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Members’ biographical register

Ronald Thompson

Date: 15 November 1917
Place: Fremantle, Western Australia
Son of Samuel Thompson, master carrier, and Margaret Alice Mewburn
Marriage and Family
Married (1) 24 April 1943, St John’s Church, Fremantle (Church of England) to Doris Violet Brams, daughter of Charles Alfred Frederick Brams and Alice Myrtle Steel
Children: one son and one daughter
Widowed 27 March 1986
Married (2)
Date: 16 May 2006
Place: Greenmount, Western Australia
Cemetery: Fremantle Cemetery, Western Australia
White Gum Valley Primary School and Fremantle Boys’ School to age 14 years
Perth Technical College 1931–1935 for woolclassing certificate
Waterside worker
Employment History
Worked as wool classer 1931–1939 and 1942–1945
Shopkeeper with general store in Fremantle 1939–1946
Trained female wool classers as lecturer 1939–1942
Waterside worker 14 July 1947–1959
Labor till 1977 then Independent
Joined Australian Labor Party (ALP) in 1932
Executive member Fremantle District Council 1947–1963 and delegate to State Executive
Vice-president Fremantle branch
ALP Disputes Committee 1942–1953, trustee 1953–1963
Date Elected
7 February 1959
Inaugural Speech
Thompson, Ronald, Inaugural Speech.pdf
Inaugural Video
Search for speeches by Ronald Thompson
Year Retired/Resigned
West; South
Parliamentary Service
  • MLC West* Province 7 February 1959 (by-election)–21 May 1965
  • MLC South Metropolitan Province 22 May 1965–21 May 1980

  • Government Whip 1971–1973
  • Deputy Leader of the Government in the Legislative Council
  • Minister for Community Welfare, Police and Tourism (from May 1973) 7 February 1973–8 April 1974
  • Leader of the Opposition in the Legislative Council April 1974–30 March 1976

  • Member Joint House Committee 1963–1964, 1968–1971
  • Member Standing Orders Committee 1974–1975
  • Member Library Committee 1968–1971
  • Member Honorary Royal Commission inquiring into the Fisheries Act with Application to Crayfishing in Particular 1963–1964
Member Shop Assistants’ Union 1943
Brought first successful equal-pay-for-work case on behalf of female wool classers

Member Waterside Workers’ Federation 1947–1959, variously vice-president, acting president, secretary and vigilance officer
Co-organiser of Swan Boys Cottage Homes 1948–1970s
Executive member Fremantle Police and Citizens’ Youth Club
Held honorary positions with many local organisations
In younger days fought several professional bouts as a boxer
Also active in cycling and shooting
In retirement lived in Hilton Park
Wool classing certificate
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. 253–254.
Police News, May 1973, p. 2.
West Australian, 26 May 2006.
Western Australian Parliamentary Debate, 23 May 2006, p. 2925–2927.
Western Sun, December 1973.
Further Information