dame Marie Freda (1902–1993)<br /> <span class=subheader>Senator for Victoria, 1962–68 (Liberal Party of Australia)</span>

BREEN, Dame Marie Freda (1902–1993)
Senator for Victoria, 1962–68 (Liberal Party of Australia)

Although claiming to be a somewhat reluctant senator, Marie Freda Breen created her own opportunities for political advancement and was committed to the increased representation of women in all facets of public life. Marie was born on 3 November 1902 at St Kilda, Victoria, second child of Frederick William Chamberlin, town clerk of St Kilda, who was born in London, and his Australian-born wife,

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BRENNAN, Thomas Cornelius (1867–1944)<br /> <span class=subheader>Senator for Victoria, 1931–38 (United Australia Party)</span>

BRENNAN, Thomas Cornelius (1867–1944)
Senator for Victoria, 1931–38 (United Australia Party)

Thomas Cornelius Brennan, the seventh of the eleven children of Michael Brennan and Mary, née Maher, was born in Sedgwick, Victoria, probably in 1867. His father, who was of Irish descent, was a farmer at Maryvale, Upper Emu Creek, near Bendigo; he was three times president, and then secretary, of Strathfieldsaye Shire. Thomas and his younger brother Frank would both enter the law and

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BROWN, William Walter Charles (1920–2001)<br /> <span class=subheader>Senator for Victoria, 1969–70, 1971–78 (Australian Labor Party)</span>

BROWN, William Walter Charles (1920–2001)
Senator for Victoria, 1969–70, 1971–78 (Australian Labor Party)

Senator Bill Brown, cabinetmaker and trade union official, was a gracious and popular figure in the Senate, albeit an outspoken and passionate one. He was born William Walter Charles Brown in the Melbourne suburb of Brunswick, on 4 December 1920, the second child of William Samuel Brown, a French-polisher, and Eileen, née Ryder. After attending Catholic schools in inner-city Melbourne and studying at night

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BUTTON, John Norman (1932–2008)<br /><span class=subheader>Senator for Victoria, 1974–93 (Australian Labor Party)</span>

BUTTON, John Norman (1932–2008)
Senator for Victoria, 1974–93 (Australian Labor Party)

Variously described as ‘the best prime minister we never had’, ‘a small man of quick wit, crafty calculation and intellectual provocation’, as having ‘an unenviable reputation as a minister with an undisciplined tongue, a politician prone to gaffes’, ‘the first person since Shirley Temple to build a whole career out of whimsy’ and ‘a rare phenomenon in Australian politics: a genuine intellectual, a wit,

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CAMERON, Donald James (1878–1962)<br /> <span class=subheader>Senator for Victoria, 1938–62 (Australian Labor Party)</span>

CAMERON, Donald James (1878–1962)
Senator for Victoria, 1938–62 (Australian Labor Party)

As a young man in Melbourne, Don Cameron, replete with red tie, could be seen boating on the Yarra. Sixty when he took his seat in the Senate in 1938, he left reluctantly in 1962, at eighty-four the oldest man in the federal Parliament, compelled by ill health to abandon plans for a fifth term. Once described as a ‘mild chap’ with an ‘engaging

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

CHIPP, Donald Leslie (1925–2006)
Senator for 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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COHEN, Samuel Herbert (1918–1969)<br /> <span class=subheader>Senator for Victoria, 1962–69 (Australian Labor Party)</span>

COHEN, Samuel Herbert (1918–1969)
Senator for Victoria, 1962–69 (Australian Labor Party)

Samuel Herbert Cohen, barrister and politician, was born at Bankstown, New South Wales, on 26 October 1918, eldest son of Max Lazarus Cohen, a tailor’s cutter, and Fanny Dinah, née Fagelman, of Sydney. Sam’s parents were Russian Jews who had migrated to Australia as children. His father worked briefly as a tailor and draper in the country town of Griffith, and then joined Beaurepaire

