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Members’ biographical register

Ian George Medcalf

Principal Honours
Awarded Efficiency Decoration (ED) 1961
Officer of the Order of Australia (AM) awarded 8 June 1992 for service to the law, to the Western Australian Parliament and to the community
Date: 12 July 1918
Place: Claremont, Western Australia
Son of Ferdinand George Medcalf, licensed surveyor, and Rita Stephens Fry
Marriage and Family
Married 13 April 1944, St George’s College Chapel, Crawley to Winifred Maxine Love, daughter of John Alexander Love and Winifred May Addis
Children: one son and two daughters
Date: 1 May 2011
Place: Bethesda Hospital, Claremont, Western Australia
Cemetery: Karrakatta Cemetery, Western Australia
Church of England
Educated Albany Infants and Primary School, Albany High School and Scotch College
University of Western Australia, 1937–1941 (attended St George’s College)—LLB
Lawyer and university lecturer
Employment History
Barrister and solicitor
With Cameron Highlanders 1939–1941
Enlisted Australian Imperial Force 9 July 1942, commissioned Lieutenant

Served with 16th Battalion at Darwin, New Britain and New Guinea
Discharged 30 January 1946
Continued with Citizens’ Military Forces as Commanding Officer WA University Regiment
(Lieutenant-Colonel) 1958–1962, then in Australian Army Legal Corps with rank of Major until 1973
Articled law clerk 1946–1948
Employed as solicitor 1948–1951; partner (senior partner from 1968) in Robinson, Cox and Co 1951–1975
Queen's Counsel 1977
Consultant to Robinson Cox (later Clayton Utz) 1984–1998
Lecturer on real property and conveyancing at University of Western Australia 1949–1952
Joined Liberal Party 1960
Chairman West Perth branch, later president Perth Division, Chairman Joint Policy Committee 1966–1975 and 1986–1990
Member State Council, State Executive and delegate to several federal conferences after leaving Parliament Chairman Policy Committee
Date Elected
22 May 1968
Inaugural Speech
Inaugural Video
No inaugural video is available as filming did not start until May 2003
Search for speeches by Ian Medcalf
Year Retired/Resigned
Parliamentary Service
  • MLC Metropolitan Province 22 May 1968–21 May 1986

  • Hon Minister 18 June 1975–22 December 1975
  • Attorney-General, Minister for Federal Affairs and Minister for Police (from 30 December 1982) 22 December 1975–25 February 1983
  • Leader of the Government in the Legislative Council 5 Mar 1980–25 February 1983
  • Leader of the Opposition in the Legislative Council 25 February 1983–30 June 1984
  • Shadow Minister Attorney General, Inter-Governmental Relations March 1983–13 March 1984; for Attorney General, Prisons and Federal Affairs 13 March 1984–June 1984

  • Member Select Committee on a Matter of Privilege 18 October–20 December 1983
  • Chairman Select Committee on Mining Act Amendment Bill 1985

  • State Government representative on Advisory Council for Inter-Governmental Relations 1977–1983
  • WA Parliamentary delegate to Constitutional Conventions 1973, 1976, 1978, 1983, 1985
Life member Law Society secretary later member committee and council and vice-president (1966–1968) also chairman of Law Trusts (Inc.), superannuation fund for the society
Member Law Reform Committee
Member Barristers’ Board 1964–1968 and from 1983, chairman (ex officio) 1975–1983
Hon solicitor for numerous charitable organisations and public bodies including Princess Margaret Hospital and
Return Services League of Australia (life member)
The Magistrate journal of Royal Association of Justices of WA 1948–1951
Chairman WA Board CML Assurance Society 1964–1975, member WA Board Elders-GM (1957–1976), director Perpetual Trustees (WA) Ltd and Perpetual Finance Ltd (1968–1975)
Founding member National Trust of Australia (WA), variously deputy chairman, chairman(1966–1968) and later (1968–1987) vice-president and (1987–1993) president
Also president and member Australia Council of National Trusts
Member Perth Legacy
Member Councils of St George’s College (Vice chairman 1994–1996) and Scotch College (1966–1970)
Awarded English medal Leaving Certificate 1935
While at University of WA rowed in university crew (half blue for rowing 1939) and played A grade rugby, member University premiership team 1940
Member Cottesloe Golf, Naval and Military and Weld Clubs
Resided in Nedlands since 1952
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. 179-180.
Further Information
Transcript of interview with Erica Harvey 1993–1994 (State Library and WA Parliament Library)

West Australian, 6 May 2011.