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BJELKE-PETERSEN, Florence Isabel (1920–  )<br /><span class=subheader>Senator for Queensland, 1981–1993 (National Country Party; National Party of Australia)</span>

BJELKE-PETERSEN, Florence Isabel (1920– )
Senator for Queensland, 1981–1993 (National Country Party; National Party of Australia)

Florence Bjelke-Petersen was born Florence Isabel Gilmour, in Brisbane on 11 August 1920, eldest of two daughters of James Pollock Gilmour, an accountant and company secretary, and his wife Florence Mabel, née Low. Growing up in the Brisbane riverside suburb of New Farm, her childhood was a secure and happy one, embedded in a contented family life. Florence began her schooling at the New

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GEORGES, George (1920–2002)<br /><span class=subheader>Senator for Queensland, 1968–87 (Australian Labor Party; Independent)</span>

GEORGES, George (1920–2002)
Senator for Queensland, 1968–87 (Australian Labor Party; Independent)

George Georgouras was born in Darwin on 15 April 1920, the fourth of seven children of Athanasios Georgouras and his wife Panayiota, née Stergoulis. Athanasios came from Castellorizo, an isolated island off the southeast coast of Greece with a ‘difficult and tragic history’ of political troubles that led many of its inhabitants to flee to Australia. He immigrated to Australia in 1912 and started

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

SOWADA, Karin Nicole (1961– )
Senator for 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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McCLELLAND, Douglas (1926–  ) <br /><span class=subheader>Senator for New South Wales, 1962–87 (Australian Labor Party)</span>

McCLELLAND, Douglas (1926– )
Senator for New South Wales, 1962–87 (Australian Labor Party)

Douglas McClelland was born on 5 August 1926, in Wentworthville, NSW, the son of Alfred McClelland, union organiser and farmer, and his wife Gertrude Amy, née Cooksley. Alfred was a NSW Labor MLA for the seats of Northern Tablelands (1920–27) and Dubbo (1930–32). Douglas was educated at Wentworthville Public School, Parramatta High School and the Metropolitan Business College, Parramatta. After leaving school he worked

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SHERRINGTON, Robert Duncan (1902–1966)<br /> <span class=subheader>Senator for Queensland, 1962–66 (Liberal Party of Australia)</span>

SHERRINGTON, Robert Duncan (1902–1966)
Senator for Queensland, 1962–66 (Liberal Party of Australia)

Robert Duncan Sherrington devoted most of his life to the sugar industry and to the Queensland Liberal Party. He was born in Maryborough, Queensland, on 21 January 1902, the son of James McGowan Sherrington, driller, and Mary Ellen, née Crane. He was the cousin of Douglas Sherrington, who represented the Queensland state electorate of Salisbury for the Labor Party between 1960 and 1974. Growing

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WHITESIDE, George Irvine (1902–1976)<br /> <span class=subheader>Senator for Queensland, 1962–63 (Australian Labor Party)</span>

WHITESIDE, George Irvine (1902–1976)
Senator for Queensland, 1962–63 (Australian Labor Party)

George Irvine Whiteside was born in Footscray, Victoria, on 20 September 1902, son of John Whiteside, a fitter born in Rochford, Victoria, and Caroline, née Hale, born in Wigan, England. Educated in state schools, in his youth Whiteside was an active sportsman and a noted amateur boxer. His first job was in a Victorian stone quarry. In 1917 he joined the Australian Workers’ Union

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GAIR, Vincent Clare (1901–1980)<br /> <span class=subheader>Senator for Queensland, 1965–74 (Democratic Labor Party)</span>

GAIR, Vincent Clare (1901–1980)
Senator for Queensland, 1965–74 (Democratic Labor Party)

Vincent Clare Gair was born in Rockhampton, Queensland, on 25 February 1901. He was the eighth of the ten children of John Alexander Gair, prison warder, and Catherine Mary, née Maguire. John Gair immigrated to Queensland from Scotland in 1885, where he had worked as a publican and hospital orderly. He was a ‘strict disciplinarian’ and ‘a life-long supporter of the Labour Party’, but

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BROWN, Gordon (1885–1967)<br /> <span class=subheader>Senator for Queensland, 1932–65 (Australian Labor Party)</span>

BROWN, Gordon (1885–1967)
Senator for Queensland, 1932–65 (Australian Labor Party)

Gordon Brown was a radical left-wing activist, who mellowed to become a colourful, audacious and popular Labor senator. He was born on 11 February 1885 in Chesterfield, Derbyshire, son of William Brown and his wife Jane, née Woodcock. His father, a Methodist lay preacher, managed a bootshop. Gordon grew up in a large and devout household, which inspired ‘a Christian motivation’ that he would

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COOPER, Sir Walter Jackson (1888–1973)<br /> <span class=subheader>Senator for Queensland, 1928–32, 1935–68 (Country and Progressive National Party; Australian Country Party)</span>

COOPER, Sir Walter Jackson (1888–1973)
Senator for Queensland, 1928–32, 1935–68 (Country and Progressive National Party; Australian Country Party)

Walter Jackson Cooper, grazier and Minister for Repatriation in the Menzies Government, was described by political commentator Don Whitington as ‘a quiet, hard working, earnest man, well liked by his colleagues and his staff’. He was born in England on 23 April 1888 at Cheetham, Lancashire, the son of Joseph Pollitt Cooper, a salesman, and Sarah, née Jackson. Educated at Bedford Grammar School, Bedford,

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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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