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COONEY, Bernard Cornelius (1934–  )<br /><span class=subheader>Senator for Victoria, 1985–2002 (Australian Labor Party)</span>

COONEY, Bernard Cornelius (1934– )
Senator for Victoria, 1985–2002 (Australian Labor Party)

Bernard (Barney) Cornelius Cooney was born on July 11, 1934 at Currie, King Island, Tasmania, the third of four children of Bernard Pius Cooney and his wife Constance (Corrie) Eva, née Curtain. Most of Cooney’s mainly Irish forebears had lived in Tasmania for several generations, one back to the 1820s. There was the frequent Tasmanian background of both convict and west coast mining heritage

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CORMACK, Sir Magnus Cameron (1906–1994)<br /> <span class=subheader>Senator for Victoria, 1951–53, 1962–78 (Liberal Party of Australia)</span>

CORMACK, Sir Magnus Cameron (1906–1994)
Senator for Victoria, 1951–53, 1962–78 (Liberal Party of Australia)

Magnus Cameron Cormack was born on 12 February 1906 at Wick, Scotland, eldest of five children of William Petrie Cormack, a medical practitioner, and his wife Violet, née Cameron. The family migrated to South Australia in about 1912, their destination influenced by Dr Cormack’s health, and by the presence in Adelaide of his cousin, Senator Sir Josiah Symon. The family first lived on the

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DEVLIN, John Joseph (1898–1957)<br /> <span class=subheader>Senator for Victoria, 1946–57 (Australian Labor Party)</span>

DEVLIN, John Joseph (1898–1957)
Senator for Victoria, 1946–57 (Australian Labor Party)

John Joseph Devlin, farmer, was born on 6 June 1898 at Violet Town, in north‑eastern Victoria, son of John Devlin, an Irish Catholic farmer and pioneer of the Benalla district, and Bidelia, née Fitzgerald. Young Jack attended Tamleugh and Tamleugh North state schools, and was introduced to farming at a young age. He was a keen sportsman, participating in, and later officiating for, many

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ELLIOTT, Harold Edward (1878–1931)<br /> <span class=subheader>Senator for Victoria, 1920–31 (Nationalist Party)</span>

ELLIOTT, Harold Edward (1878–1931)
Senator for Victoria, 1920–31 (Nationalist Party)

Harold Edward Elliott, was born at West Charlton in north-west Victoria on 19 June 1878. He was the fifth of eight children of Thomas Elliott and his wife Helen, née Janverin, who had arrived in Victoria during the gold rushes of the 1850s. Thomas and Helen, both English-born, married at St Michael’s Church of England, Talbot, in 1867 and settled in nearby Cockatoo. After

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ELLIOTT, Robert Charles Dunlop (1884–1950)<br /> <span class=subheader>Senator for Victoria, 1929–35 (Australian Country Party)</span>

ELLIOTT, Robert Charles Dunlop (1884–1950)
Senator for Victoria, 1929–35 (Australian Country Party)

Robert Charles Dunlop Elliott (known as R. D.) was a businessman and newspaper proprietor, active in Country Party politics. He was born on 28 October 1884 at Kyneton, central Victoria, the fourth surviving child of Robert Cochrane Elliott, a grocer from Northumberland, England, who fell on hard times, and his wife, Maria Jeanette, née Williamson, a native of Inverness, Scotland. Young Robert received a rudimentary

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EVANS, Gareth John (1944–  )<br /><span class=subheader>Senator for Victoria, 1978–96 (Australian Labor Party)</span>

EVANS, Gareth John (1944– )
Senator for Victoria, 1978–96 (Australian Labor Party)

Gareth John Evans, the elder child of tram driver Allan Oswald Evans and his wife Phyllis (Phyl), née LeBoeuf, formerly a store manager for Woolworths, was born at Kew, Melbourne, on 5 September 1944. Gareth grew up in Hawthorn, not far from the tram depot where his father worked, before the family moved to Surrey Hills in the 1950s. Evans maintained a life-long connection

