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Members’ biographical register

Mr Thomas (Tom) Gregory Stephens

Principal Honours
Medal of the Order of Australia awarded 26 January 2014 for service to Indigenous affairs, and to the Parliament of Western Australia
Date: 15 November 1951
Place: Darlinghurst, New South Wales, Australia
Arrival in WA
Arrived Western Australia 1977
Son of John Joseph Stephens, business proprietor, and Ellen Genevieve Mulcahy
Marriage and Family
Married 29 September 1984, Crawley, Western Australia to Ann Elizabeth Davidson, daughter of John Noel Durack and Joan Rodoreda
Children: one son and two daughters
St John’s Primary School and St Gregory’s Agricultural College, Campbelltown, NSW and St Patrick’s Seminary, Manly, NSW
Australian National University—BA
Studied for Catholic priesthood 1970–1976
Research officer
Employment History
Worked with Aboriginal communities in Kimberley 1977–1980, ran small business offering accountancy and advisory service
Research officer to Graham Campbell, Member of the House of Representatives for Kalgoorlie 1980–1982
Member Western Australian Iron Ore Industry Consultative Council delegation to Scandinavia and northern Europe in 1987
President Kununurra branch Australian Labor Party 1978–1981
President Pilbara Electorate Council 1981–1982
Date Elected
31 July 1982
Inaugural Speech
Inaugural Video
Search for speeches by Tom Stephens
Year Retired/Resigned
North; Mining and Pastoral; Central–Kimberley–Pilbara; Pilbara
Parliamentary Service

  • MLC North Province* 31 July 1982–21 May 1989. Elected to the Thirtieth Parliament for North Province at the by-election on 31 July 1982 held to fill the vacancy consequent upon the resignation of William Robert Withers. Re-elected 1983.
  • MLC Mining and Pastoral Region 22 May 1989–16 September 2004. Elected for Mining and Pastoral Region from 22 May 1989. Re-elected 1993, 1996, 2001 (for term commencing 22 May 2001). Resigned on 16 September 2004 as a Member of the Legislative Council to contest the federal seat of Kalgoorlie.
  • MLA Central–Kimberley–Pilbara 26 February 2005–6 September 2008. Elected to the Legislative Assembly for Central Kimberley-Pilbara (new seat) on 26 February 2005. Seat abolished in the redistribution of 2007.
  • MLA Pilbara 6 September 2008–9 March 2013. Elected to the Thirty Eighth Parliament for Pilbara (new seat) on 6 September 2008. Did not contest the general election of 9 March 2013.

  • Deputy Government Whip in Legislative Council 1983–1990
  • Deputy Chairman of Committees 7 August 1983–1984
  • Parliamentary Secretary of State 30 April 1990–26 November 1992 (from 20 November 1990) to the Minister for Transport, Racing and Gaming, and Tourism; from 19 March 1991 to the Minister for State Development, and the Goldfields; and from 29 September 1992 to the Minister for State Development, Goldfields and MidWest)
  • Minister for Services, Gascoyne, Mid West and Wheatbelt 26 November 1992–16 February 1993
  • Deputy Government Whip in Legislative Council 1983–1990
  • Leader of the Opposition in the Legislative Council 20 December 1996–16 February 2001
  • Shadow Minister for Aboriginal Affairs; Regional Development; North West and Gascoyne 15 January 1997–10 February 2001
  • Secretary Parliamentary Labor Party 16 February 1993–15 January 1997
  • Minister for Housing, Works and Services, the Kimberley and Gascoyne 16 February 2001–1 July 2001
  • Minister for Housing and Works, Local Government and Regional Development, and the Kimberley, Pilbara and Gascoyne 1 July 2001–27 June 2003
  • Minister for Local Government and Regional Development, Heritage; the Kimberley, Pilbara and Gascoyne, and for Goldfields–Esperance 27 June 2003–16 September 2004

  • Chairman (until May 1990) and member Standing Committee on Government Agencies 7 September 1989–June 1990
  • Member Library Committee 1986–1987
  • Additional member Estimates and Financial Operations Committee September 1990–October 1990
  • Member Joint House Committee 23 June 1993–10 June 1998
  • Member Legislation Committee 18 March 1999–27 October 1999
  • Member Select Committee on Aboriginal Poverty in Western Australia 29 May 1984–26 November 1985
  • Member Select Committee on the Allocation of Funds by the Aboriginal Liaison Committee 15 July 1986–19 November 1986
  • Member Select Committee on State Funding of Aboriginal Programs 14 June–15 December 1988
  • Member Select Committee on Burswood Management Limited 31 May–23 August 1988
  • Member Select Committee on a Matter of Privilege relating to the Burswood Management Limited Select Committee 16–24 June 1988
  • Member Select Committee on the SEC of WA Advanced Coal Purchase from Western Collieries Ltd 29 November 1988–15 December 1988
  • Member Select Committee on a Matter of Privilege on the Easton Petition presented by Hon John Halden 11 November 1992–14 December 1992
  • Member Select Committee on Cape Range National Park and Ningaloo Marine Park 1 December 1994–15 December 1995
  • Member Select Committee to review the Legislative Council Standing Committee System 26 June 1997–27 August 1997
  • Chairman Select Committee on Native Title Rights 17 September 1997–10 November 1998
  • Chairman Select Committee on Native Title Legislation 1–10 December 1998
  • Chairman Standing Committee on Education and Health 7 April 2005–7 August 2000
  • Member Community Development and Justice Standing Committee from 13 November 2008 to 30 January 2013

Commonwealth Parliamentary Association
  • Represented Western Australian branch Commonwealth Parliamentary Association at 35th General Conference, Barbados, 1989
  • 11th Australasian Pacific Regional Seminar, Western Samoa and South Australia, 1994
  • 16th Australian and Pacific Regional Conference, Raragtonga, October 2005

  • Trustee Parliamentary Superannuation Fund 9 April 1992–6 February 2003 and from November 2008

  • Contested Kalgoorlie (House of Representatives) 9 October 2004
Private Member's Bills
Workplace Agreements (Provision of Choice) Amendment Bill 1998 Bill Defeated - 30/6/1999
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. 242.
It's an Honour website. Accessed 28 March 2019
Parliament of Western Australia, Former Members, Parliament of Western Australia website, accessed 21 May 2014.,+Thomas+(Tom)+Gregory?opendocument
Further Information
Press Gallery Report, 13 August 1982.
Transcript of an interview with Hon. Thomas Gregory Stephens OAM, b. 1951-
Stephens, Thomas Gregory, Oral History.pdfStephens, Thomas Gregory, Oral History.pdf