The Honourable Kim Beazley, Federal Member for Brand, served in the Federal Parliament from1980.
His Ministerial career began in 1983 with the first Hawke Government and matured into his election as Leader of the Opposition and Leader of the Federal Parliamentary Labor Party in 1996 where he served until the general election in 2001.
Kim’s indelible leadership and vision for the future secure his position in the Australian political landscape.
Kim Beazley was elected to the Federal Parliament in 1980 and represented the electorates of Swan (1980-96) and Brand (1996-2007).
Mr Beazley was a Minister in the Hawke and Keating Labor Governments (1983- 96) holding, at various times, the portfolios of Defence, Finance, Transport and Communications, Employment Education and Training, Aviation, and Special Minister of State. On 15 February 1988 Kim Beazley was appointed Government Leader in the House of Representatives and Vice-President of the Executive Council.
In April 1990, following a general election, Kim Beazley was appointed Minister for Transport and Communications. He also served as Finance Minister from 9-27 December 1991, before being appointed to the portfolio of Minister for Employment Education and Training. He was re-appointed to the Finance portfolio in December 1993.
He was Deputy Prime Minister (1995-96) and Leader of the Australian Labor Party and Leader of the Opposition (1996-01 and 2005-06). Mr Beazley served on parliamentary committees, including the Joint Intelligence Committee and the Joint Foreign Affairs, Defence and Trade Committee.
After his retirement from politics in 2007, Mr Beazley was appointed Winthrop Professor in the Department of Politics and International Relations at the University of Western Australia. In July 2008 he was appointed Chancellor of the Australian National University, a position he held until December 2009. Mr Beazley took up his appointment as Ambassador to the United States of America in February 2010.
In 2009, Mr Beazley was awarded the Companion of the Order of Australia for service to the Parliament of Australia through contributions to the development of government policies in relation to defence and international relations, and as an advocate for Indigenous people, and to the community.
Mr Beazley was born in Perth. He completed a Bachelor of Arts and Master of Arts at the University of Western Australia. He was awarded the Rhodes Scholarship for Western Australia in 1973 and completed a Master of Philosophy at Oxford University.
Australia's situation in the world
“We live in a region of massive growth in population, economic and military capacity. We are genuinely ignorant of the way in which the distribution of power is trending against us. This will test our wisdom and our cleverness. It is the principal challenge to our political leadership."
“Related to this, is our part of the struggle with militant fundamentalist Islam. It is a war of politics, ideas -- much of it in the shadows. We are neighbours of the world's largest Islamic nation. It is a battle in which our clear vision is often distorted by politics. Understanding our opponent is crucial for all Australians. We are all engaged in this. There are no bystanders."
“Our ally is the US. We have a long record of collaboration. The detail of that collaboration is murky in the minds of most Australians. As a minister and parliamentarian, I have been a direct participant in some of the most significant events and aspects of those relationships"
“In all three areas above I can draw from personal experience."
Political leadership and the political life
“This throws up numerous humorous stories. I have been lucky to have served with and been around some real characters - Gough Whitlam, Bob Hawke, Paul Keating, Mick Young, etc. So I can go into the lighter side of electoral politics."
“Leadership is an issue in any society. It has to be said political leadership is different from business leadership - it has its strategic dimensions and is not without humour."