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FAIRBAIRN, Sir George (1855–1943)<br /><span class=subheader>Senator for Victoria, 1917–23 (Nationalist Party)</span>

FAIRBAIRN, Sir George (1855–1943)
Senator for Victoria, 1917–23 (Nationalist Party)

‘Parliament’, said Senator George Fairbairn, ‘should exercise supreme control over the public purse’. With his regard for the principles of the Constitution, his keen business acumen and eye for detail, Fairbairn exemplified the Senate’s developing role as a house of review. Born at Newtown, Geelong, Victoria, on 23 March 1855, the eldest of six sons and a daughter, his father, also George Fairbairn, was

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FINDLEY, Edward (1864–1947)<br /><span class=subheader>Senator for Victoria, 1904–17, 1923–29 (Australian Labor Party)</span>

FINDLEY, Edward (1864–1947)
Senator for Victoria, 1904–17, 1923–29 (Australian Labor Party)

Edward Findley, compositor, publisher, trade unionist and company director, wasborn, probably, on 8 September 1864 at Sandhurst, Bendigo, Victoria, to Timothy Findley, engine-driver, and his wife Mary, née Toohey. Both his parents hailed from Ireland, his father from Cork and his mother from Tipperary. In 1876, at the age of twelve, he began a five-year apprenticeship as a compositor, after which he worked on

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FRASER, Alexander John (1892–1965)<br /> <span class=subheader>Senator for Victoria, 1946 (Australian Country Party)</span>

FRASER, Alexander John (1892–1965)
Senator for Victoria, 1946 (Australian Country Party)

For a number of senators, a career in the Commonwealth Parliament has followed one in a state Parliament, but for Senator Alexander Fraser the reverse was the case. A senator for only four months, Fraser went on to a distinguished career in the Victorian Parliament. Alexander John Fraser was born at Fairfield, Melbourne, on 22 August 1892, the son of Scottish‑born parents, Simon Fraser,

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FRASER, Sir Simon (1832–1919)<br /><span class=subheader>Senator for Victoria, 1901–13 (Protectionist; Anti-Socialist Party)</span>

FRASER, Sir Simon (1832–1919)
Senator for Victoria, 1901–13 (Protectionist; Anti-Socialist Party)

Simon Fraser, a successful entrepreneur who became wealthy from dealings in construction, grazing and banking, was a prominent and respected public figure. He was born in Canada, in the town of Pictou, Nova Scotia, on 21 August 1832, the youngest son of a Scottish migrant, William Fraser, a farmer and miller, and his wife Jane, née Fraser. Educated at a local school, Fraser emigrated

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GIBSON, William Gerrand (1869–1955)<br /> <span class=subheader>Senator for Victoria, 1935-47 (Australian Country Party)</span>

GIBSON, William Gerrand (1869–1955)
Senator for Victoria, 1935-47 (Australian Country Party)

William Gerrand Gibson, farmer and storekeeper, was born at Gisborne, Victoria, on 19 May 1869, the son of Scottish‑born parents, David Gibson, a farmer, and his wife Grace, née Gerrand. Gibson was educated locally, then farmed with his father before setting up on his own as a storekeeper at Romsey and Lancefield. Becoming a successful businessman, Gibson turned his attention to public affairs, serving

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GORTON, Sir John Grey (1911–2002)<br /> <span class=subheader>Senator for Victoria, 1950–68 (Liberal Party of Australia)</span>

GORTON, Sir John Grey (1911–2002)
Senator for Victoria, 1950–68 (Liberal Party of Australia)

John Gorton, the only Australian prime minister to come from the Senate, was judged variously to be ‘a national disaster’, who was ‘utterly unfitted for the post’; a man ‘ahead of his time’; and the leader who ‘could have been our greatest prime minister’. He was also described, with some accuracy, as the Liberal Party’s ‘only true maverick prime minister’. John Grey Gorton was

