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Members’ biographical register

Robert Hetherington

Principal Honours
Medal of the Order of Australia (OAM) awarded 14 June 2004 for service to the community, particularly through the Schizophrenia Fellowship, and to the Western Australian Parliament
Date: 8 January 1923
Place: Mt Gambier, South Australia, Australia
Son of Kenneth Harold Hetherington, life assurance representative, and Susan Minnie Goodfellow
Marriage and Family
Married 6 July 1951, South Australia to Penelope Loveday, university senior lecturer and historian, daughter of Ronald Redvers Loveday (South Australian MHA 1956–1968 and Minister of the Crown 1965–1968) and Lizzie Hillary Mills
Children: two sons and one daughter
Date: 30 January 2015
Place: Highgate, Western Australia
Cemetery: Taken by Funeral Director at Karrakatta Cemetery, Western Australia
Educated Mt Gambier Primary School, Moonta and Kadina High Schools, South Australia; Box Hill High School, Victoria, 1937–1938
University of Adelaide 1947–1950, BA (Hons) in History and Political Science 1951
University lecturer
Employment History
Junior clerk, WD & HO Wills (Australia) Ltd 1939–1942
Enlisted Australian Imperial Force 13 January 1942
Served with 1/54 Anti-Aircraft and Search Light Company in Darwin, then Advanced Land Headquarters—Sergeant in New Guinea and Morotai
Discharged 20 September 1946
After completing University studies employed as clerk with Commonwealth Employment Service 1951
Research scholar University of Adelaide 1952
History master Kings College, Kensington Park, SA 1953–1956
Tutor and senior tutor in Politics, University of Adelaide 1957–1966
Lecturer in politics University of Western Australia 1967–May 1977
Member Public Service Association 1951, University of Adelaide Staff Association 1957–1966, Management Committee University of Western Australia, Academic Staff Association 1966–1977
Tutor at University of Western Australia, Department of Politics 1989–1992 and Murdoch University February 1993–July 1995
Member Australian Labor Party from 1959
Member State Council in South Australia
State Executive in WA
Date Elected
22 May 1977
Inaugural Speech
Inaugural Video
No inaugural video is available as filming did not start until May 2003
Search for speeches by Robert Hetherington
Year Retired/Resigned
Parliamentary Service

  • MLC East Metropolitan Province 22 May 1977–21 May 1983; South-East Metropolitan Province 22 May 1983–21 May 1989

  • Deputy Leader of the Opposition in Legislative Council 1977–1980
  • Opposition Spokesman Education and Electoral Matters March 1978–1980
  • Secretary State Parliamentary Labor Party April 1983–1989

  • Deputy Chairman of Committees 1980–1989
  • Member Standing Orders Committee 1980–1989
  • Member Library Committee 1980–1986
  • Member Standing Committee on Government Agencies 1982–October 1985
  • Member Joint House Committee 1986–1989
  • Chairman Joint Standing Committee on Delegated Legislation December 1987–1989
  • Member Joint Select Committee on Offices of Profit of MPs and Members’ Contracts with the Crown 21 October 1980–3 November 1982
  • Member Select Committee on the Appointment of a Standing Committee to Inquire into Government Agencies September 1 October 1980–1 April 1981
  • Member Select Committee on a Matter of Privilege 18 October–20 December 1983
  • Member Select Committee on Agricultural Education 16 June 1987–24 June 1988
  • Member Parliamentary History Advisory Committee 1986–1989
Commonwealth Parliamentary Association
  • Represented WA branch Commonwealth Parliamentary Association at General Conference Westminster, United Kingdom, 1986

  • Contested Senate 18 May 1974, 13 December 1975
Member King’s Park Board 1990–1993
Member Senate Murdoch University September 1990–September 1993
Member Boards Schizophrenia Fellowship 1990–1998 (president 1992–1997) and WA Association for Mental Health 1996–1999
Many publications including:
  • Co-author: RL Reid, The South Australian Elections 1959 (Adelaide, 1966)
  • Several chapters in GS Reid (ed.), The Western Australian Elections 1974 (Nedlands, 1976)
  • Article on George Gawler in Australian Dictionary of Biography (Melbourne, 1966)
BA (Hons) History and political science
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. 120-121.
Metropolitan Cemeteries Board website. Accessed 11 February 2015.
Further Information
An interview with Robert Hetherington, 14 August 1986 (State Library and WA Parliament Library)

West Australian, 21 February 1977, 1 November 1982.