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The Hon Kim Beazley, AC

The Hon Kim Beazley, AC

Kim Beazley was born on 14 December 1948 in Perth. His father, the Hon Kim Edward Beazley, was a Federal Parliamentarian for more than 30 years representing the electorate of Fremantle, and was Minister for Education from December 1973 until...

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The Hon Kim Beazley, AC Travels from WA
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The Hon Kim Beazley, AC's Biography

Mr 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. 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 an appointment as Ambassador to the United States of America in February 2010. He served as Ambassador until January 2016.


Upon returning to Australia he has been appointed as President of the Australian Institute for International Affairs, Distinguished Fellow at the Australian Strategic Policy Institute, Senior Fellow at the Perth USAsia Centre and Board Member of the Australian American Leadership Dialogue.


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 Masters of Philosophy at Oxford University. He has an honorary doctorate from the University of Notre Dame (Western Australia).  He is married and has three daughters.

Speaking Topics Include

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.”