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Members’ biographical register

William Ralph Boucher Hassell

Principal Honours
Member of the Order of Australia (AM) awarded 12 June 2000 for service to the Western Australian Parliament, to the promotion of business and commerce, and to the community, particularly through Anglicare.
Centenary of Federation Medal 2003
Date: 6 June 1943
Place: South Perth, Western Australia
Son of John Boucher Hassell, farmer and Dorothy Lesley Wright
Great-nephew of Albert Young Hassell and John Frederick Tasman Hassell and great-grandson of Marinus Frederick Alfred Canning
Marriage and Family
Married 28 February 1974, St Cecelia’s Church, Floreat Park to Susan Vicki Long, daughter of Hugh George Richard Long and Sheila Constance Desmond
Children: one son and two daughters
Church of England
Educated Mt Lawley State school, Education Department correspondence course, Jingalup State school, Coomberdale State School, Pingelly Junior High School and Hale School
University of Western Australia—LLB
1967–1968 as Rotary Foundation Graduate Fellow, University of Reading, England—MA (Comparative Politics)
Awarded Mcintosh Memorial, Shell and Commonwealth education scholarships
Lawyer and agent general
Employment History
Barrister and solicitor
Partner in Lohrmann Tindal and Guthrie, law firm, 1968–1980
Part-time tutor in law, University of Western Australia
Proprietor Hassell Advisory Services, advisers to business, commerce and local government 1991–1994 and from 1997
Agent-General for WA in London 1 September 1994–31 December 1996
Director Plaistowes while practising law
Director Hire Intelligence International Ltd
Director Government Employees Superannuation Board May 2000–May 2003
In 2010 proprietor Hassell Advisory Services (on community issues)
Director Antares Energy Ltd until October 2009
Member State Council for 23 years between 1961 and 1988
Former member State Executive Policy Committee, vice-president and treasurer Curtin Division
State president 1992–1994
Two terms as president also vice-president Nedlands branch
Life member Australian Students Liberal Federation
Original convenor Sir Robert Menzies Oration
President Australian Universities Liberal Federation
Past president University of WA Liberal Club
Member Constitutional Defence Committee 1988
Chairman Liberal Party of WA Pty Ltd
Date Elected
19 February 1977
Inaugural Speech
Inaugural Video
Search for speeches by William Hassell
Year Retired/Resigned
Parliamentary Service
  • MLA Cottesloe 19 February 1977–28 June 1990 (resigned)

  • Leader of the Opposition 1984–1986
  • Minister for Police and Traffic, Chief Secretary, Minister for Community Welfare 5 March 1980–25 January 1982; for Police and Prisons, and assisting the Minister for Emergency Services 25 January 1982–30 December 1982; for Employment 30 December 1982–25 February 1983
  • Deputy Leader of the Opposition 24 February 1983–16 February 1984
  • Shadow Minister for Parliamentary and Electoral Reform, Police and Emergency Services, Employment and Administrative Services, Planning and Prisons March 1983–March 1984
  • Leader of the Opposition 16 February 1984–25 November 1986
  • Shadow Treasurer and Minister Coordinating Economic and Social Development March 1984–19 March 1986
  • Shadow Premier and Cabinet, Budget, Treasury, and Economic and Social Development 19 March 1986–25 November 1986
  • Shadow Minister for Export Development and Trade, Technology, Industrial Development and Protection of Individual Rights September 1987–7 March 1989; for Health, Attorney General, Federal Affairs and Protection of Individual Rights 7 March 1989–17 June 1990

  • Member Library Committee 1979–1980
  • Member Select Committee on the Adoption of Children Amendment Bill 7 December 1983–11 October 1984
  • Member Select Committee on Complaints of a Breach of Privilege 1986
  • Member Select Committee on the Midland Abattoir Land Sale 2–15 July 1986
  • Member Select Committee of Privilege Allegations by member December 1988
  • Member Select Committee on Parole 28 September 1989–21 June 1990
  • Chairman All Party Committee inquiring into the South Coast Fisheries 1978
Member Law Society of WA
Member Innovation Australia (Commonwealth) until September 2009
Member Engineering and Manufacturing Committee of Industry and Research Development Board (Commonwealth)
Member Executive Council of Association of Mining and Exploration Cos Inc. 1998–2000
Chairman Review Panel to review WA Tourism Commission 2000
Member Board and vice president Multiple Sclerosis Society of WA
Member Advisory Board Constitution Centre of WA from 1998
Rotary Paul Harris Fellow 2008
Awarded Cross of the Order of Merit of the Federal Republic of Germany 2009
One time warden Convocation University of Western Australia
Member appeal committee Archbishop’s Appeal for Anglicare
Hon Consul for Federal Republic of Germany
Past hon solicitor Royal WA Historical Society
Patron WA–German Business Association
Member Weld Club and WA Club
Member Samuel Griffith Society and Cook Society
Member Claremont–Cottesloe, Mosman Park and Perth Rotary Clubs
Member Australian National Flag Association, Australia–Britain Society and Royal Overseas League
Member Old Haleians Association
Vice patron Claremont Football Club, member Dalkeith Tennis Club
LLB, MA (Comparative Politics)
Black, David and Geoffrey Bolton. Biographical register of members of the Parliament of Western Australia: volume two 1930-2010, p. 112.
Sunday Times, 15 September 1985.
West Australian, 21 February 1977.
Who's Who in Australia, (1977).
Further Information