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Members’ biographical register

Norbert Michael Keenan

Principal Honours
King’s Counsel (KC) 1908; Knight (Kt) (1948)
Date: 30 January 1864
Place: Delville County, Dublin, Ireland
Arrival in WA
Emigrated to WA 1895
Son of Sir Patrick Joseph, chief of instruction National Board of Education, and Elizabeth Agnes Quin
Brother-in-law of TP Draper
Marriage and Family
Married 17 February 1900, District Registry Office Perth to Rose Elizabeth Parker (born circa 1873 and died 12 July 1959), daughter of Sir Stephen Henry Parker, politician and Amy Katherine Leake
Children: two sons
Date: 24 April 1954
Place: Subiaco, Western Australia
Cemetery: Karrakatta Cemetery, Western Australia
Educated Downside School, Somerset
Trinity College, Dublin
King’s Inn Dublin (1890)
Middle Temple, London
Employment History
Became barrister both England and Ireland
Practised law in Kalgoorlie, acted for many British investors
Local Government Service
Mayor of Kalgoorlie 1901–1905
Independent 1904
Liberal until 1917
Nationalist from 1930 to 1945, then Liberal
Independent Liberal in 1950
Leader of the Nationalist Party April 1933–April 1938
Date Elected
27 October 1905
Inaugural Speech
Keenan, Norbert Michael, Inaugural Speech.pdf
Inaugural Video
Search for speeches by Norbert Keenan
Year Retired/Resigned
Parliamentary Service
  • MLA Kalgoorlie 27 October 1905–3 October 1911; Nedlands 12 April 1930–25 March 1950
  • Contested Kalgoorlie 28 June 1904, Nedlands 25 March 1950

  • Attorney General 14 May 1906–14 May 1909 (resigned)
  • Chief Secretary and Minister for Education 24 April 1930–21 September 1931 (resigned)

Historical Notes
  • Prepared and presented WA case to Commonwealth Disabilities Commission 1925
After election to Parliament lived and practised in Perth
Vice-president Chamber of Mines
Senate University of Western Australia 1912–1918
Keen yachtsman and many years president Perth Flying Squadron
Member Nedlands Cricket Club
D Black and G Bolton, eds, Biographical Register of Members of the Parliament of Western Australia: volume two 1930-2010, Western Australian Parliamentary History Project, Perth, WA, 2011, p. 110.
Metropolitan Cemeteries Board:
Further Information
G. C. Bolton, 'Keenan, Sir Norbert Michael (1864–1954)', Australian Dictionary of Biography, National Centre of Biography, Australian National University,, published first in hardcopy 1983, accessed online 22 December 2015.
R Erickson,
The bicentennial dictionary of Western Australians, pre-1829-1888, Volume III
West Australian, 14, 15, 17 May 1909, 14 April 1930, 26 April 1954.
Western Argus, 26 September 1905.