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VALLENTINE, Josephine (1946–  )<br /><span class=subheader>Senator, Western Australia, 1985–92 (Nuclear Disarmament Party; Independent; Greens WA)</span>

VALLENTINE, Josephine (1946– )
Senator, Western Australia, 1985–92 (Nuclear Disarmament Party; Independent; Greens WA)

Josephine (Jo) Vallentine was born on 30 May 1946 in the wheatbelt town of Beverley, east of Perth, one of five children of Oswald Robert Vallentine, a farmer, and his wife Sylvia Cyclone, née Miles. Jo attributed her desire to make a difference in the world to several influences. She regarded both her grandfathers as ‘the types to make things happen’ and was impressed

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WILLESEE, Donald Robert (1916–2003)<br /> <span class=subheader>Senator for Western Australia, 1950–75 (Australian Labor Party)</span>

WILLESEE, Donald Robert (1916–2003)
Senator for Western Australia, 1950–75 (Australian Labor Party)

Donald Robert Willesee was born on 14 April 1916 at Derby, Western Australia, second son of William Robert Willesee, a ‘hard drinking’ drover, cattle buyer and stock inspector, and Ethel May, née Wrightson (also known as Flinders), a boarding house proprietor. The family moved to Carnarvon, where Don attended state and convent schools. The cosmopolitan population of Carnarvon, its proximity to Asian ports, and

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WHEELDON, John Murray (1929–2006)<br /> <span class=subheader>Senator for Western Australia, 1965–81 (Australian Labor Party)</span>

WHEELDON, John Murray (1929–2006)
Senator for Western Australia, 1965–81 (Australian Labor Party)

Intellectual, lawyer, anti-war protestor, Labor senator, journalist and ‘Orwellian socialist with anarchist tendencies’, John Murray Wheeldon was born on 9 August 1929 at Subiaco, Perth. He was the son of Murray Walter Wheeldon, bank official, and Marjorie Lillian, née Cartwright, nurse and daughter of Tom Cartwright, prominent unionist and founding president of the Fremantle Trades Hall. Despite his maternal heritage, his early political direction

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COOKE, Joseph Alfred (1904–1981)<br /> <span class=subheader>Senator for Western Australia, 1947–51, 1952–65 (Australian Labor Party)</span>

COOKE, Joseph Alfred (1904–1981)
Senator for Western Australia, 1947–51, 1952–65 (Australian Labor Party)

Joseph Alfred Cooke, whose family name of Cook acquired an ‘e’ on his parents’ marriage certificate, was born in Perth on 28 March 1904, sixth child of Charles John Cook, a draper, and Elizabeth Anne, née Doonan. Elizabeth came from a well-to-do family of grocers and drapers in Fremantle. Joe’s early childhood was spent at Jarrahdale. From 1914 the family lived in the south-west

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HARRIS, John (1890–1974)<br /> <span class=subheader>Senator for Western Australia,  1947–51, 1953–59 (Australian Labor Party)</span>

HARRIS, John (1890–1974)
Senator for Western Australia, 1947–51, 1953–59 (Australian Labor Party)

John Harris, blacksmith and union official, was born at Granville, New South Wales, on 3 December 1890. His father, also John Harris, hailed from south Wales in the United Kingdom, and his mother, Amy Florence, née Ellis, was born in Adelaide, South Australia. When John was about ten years old the Harris family moved to Perth, where he completed his primary education at Cottesloe

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NASH, Richard Harry (1890–1951)<br /> <span class=subheader>Senator for Western Australia, 1943–51 (Australan Labor Party)</span>

NASH, Richard Harry (1890–1951)
Senator for Western Australia, 1943–51 (Australan Labor Party)

Richard Harry Nash was born on 2 July 1890 in Ascot Vale, Victoria, to Harry Avers Nash, a storeman, and Elizabeth Phoebe, née Stroud, who had emigrated from England. In 1897 Dick, as he was known, and his parents arrived in Kalgoorlie. After attending Lake View State School near Boulder, he trained as a junior mechanic, but in 1904 joined the staff of the

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DUNCAN-HUGHES, John Grant (1882–1962)<br /> <span class=subheader>Senator for South Australia, 1931–38 (United Australia Party)</span>

DUNCAN-HUGHES, John Grant (1882–1962)
Senator for South Australia, 1931–38 (United Australia Party)

John Grant Duncan-Hughes, lawyer and pastoralist, was born into the politically minded Duncan family on 1 September 1882 at ‘Hughes Park’, near Watervale, South Australia. He was the eldest of the four sons of John James (later Sir John) Duncan, pastoralist and politician, and Jean Gordon, née Grant. His brother Walter would become a member of the South Australian Legislative Council from 1918 to

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HENDERSON, Christopher George (1857–1933)<br /><span class=subheader>Senator for Western Australia, 1904–23 (Australian Labor Party; National Labour Party; Nationalist Party)</span>

HENDERSON, Christopher George (1857–1933)
Senator for Western Australia, 1904–23 (Australian Labor Party; National Labour Party; Nationalist Party)

Christopher George Henderson was born at Bedlington, Northumberland, England, on 19 August 1857, to George Henderson of Rothesay, Scotland, and Jane, née Short. At the time of her son’s birth, Jane could neither read nor write. Christoper George began his working life at the age of eight or nine years as a pony boy in a Northumberland coal mine. At fifteen, he became a

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NEEDHAM, Edward (1874–1956)<br /><span class=subheader>Senator for Western Australia, 1907–20, 1923–29 (Australian Labor Party)</span>

NEEDHAM, Edward (1874–1956)
Senator for Western Australia, 1907–20, 1923–29 (Australian Labor Party)

Edward (Ted) Needham was born at Ormskirk in Lancashire, probably on 30 September 1874. His parents were Patrick Needham, a labourer, and Margaret, née Fahy, both of Irish Roman Catholic background. Ted Needham was very short of stature. During his years in the Senate, he and another Labor senator, Arthur Rae, used to ridicule each other’s lack of height. Once, when asked by a

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