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GREENWOOD, Ivor John (1926–1976)<br /> <span class=subheader>Senator for Victoria, 1968–76 (Liberal Party of Australia)</span>

GREENWOOD, Ivor John (1926–1976)
Senator for Victoria, 1968–76 (Liberal Party of Australia)

Ivor John Greenwood, barrister, was born on 15 November 1926 in North Melbourne to Bartlett John Greenwood, a boilermaker with the Victorian Railways, and his wife Joy Olive, née Vickers, both born in Melbourne. The Greenwoods were worshippers at the Church of Christ, and Ivor later attributed the development of his political attitudes to the high sense of individual responsibility inculcated by the Church.

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GUILFOYLE, Dame Margaret Georgina Constance (1926–  )<br /><span class=subheader>Senator for Victoria, 1971–87 (Liberal Party of Australia)

GUILFOYLE, Dame Margaret Georgina Constance (1926– )
Senator for Victoria, 1971–87 (Liberal Party of Australia)

Margaret Guilfoyle would have been an unusual candidate for any political party when she stood for election to the Senate in 1970. Decades before such arrangements became commonplace, flexible working hours allowed Guilfoyle to combine her career as an accountant with raising her three children. Her qualifications and experience later boosted Guilfoyle’s chances of obtaining a seat in Parliament, and gave her skills that

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GUTHRIE, James Francis (1872–1958)<br /> <span class=subheader>Senator for Victoria, 1920–38 (Nationalist Party; United Australia Party)</span>

GUTHRIE, James Francis (1872–1958)
Senator for Victoria, 1920–38 (Nationalist Party; United Australia Party)

James Francis Guthrie was born on 13 September 1872 at Rich Avon near Donald, in Victoria, the youngest son of Thomas Guthrie and Mary, née Rutherford. His parents had been pioneer pastoralists in the Northern Territory, had developed a valuable merino stud and owned extensive lands in several Australian states. After education at Geelong College James spent six years as an office boy, initially

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HAMER, David John (1923–2002)<br /><span class=subheader>Senator for Victoria, 1978–90 (Liberal Party of Australia)</span>

HAMER, David John (1923–2002)
Senator for Victoria, 1978–90 (Liberal Party of Australia)

David John Hamer, who served in both the House of Representatives and the Senate, had a distinguished career as a naval officer before entering the Parliament in 1969. He was also an enthusiastic, fluent writer with two published books and numerous newspaper contributions and broadcasts. During his years in the Senate, and particularly his period as Deputy President and Chairman of Committees, he was

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HANNAN, George Conrad (1910–2009)<br /> <span class=subheader>Senator for Victoria, 1956–65, 1970–74 (Liberal Party of Australia; National Liberal Party)</span>

HANNAN, George Conrad (1910–2009)
Senator for Victoria, 1956–65, 1970–74 (Liberal Party of Australia; National Liberal Party)

George Conrad Hannan, unrelenting anti-communist and social conservative, had a ‘snakes and ladders’ career in politics from 1948 until his final defeat as a National Liberal Senate candidate in 1974. Hannan was born on 10 September 1910 at Wagga Wagga, New South Wales. He was the elder of the two sons of James Francis Hannan, a storekeeper, and his wife Theresa Caroline, née Reis.

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HANNAN, Joseph Francis (1873–1943)<br /><span class=subheader>Senator for Victoria, 1924–25 (Australian Labor Party)</span>

HANNAN, Joseph Francis (1873–1943)
Senator for Victoria, 1924–25 (Australian Labor Party)

Joseph Francis Hannan served in Parliament and the union movement at a time when such an association was electorally risky. Hannan was born probably in 1875, the son of James Hannan and Jane, née Hayes. The family arrived in Australia from the United Kingdom about 1888. After two years as a stable hand, Joseph took up his father’s trade of pipe moulder and steel

