Father of the House


This is the autobiography of the man dubbed ‘one of the best parliamentarians Australia has ever had’.

Beazley’s career in politics spanned three eras of Australian politics and thirty-two years of service. By the time he retired, he was affectionately known as ‘the Father of the House’. As Minister for Education 1972-75 he is remembered for the abolition of university fees and transforming education in Australia, introducing needs-based funding which solved a long-running problem.

Beazley championed Aboriginal rights at a time when this cause was unpopular with mainstream opinion. “If you do not accept the importance of conscience, you accept only the importance of power,” he once said. He was far ahead of his time and it was not until he had left Parliament that he had the satisfaction of seeing his stance vindicated when Prime Minister Kevin Rudd apologised to the Aboriginal people on behalf of the Australian government.