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Members’ biographical register

William Leonard Grayden

Principal Honours
Member of the Order of Australia (AM) awarded 26 January 1994 in recognition of service to the Western Australian parliament and to the community
Date: 5 August 1920
Place: Perth, Western Australia
Son of Aubrey Leonard Ives, mine manager and grazier, and Ethel May Harper
Marriage and Family
Grandson of Nathaniel White Harper and brother of David Grayden
Married 31 July 1948, Perth to Betsy Marie Chadwick, daughter of Herbert Pixton Chadwick and Annie Jean Maguire
Children: five sons and five daughters
Nedlands Primary School and then various schools in United Kingdom and Victoria to 15 years
Course in mechanical engineering at Perth Technical College
Employment History
Employed at Winterbottom Motor Company Limited in 1940
Enlisted Australian Imperial Force 25 August 1940 as a Private, promoted to Lieutenant 10 May 1942, confirmed as Captain 20 August 1943
Served with 2/16 Infantry Battalion in Syria and Middle East, Kokoda Trail and Ramu-Markham Valley campaigns, New Guinea; later in Borneo and Celebes
Discharged 12 February 1946
Freelance journalist 1946–1947
Represented Western Australian Government at 63rd Session International Labour Organisation, Geneva, Switzerland, 1975
Independent Liberal 1956–1962
Date Elected
15 March 1947
Inaugural Speech
Inaugural Video
Search for speeches by William Grayden
Year Retired/Resigned
Middle Swan
Parliamentary Service

  • MLA Middle Swan 15 March 1947–27 October 1949 (resigned)
  • MLA South Perth 7 April 1956–6 February 1993

  • Minister for Labour and Industry, Consumer Affairs, Immigration and Tourism (until 5 June 1975) 8 April 1974–21 July 1978; for Education, Cultural Affairs and Recreation 5 March 1980–25 January 1982

  • Chairman Select Committee on Native Welfare Conditions in the Laverton-Warburton Range Area 1956
  • Member Select Committee on Alcohol and Other Drugs in WA 1983–1984 and on Small Claims Tribunals in WA 1984–1985 (appointed from March 1985)
Commonwealth Parliamentary Association
  • Participated in Commonwealth Parliamentary Association Study Tour, 1979

  • Member of the House of Representatives Swan 10 December 1949–29 May 1954
  • Contested Swan (House of Representatives) 28 September 1946 (Independent), 29 May 1954
Lived in United Kingdom 1925–1928 and Victoria 1929–1937, returned to Western Australia 1937
  • Adam and Atoms Perth which was published by the author in 1957 arising out of the 1956 Select Committee
  • A Nomad Was Our Guide is the story of a journey through the land of the Wongi—the Central Desert of Australia—1953, N H Holding Publications, 2002
  • Kokoda Lieutenant: The Triumph of the 21st Brigade
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. 99.
Ferguson 126.
Independent, 22 August 1971.
Sunday Times, 14 February 1988.
Transcripts of interviews with Ronda Jamieson 1986 and John Ferrell 1989 (State Library and WA Parliament Library) also interview made available by National Library (WA Parliament Library)
West Australian, 21 March 1947, 20 September 1982, 29 January 1994
Who's Who in Australia, (1977)