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Members’ biographical register

John Merrifield Hearman

Principal Honours
Appointed Companion of the Order of St Michael and St George (CMG) 1968
Date: 10 November 1910
Place: Mortlake, Richmond, Surrey, England, United Kingdom
Arrival in WA
Arrived in WA at the age of three years
Son of Walter Edgar Hearman, marine engineer and farmer, and Minnie Merrifield
Marriage and Family
Married 13 February 1943, St Aiden’s Presbyterian Church, Claremont to Millicent Jean Hardie, daughter of William Henry John Hardie and Elsie Martha Keillor
Children: two sons and two daughters
Date: 20 February 1994
Place: Donnybrook, Western Australia
Cemetery: Bunbury Cemetery, Western Australia
Church of England
Educated by mother until age of eight then at Guildford Prep School, Woodbridge Prep School and Guildford Grammar School (until 1928)
Employment History
Employed in Perth at Nash Motors while training for 1930 King’s Cup, also member WA Rowing Club Champion eight 1930
Farmer at Donnybrook from August 1930
March 1939 joined 25th Light Horse (Machine Gun) Regiment as Troop Leader in the Donnybrook Troop, ‘A’ Squadron
Served in Australian Military Forces until enlisted Australian Imperial Force 1 May 1940, served in 2/16 Australian Infantry Battalion, as a platoon commander and machine gun officer
With 2/16 Battalion in 7th Division in Middle East, New Guinea, Borneo and Celebes
Attached to 80 Indian Brigade January–March 1946
Twice wounded in Middle East
Lieutenant, promoted Captain 7 April 1941, Major 19 September 1942, commanded 2/16 Battalion from October 1945
Mentioned in Despatches after Kokoda 1942
Discharged at Claremont 21 March 1946
Joined Donnybrook branch 1946, became president
President Forrest Division 1975–1977
Date Elected
25 March 1950
Inaugural Speech
Hearman, John Merrifield, Inaugural Speech.pdf
Inaugural Video
Search for speeches by John Hearman
Year Retired/Resigned
Parliamentary Service
  • MLA Blackwood 25 March 1950–23 March 1968
  • Contested Blackwood 23 March 1968

  • Speaker of Legislative Assembly 30 June 1959–23 March 1968

  • Deputy Chairman of Committees 1957–1959
  • Member Standing Orders Committee 1956–1959 and then ex officio as Speaker
  • Member Select Committee on Ways and Means of obtaining Adequate Meat Supplies for the People of WA 1950
  • Member Select Committee on the Perpetual Executors, Trustees and Agency Co. (WA) Ltd and WA Trustee, Executor and Agency Co. Ltd (Private) Bills 1951
  • Member Select Committee on the Kalgoorlie and Boulder Racing Clubs Act Amendment (Private) Bill 1953
  • Member Select Committee on the provisions of the Metropolitan (Perth) Passenger Transport Trust Bill 1957

Royal Commissions
  • Chairman Hon Royal Commission inquiring into the Effect of the Application of Lime with Super upon the Fertility of the Soil 1951–1952

Commonwealth Parliamentary Association
  • Deputy Chairman 6th Australian Area Conference Commonwealth Parliamentary Association, Perth, 1961
  • Also attended Commonwealth Parliamentary Association course on Parliamentary Practice and Procedure, London, 1964
Secretary Donnybrook Dairy Farmers’ Association
Member Farmers’ Union and Pastoralists and Graziers’ Association
Former president Donnybrook Returned Services League of Australia
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. 114.
Bunbury Cemetery Board website. Accessed 21 July 2016.
Harry CJ Phillips, Speakers and Presidents of the Western Australian Parliament, Perth, WA, Parliament of Western Australia, 2004.
West Australian, 27 March 1950, 1 January 1969.
Who's Who in Australia, (1968).