THE PREMIERS

of Western Australia

 

Parliament House Perth

 

 

 

 

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This page lists all West Australia Governors but more detailed information on some can be found by clicking on their respective biography links.

 

Thank you to the J.S. Battye Library, the Constitutional Centre of Western Australia, National Library of Australia, ICRAR, The Age Newspaper, Australian War Memorial, State Library of W.A., News.com.au and Wikipedia for some of the images used in this section.

 

Related pages:

Government | Local Government Websites | Governors

 

PREMIERS

 

John Forrest 1890-1901
John Forrest
Biography link for John Forrest

 

George Throssell 1901
George Throssell
George Throssell was born in Ireland and came to Australia at the age of 10 with his father. After serving as Mayor of Northam he entered state parliament in 1890. He took over as Premier when John Forrest resigned but only lasted a short time in what became an unstable time in W.A. politics. His son, Hugo Throssell, won the Victoria Cross at Gallipoli in 1915.

 

George Leake 1901
George Leake

 

Alfred Edward Morgans 1901
Alfred Edward Morgans
Alfred Morgans was born in Wales and spent 18 years living in Mexico. He spoke fluent Spanish and was interested in Mexican culture and history. He arrived in W.A. in 1896 as a businessman and developed mining and property investments. He became MLA for Coolgardie in 1897. His term as Premier was short and he did not attempt to get re-elected when his term expired.

 

George Leake (again) 1901-1902

 

Walter Hartwell James 1902-1904
Walter Hartwell James
Walter James was born in Perth in 1863. He had a varied career, working first as a jackeroo and then moving on to be a lawyer. He survived a shipwreck off Rottnest in 1883 and went on to win the seat of East Perth in 1894. He was a member of the WA delegation to the Federal Convention 1897 and 1898 and campaigned for federation. He took over as premier when George Leake died. After his time in politics he returned to the law and also became Chancellor of the University of W.A. Walter turned down an offer to become Lieutenant-Governor of WA.

 

Henry Daglish 1904-1905
Henry Daglish
Henry Daglish was the first Labor Premier of the state.

 

Cornthwaite Hector William James Rason 1905-1906
Cornthwaite Hector William James Rason
Hector Rason was born in England in 1858. He originally worked as a railway clerk. He came to W.A. in 1880 but went back to England after 18 months. He came back again in 1883 and set up business as a shop keeper in Toodyay. He later worked on the goldfields and became mayor of Guildford in 1888. In 1889 he became MLC for the seat of Swan. In 1897 he became MLA for the seat of South Murchison. In 1904 he became Leader of the Opposition and the following year won office as Premier. He gave himself an appointment to London and promptly resigned as Premier. He died in England in 1927.

 

Newton James Moore 1906-1910
Newton James Moore
Newton Moore was born in Fremantle in 1880. On leaving school he worked as a shop assistant before taking up training as a land agent and surveyor. Much of his surveying was done around the towns of Collie, Pinjarra, Bunbury and Busselton and he later became Mayor of Bunbury. His first attempt to win office in state parliament was not successful but in 1904 he won the seat of Bunbury. He became Premier when Rason resigned. Moore also resigned due to ill health and was appointed Agent General in London. He he was also appointed General Officer Commanding Australian Imperial Forces in the Britain. He was elected to the British House of Commons in 1918 and served for 14 years before becomming president of the British Empire Steel Corporation.

 

Frank Wilson 1910-1911
Frank Wilson
Born in England, Frank Wilson was appointed to the Legislative Council in 1897. After his seat was abolished he contested and won the seat of Perth in 1901 for the Liberal Party. He was defeated in the same year and stood again in 1904 and held the seat until 1917 when he lost by a margin of only 4 votes. He died the following year.

 

John Scaddan 1911-1916
John Scaddan
John Scaddan was born in S.A. and moved to Victoria where he worked as a miner. In 1896 he moved to W.A. and worked in Kalgoorlie. In 1904 he was elected member for Ivanhoe and in 1910 became the leader of the Labor Party. After losing office in 1916 he joined the Nationalist Party and served as Minister for Railways in James Mitchells government.

