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Members’ biographical register

Peter M'Callum Dowding

Principal Honours
Centenary of Federation Medal 2003
Date: 6 October 1943
Place: Melbourne, Victoria, Australia
Keith M’Callum Dowding (circa 1911–26 August 2008), Presbyterian minister, and Marjorie Stuart D’Arcey (died circa 1950)
Marriage and Family
Married (1) December 1970, Perth to Candida Edwards
Children: two sons
Married (2) November 1980, Alinjarra to Jill Churnside
Children: one son and one daughter
Married (3) 19 October 1987, Old Observatory, Perth to Barbro Margareta Maria Tornquist (born 28 December 1951)
Married (4) to Benita
Not stated
Various schools in Australia and United Kingdom including Caulfield Grammar, Victoria, Kelvinside Academy, Scotland, The Scots College, New South Wales, Hale School, Perth, Western Australia (1957–1960)
University of Western Australia, Bachelor of Laws 1964
Employment History
Admitted to Bar December 1966
Barrister and solicitor from 1966
Entered partnership in 1968 as Paterson and Dowding, senior partner 1977, sold out of firm 1980, practised solely as barrister 1980–1983
Admitted as solicitor, New South Wales 1975
1976 notary public, with Aboriginal Legal Service in Port Hedland 1976–1977
After leaving Parliament practised law in New South Wales and then back in DCH Legal Group in Subiaco 1993
Awarded Senior Counsel from 2002
Barrister Francis Burt Chambers 1995
2003 barrister John Toohey Chambers
From 2008 Hudson Chambers, Fremantle
Local Government Service
Kalamunda Shire Council March 1975–April 1976
Member State Executive, Australian Labor Party
Member Administrative Committee 1983
Date Elected
22 May 1980
Inaugural Speech
Inaugural Video
Search for speeches by Peter Dowding
Year Retired/Resigned
North; Maylands
Parliamentary Service
  • MLC North Province 22 May 1980–15 January 1986 (resigned)
  • MLA Maylands 8 February 1986–26 April 1990 (resigned)

  • Premier 1988–1990
  • Minister for Mines, Fuel and Energy 25 February 1983–23 December 1983
  • Minister for Planning, Employment and Training, and Consumer Affairs 23 December 1983–20 December 1984
  • Minister for Employment and Training, Industrial Relations and Consumer Affairs (until 26 February 1986) and assisting the Minister for Public Sector Management (from 12 May 1986) 20 December 1984–16 March 1987
  • Minister for Works and Services, Labour, Productivity and Employment, assisting the Treasurer, and assisting the Minister for Public Sector Management 16 March 1987–25 February 1988
  • Premier, Treasurer (until 28 February 1989), Minister for Productivity, (until 28 February 1989) Public Sector Management and Women’s Interests 25 February 1988–12 February 1990
  • Chairman Select Committee on a Matter of Privilege 18 October–20 December 1983
Awarded Churchill Fellowship 1974
Member Western Australian Bar Association
Founder and member Family Law Practitioners Association
Member Labor Lawyers Association
Former member Federated Miscellaneous Workers Union
Participated in initiating Flying Lawyer Scheme in north-west Australia and Legal Advice Bureau
Member inaugural committee International Film Theatre 1965–1969, trustee from 1974 for several years
Chairman Friends of Festival of Perth 2006–2009
Mento Ngarluma Aboriginal Corporation from 1993
Bachelor of Laws 1964
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. 73-74.
Further Information