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Members’ biographical register

Hon Derrick Gordon Tomlinson

Date: 31 January 1941
Place: Subiaco, Western Australia
Son of Bertie William Tomlinson, wharf labourer, and Kathleen Elizabeth Freshwater
Marriage and Family
Married (1) 7 July 1962, St Andrews Church (Presbyterian), Perth to Jennifer Ann Manning
Children: one son and one daughter
Married (2) 9 November 1987, Perth to Marilyn (Marnie) Heather O’Neill, university lecturer, daughter of Terence Roy O’Neill and Isabel Wilmot Easthope Sykes
Children: one son
Not stated
Educated Rivervale State School, Perth Boys’ School and Midland High School
University of Western Australia and Claremont Teachers College (1959–1962)—BA 1962, BEd 1971, MEd 1976
MACE and Member Australian Association for Research in Education
Notre Dame–PhD 2008
University lecturer
Employment History
School teacher Kwinana High School 1963–1964 and Geraldton Senior High School 1965–1967
Senior master English Esperance High School 1968 and Perth Modern School 1969–1973
Seconded to Board Secondary Education as Moderator of English 1974–May 1975
Senior research officer Australasian Council of Educational Research in Victoria 1975–1976
Lecturer Mt Lawley College of Advanced Education 1977, seconded in September to Schools Commission in Canberra to research alternative methods of funding schools
Temporary lecturer University of Western Australia 1978 and at Claremont Teachers College 1979
Lecturer, then senior lecturer at University of WA from 1980 and Director, Centre for Research on Rural Education (formerly National Centre for Research on Rural Education) 1982–1989
Consultant Commonwealth Schools Commission
Joined Geraldton branch of Liberal Party 1965, became president
Secretary, vice-president and president Dianella branch
President Fremantle Division from 1984
State vice-president from 1987
Member State Executive 1984–1988 and delegate to State Council for several years
Date Elected
22 May 1989
Inaugural Speech
Inaugural Video
No inaugural video is available as filming did not start until May 2003
Search for speeches by Derrick Tomlinson
Year Retired/Resigned
East Metropolitan
Parliamentary Service

  • MLC East Metropolitan Region 22 May 1989–21 May 2005. Elected to the Thirty-third Parliament for East Metropolitan Region from 22 May 1989. Re-elected 1993, 1996, 2001 (for term commencing 22 May 2001). Retired 21 May 2005.
  • Shadow Minister for Justice, Protection of Individual Rights, and Public Sector Management 17 June 1990–August 1991; for Justice August 1991–24 May 1992; for Housing 24 May 1992–24 November 1992; for Indigenous Affairs, and Community Services (until 31 December 2001) 16 February 2001–21 May 2005

  • Deputy Chairman of Committees 22 June 1993–10 January 2001
  • Member Standing Committee on Legislation 16 May 1990 (chairman from 3 August 1993)–14 November 1996
  • Member Standing Orders Committee 23 June 1993–10 January 2001
  • Chairman Joint Standing Committee on Anti-Corruption Commission 30 October 1996–10 January 2001 and 1 August 2001 (member from 27 June 2001)– 13 May 2004
  • Chairman Select Committee on Land Use in the Darling Range Escarpment and Foothills 23 November 1989–27 September 1990
  • Chairman Select Committee on WA Police Service 25 November 1993–14 November 1996
  • Chairman Select Committee to Consider the Release of Documents from the Select Committee on the WA Police Service 2 June 1997–16 September 1997
  • Member Select Committee on Acts to be Considered for Repeal 28 September 1989–11 July 1990
  • Member Select Committee on Achievements of Indigenous People of Australia 11 June 1991–4 June 1992
  • Member Select Committee on Batavia Relics 23 September 1992–1 December 1992
  • Member Select Committee on a Matter of Privilege relating to Police Surveillance of Hon Reg Davies 22 October 1992–1 December 1992
  • Member Select Committee to Review the Legislative Council Standing Committee system 26 June 1997–27 August 1997
  • Member Select Committee on a Matter of Privilege relating to Report No. 24 of the Estimates and Financial Operations Committee 21 October 1998–8 December 1998
  • Member Select Committee on the Reserves (Reserve 43131) Bill 2003 25 June 2003–18 November 2004
  • Member Joint Select Committee on the Constitution 29 August 1990–24 October 1991

Commonwealth Parliamentary Association
  • Represented WA branch of the Commonwealth Parliamentary Association at Commonwealth Parliamentary Seminar, Perth, May 1993; and at 12th Australasian and Pacific Regional Seminar, New Zealand and New South Wales, 1996


  • Contested Perth (House of Representatives) 2 December 1972, 18 May 1974
Family lived at Harvey and South Perth until 1944 and then at Rivervale
Member English Advisory Committee of Board of Secondary Education and member Joint Syllabus Committee in English 1977–1984, chairman Examining panel in TAE English 1977–1979, 1981–1983, 1985–1986
Chairman examining panel for Multiple Choice Reading Comprehension test for TEE English from 1986
Member Rural Education Association
Member Board of Management of Fremantle Arts Centre Press from 1980, chairman in 1982–1983
Member Parliamentary History Advisory Committee from December 2009
Numerous publications and conference papers including (with I Birch and I Hind):
  • Intergovernmental Relations in Australian Education (Canberra, 1979)
  • The Liberal Party, Politics and Education Policy, Australian Education Review, No. 8, 1977
  • Finance for Education in Australia, Development 1969–1975, Australian Education Review, No. 5, 1976
BA, BEd, MEd, PhD
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. 256.
Parliament of Western Australia, Former Members, Parliament of Western Australia website. Accessed 21 May 2014.
Further Information