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HENDRICKSON, Albion (1897–1977)<br /> <span class=subheader>Senator for Victoria, 1947–71 (Australian Labor Party)</span>

HENDRICKSON, Albion (1897–1977)
Senator for Victoria, 1947–71 (Australian Labor Party)

Albion (‘Bert’) Hendrickson, who hailed from the region surrounding Maryborough in Victoria, was born on 17 December 1897 at Adelaide Lead, a small mining community. His father was Peter Hendrickson, a miner, and his mother was Mary, née Broad, formerly Robinson. It is likely that Bert attended Maryborough State School, at least for a short time, later joining the Victorian Railways as a porter.

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KATZ, Frederick Carl (1877–1960)<br /> <span class=subheader>Senator for Victoria, 1947–51 (Australian Labor Party)</span>

KATZ, Frederick Carl (1877–1960)
Senator for Victoria, 1947–51 (Australian Labor Party)

Frederick Carl Katz was born in Adelaide on 21 May 1877, the son of Carl August, a goldsmith and jeweller, and Jane, née Wiltshire. Carl (or Charles, as he became known) was a French-born German who arrived in Adelaide on board the Northern Monarch in 1876. Fred’s family moved to Victoria in the late 1880s, and settled in Melbourne. In 1899 Fred was working

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KEANE, Richard Valentine (1881–1946)<br /> <span class=subheader>Senator for Victoria, 1938-46 (Australian Labor Party)</span>

KEANE, Richard Valentine (1881–1946)
Senator for Victoria, 1938-46 (Australian Labor Party)

Richard Valentine Keane, railways clerk, union leader, Minister for Trade and Customs and Leader of the Government in the Senate, was born at Beechworth, Victoria, on 14 February 1881. He was the son of Timothy Keane, police constable, born in County Kerry, Ireland, and his wife Hanorah, née O’Sullivan, born in County Tipperary. An uncle had fought as a brevet major in the American

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KENNELLY, Patrick John (1900–1981)<br /> <span class=subheader>Senator for Victoria, 1953–71 (Australian Labor Party)</span>

KENNELLY, Patrick John (1900–1981)
Senator for Victoria, 1953–71 (Australian Labor Party)

Patrick John (Pat) Kennelly’s best-known maxim, repeated with variations over the years, typified his political life. He said that if he had to make a choice in politics between logic and numbers, he would come down on the side of the numbers. Known as the kingmaker, Kennelly, a machine man par excellence, became a legendary figure in the ALP, one whose influence extended well

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LAWSON, Sir Harry Sutherland Wightman (1875–1952)<br /> <span class=subheader>Senator for Victoria, 1929–35 (Nationalist Party; United Australia Party)</span>

LAWSON, Sir Harry Sutherland Wightman (1875–1952)
Senator for Victoria, 1929–35 (Nationalist Party; United Australia Party)

Harry Sutherland Lawson was born on 5 March 1875 at Dunolly, Victoria, the only surviving son of John Wightman Lawson, Presbyterian minister from Scotland, and Penelope Bell, née Hawkins. He was educated at Castlemaine Grammar School, and in 1891 at Scotch College, Melbourne, where he read the lessons regularly as befitted ‘a son of the Manse’. In 1892, he was articled to F. K. Best, Castlemaine

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LECKIE, John William (1872–1947)<br /> <span class=subheader>Senator for Victoria, 1935–47 (United Australia Party; Liberal Party of Australia)</span>

LECKIE, John William (1872–1947)
Senator for Victoria, 1935–47 (United Australia Party; Liberal Party of Australia)

John William Leckie, son of James Leckie, butcher, and Mary, née Reilly, was born at Alexandra, Victoria, on 14 October 1872. He had a long parliamentary career serving in the Victorian Legislative Assembly and both houses of the Commonwealth Parliament, but he first achieved prominence as an athlete and footballer. He was educated at Scotch College, Melbourne, where he captained the football team and