 

Frank Wilson (again) 1916-1917

 

Henry Bruce Lefroy 1917-1919
Henry Bruce Lefroy
Henry Lefroy was born in 1854 and after starting school in Perth he went to England to complete his education. He returned in 1873 and went to manage the family property Victoria Plains, near Moora. He served on the Victoria Plains Road Board and entered parliament in 1892. He was sent to London as WAs Agent General and some time after his return, stood for the seat of Moore again and won. In 1917 the ALP split over the issue of conscription and Lefroy formed a nationalist government and became Premier. Lefroy was not a strong leader and resigned as Premier in 1919 but continued to hold the seat of Moore uintil the next election. He died in 1930.

 

Hal Pateshall Colebatch 1919-1919
Hal Pateshall Colebatch
Hal Pateshall Colebatch remained in office for just 1 month and was the only member of the Legislative Council to become Premier. He also wrote a history of W.A. called - The Story of a Hundred Years. Western Australia 1829-1929

 

James Mitchell 1919-1924
James Mitchell

 

Philip Collier 1924-1930
Philip Collier

 

James Mitchell (again) 1930-1933

 

Phillip Collier (again) 1933-1936

 

John Collings Willcock 1936-1945
John Collings Willcock
John Collings Willcock came to W.A. from N.S.W. He won the seat of Geraldton for the labor party in 1917. He became Premier when Phillip Collier resigned in 1936. He in turn resigned - due to ill health - in 1945.

 

Frank Joseph Scott Wise 1945-1947
Frank Joseph Scott Wise
Frank Joseph Scott Wise was born in Queensland. He joined the Labor Party and was elected to the seat of Gascoyne in 1933. He was the first Premier from a north west seat. He became Premier when John Wilcock resigned.

 

Duncan Ross McLarty 1947-1953
Duncan Ross McLarty
Ross Mclarty took part in World War One and was awarded the Military Medal in 1918. His Scottish ancestors had settled in Pinjarra where Ross was subsequently born. In 1930 he won the seat of Murray-Wellington and became leader of the Liberal Party in 1946. He resigned in 1962 and died just a few months later.

 

Albert Redvers George Hawke 1953-1959
Albert Redvers George Hawke
Albert Redvers George Hawke was the uncle of later Prime Minister, Bob Hawke. He won the seat of Northam from long serving politician and former Premier James Mitchell. In 1928 Hawke came to W.A. from S.A. where he had already served one term in office at the tender age of 23. He held the seat of Northam for 35 years and on retirement returned to S.A.

 

David Brand 1959-1971
David Brand

 

John Trezise Tonkin 1971-1974
John Trezise Tonkin
John Tonkin was born in Boulder in 1902 and worked as a teacher before entering politics. Until 1983 he was the only Labor Premier born in W.A. He won the seat of North East Fremantle in 1933. In 1967 he became leader of the state Labor Party and won the 1971 state election.

 

Charles Walter Michael Court 1974-1982
Charles Walter Michael Court

 

Raymond James O'Connor 1982-1983
Raymond James O Connor

 

Brian Thomas Burke 1983-1988
Brian Thomas Burke

 

Peter McCallum Dowding 1988-1990
Peter McCallum Dowding

 

Carmen Mary Lawrence 1990-1993
Carmen Mary Lawrence

 

Richard Fairfax Court 1993-2001
Richard Fairfax Court

 

Geoffrey Ian Gallop 2001-2005
Geoffrey Ian Gallop

 

Alan John Carpenter 2006-2008
Alan John Carpenter
Alan Carpenter was born in Albany in 1957. Initially working as a journalist he changed to politics in 1996 and won the seat of Willagee. He became Premier after the resignation of Geoff Gallop.

 

Colin James Barnett 2008-2017
Colin James Barnett

 

Mark McGowan 2017-Current
Mark McGowan

 

Rodger Cook 2023-Current
Rodger Cook

 

First female member of Parliament.

Edith Cowan elected to the seat of West Perth in 1921.

Australia's First Female Premier

The first female Premier was Dr. Carmen Lawrence who showed every sign of being able to move successfully from state politics into the Federal arena and possibly even The Lodge. For a variety of reasons this never eventuated. She resigned from parliament in 2007.

 

 

 

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