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LEWIS, Austin William Russell (1932–  )<br /><span class=subheader>Senator for Victoria, 1976–93 (Liberal Party of Australia)</span>

LEWIS, Austin William Russell (1932– )
Senator for Victoria, 1976–93 (Liberal Party of Australia)

Austin William Russell Lewis was born in the inner Melbourne suburb of Richmond on 5 December 1932, the only child of David Lewis, a fruiterer and case merchant, and his wife Dulcie Alexandrina, née Williams. Austin grew up during the Second World War, which had ‘a very deep influence’ on him and in his youth he became a ‘dedicated patriot’. His ‘great ambition in

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LITTLE, John Albert (1914–1988)<br /> <span class=subheader>Senator for Victoria, 1968–74 (Democratic Labor Party)</span>

LITTLE, John Albert (1914–1988)
Senator for Victoria, 1968–74 (Democratic Labor Party)

John Albert (Jack) Little was born on 13 October 1914 in Maryborough, Victoria, the son of John Richard Little and Elizabeth Florence, née Terry. His father was in the boot retail business. After education at East Brunswick and Thornbury state schools, Jack entered the boot trade and became a ‘clicker’, that is, he cut pieces of leather from patterns to form the upper parts

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McCOLL, James Hiers (1844–1929)<br /><span class=subheader>Senator for Victoria, 1907–14 (Anti-Socialist Party; Liberal Party)</span>

McCOLL, James Hiers (1844–1929)
Senator for Victoria, 1907–14 (Anti-Socialist Party; Liberal Party)

James Hiers McColl was born in South Shields, County Durham, England, son of Hugh McColl, a printer at the time of James’ birth, and his first wife Jane, née Hiers, on 31 January 1844. McColl arrived in Australia with his family in January 1853, his mother having died on the voyage. The family settled at Bendigo, where his father became a prominent irrigationist and

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McKISSOCK, Andrew Nelson (1872–1919)<br /><span class=subheader>Senator for Victoria, 1914–17 (Labor Party)</span>

McKISSOCK, Andrew Nelson (1872–1919)
Senator for Victoria, 1914–17 (Labor Party)

Andrew Nelson McKissock, adventurer, compositor and trade unionist, was born on 6 December 1872 in Ballarat East, the son of John McKissock, butcher, and Helen, née Rattray. After attending a local school, he was apprenticed to F.W. Niven as a compositor. As a young man, he became deeply interested in the trade union movement. He joined the Typographical Society, and in 1900 became adelegate

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McMANUS, Francis Patrick Vincent (1905–1983)<br /> <span class=subheader>Senator for Victoria, 1956–62, 1965–74 (Australian Labor Party (Anti-Communist); Democratic Labor Party)</span>

McMANUS, Francis Patrick Vincent (1905–1983)
Senator for Victoria, 1956–62, 1965–74 (Australian Labor Party (Anti-Communist); Democratic Labor Party)

Francis Patrick Vincent (Frank) McManus, civilised Cold War warrior and founding member of the Democratic Labor Party (DLP), was born on 27 February 1905 at North Melbourne, a suburb he would come to describe as his native land. He was the son of Patrick McManus, born in Roscommon, Ireland, and Gertrude, née Beal, who was born in West Melbourne, and who changed her name

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MELZER, Jean Isabel (1926–)<br /> <span class=subheader>Senator for Victoria, 1974–81 (Australian Labor Party)</span>

MELZER, Jean Isabel (1926–)
Senator for Victoria, 1974–81 (Australian Labor Party)

Jean Isabel Melzer, the first woman in the Australian Labor Party to be elected to the Senate from Victoria, was born in the Melbourne suburb of Elsternwick, on 7 February 1926. She was the eldest of the three daughters of George Kenneth McLeod and Lilian Rosa, née Ford. Jean was educated at state schools at Ormond and Ormond East, Gardenvale Central School, and from

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MISSEN, Alan Joseph (1925–1986)<br /><span class=subheader>Senator for Victoria, 1974–86 (Liberal Party of Australia)</span>

MISSEN, Alan Joseph (1925–1986)
Senator for Victoria, 1974–86 (Liberal Party of Australia)

Alan Missen, law reformer and a champion of civil liberties at home and abroad, was an exemplary parliamentarian whose impact on political life was far out of proportion to his backbench status. Alan Joseph Missen was born in the Melbourne suburb of Kew on 22 July 1925, the only child of Clifford Athel Missen, a moulder, and (Ethel) Violet Maud Missen, née Bartley. Alan’s

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NEAL, Laurence William (1947– )<br /> <span class=subheader>Senator for Victoria, 1980–81 (National Country Party)</span>

NEAL, Laurence William (1947– )
Senator for Victoria, 1980–81 (National Country Party)

The question asked about Laurence William Neal, National Country Party (NCP) senator from Victoria, was how did ‘an academic at La Trobe University, a political scientist, a city dweller since the age of 18’ become ‘the representative of a party of farmers?’ Described by the Melbourne Age as ‘soft-spoken, pleasant, and super mild—more like a kindly young Anglican vicar’, Neal’s credentials were atypical of

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PLAIN, William (1868–1961)<br /> <span class=subheader>Senator for Victoria, 1917–23, 1925–38 (Nationalist Party; United Australia Party)</span>

PLAIN, William (1868–1961)
Senator for Victoria, 1917–23, 1925–38 (Nationalist Party; United Australia Party)

William Plain, farmer, was born in Howford, Peeblesshire, Scotland, on 11 March 1868, the eldest son of James Plain, ploughman, and his wife Christina, née Naismyth. At age thirteen William began work as a ploughboy. In 1890 he arrived in Australia and settled in Victoria where he remained, except for two years from 1897 when he worked in Western Australia. He was a sharefarmer

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

POWELL, Janet Frances (1942–2013)
Senator for 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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POYSER, Arthur George (1915–1986)<br /> <span class=subheader>Senator for Victoria, 1966–75 (Australian Labor Party)</span>

POYSER, Arthur George (1915–1986)
Senator for Victoria, 1966–75 (Australian Labor Party)

Arthur George Poyser, labourer, tram conductor and ALP organiser, was born on 13 February 1915 at Ballarat, Victoria, the son of Arthur George Poyser, a carpenter, and his wife, Mary Jane, née Andrew. George, as he was known, grew up in a family that struggled to make ends meet. He attended Ashby State School in Geelong, going on to work in the textile industry.

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PRIMMER, Cyril Graham (1924–2003)<br /><span class=subheader>Senator for Victoria, 1971–85 (Australian Labor Party)</span>

PRIMMER, Cyril Graham (1924–2003)
Senator for Victoria, 1971–85 (Australian Labor Party)

Cyril Graham Primmer was born on 19 April 1924, at Warrnambool, Victoria, the eldest of eight children of James Primmer, a shearer, and his wife Annie Florence, née Duncan. The family lived at Mailors Flat, ten kilometres from Warrnambool. When Cyril was six his parents purchased a sheep and dairy farm at Kirkstall, a small town twenty kilometres west of Mailors Flat. Cyril received

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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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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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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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SANDFORD, Charles Walter (1895–1966)<br /> <span class=subheader>Senator for Victoria, 1947–56, 1957–66 (Australian Labor Party)</span>

SANDFORD, Charles Walter (1895–1966)
Senator for Victoria, 1947–56, 1957–66 (Australian Labor Party)

Charles Walter Sandford was born at Camp Hill, Creswick, Victoria, on 11 September 1895 to Edwin Thomas Sandford, born in New York State, USA, and his wife, Victorian-born Margaret Ann, née Jordan. According to family recollection, Edwin, the son of an English storekeeper who had migrated to America, had returned to England with his family before taking ship for Australia. He left the ship

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SARGOOD, Sir Frederick Thomas (1834–1903)<br /><span class=subheader>Senator for Victoria, 1901–03 (Free Trade)</span>

SARGOOD, Sir Frederick Thomas (1834–1903)
Senator for Victoria, 1901–03 (Free Trade)

Sir Frederick Sargood, ‘one of the merchant princes of the Commonwealth’, was born on 30 May 1834 at Walworth, London, son of Frederick James Sargood, merchant, and his wife, Emma, née Rippon. Young Sargood was educated at private schools in England before migrating to Victoria with his parents and five sisters, arriving in Melbourne as an assisted immigrant on the Clifton in 1850. After

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SHEEHAN, James Michael (1885–1967)<br /> <span class=subheader>Senator for Victoria, 1938–40, 1944–62 (Australian Labor Party)</span>

SHEEHAN, James Michael (1885–1967)
Senator for Victoria, 1938–40, 1944–62 (Australian Labor Party)

James Michael Sheehan was born at Clinkers Hill, Castlemaine, in central Victoria, on 24 July 1885, son of Michael Sheehan, blacksmith, a native of Limerick, Ireland, and Ellen, née Firminger. Jim, as he was called, attended St Mary’s Catholic school until, at the age of thirteen, he was employed on the Victorian railways. Under the influence of local railway unionist, Tom Hendra, Sheehan became

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SHORT, James Robert (1936–  )<br /><span class=subheader>Senator for Victoria, 1985–97 (Liberal Party of Australia)</span>

SHORT, James Robert (1936– )
Senator for Victoria, 1985–97 (Liberal Party of Australia)

James (Jim) Robert Short was born on 7 December 1936 at Shepparton, Victoria, the youngest of three children of George Short, a surveyor with the State Rivers and Water Supply Commission, and his wife, Elsie, née Hearn. At the outbreak of World War II the family moved to Wangaratta when George Short was seconded to head the local branch of the wartime Manpower Directorate.

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

SIDDONS, John Royston (1927–2016)
Senator for 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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SPICER, Sir John Armstrong (1899–1978)<br /> <span class=subheader>Senator for Victoria, 1940–44, 1949–56 (United Australia Party; Liberal Party of Australia)</span>

SPICER, Sir John Armstrong (1899–1978)
Senator for Victoria, 1940–44, 1949–56 (United Australia Party; Liberal Party of Australia)

John Armstrong Spicer, Attorney-General of the Commonwealth, first Chief Judge of the Industrial Court and one of the group of ‘largely forgotten figures’ who assisted R. G. Menzies in the founding of the Liberal Party, was born at 935 High Street, Armadale, a suburb of Melbourne, Victoria, on 5 March 1899. Spicer’s father, Henry, was a photographer, born in Torquay, England, and his mother, Helen Jane,

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

SPINDLER, Siegfried Emil (1932–2008)
Senator for 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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STYLES, James (1841–1913)<br /><span class=subheader>Senator for Victoria, 1901–06 (Protectionist)</span>

STYLES, James (1841–1913)
Senator for Victoria, 1901–06 (Protectionist)

James Styles was born in Croyden, Surrey, in 1841. In 1849, his parents, William and Harriet, née Friend, migrated to Victoria. William, who had been involved in railway building in England, worked as a contractor of roads and bridges. James was educated at various Melbourne schools, including St James’ Church of England School in William Street. He was then employed by a railway contractor

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SYNON, Karen (1959–  )<br /><span class=subheader>Senator for Victoria, 1997–99 (Liberal Party of Australia)</span>

SYNON, Karen (1959– )
Senator for Victoria, 1997–99 (Liberal Party of Australia)

Karen Margaret Synon was born in Moe, Victoria on 15 September 1959 and attended Whitehorse Girls’ College and Blackburn South High School before completing a Master of Business Administration at the University of Melbourne. Prior to embarking on a parliamentary career, Synon worked in a range of community development and education roles and in a senior management role in the Victorian public service. In

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