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List of longest-serving members of the Parliament of Australia

This article lists the longest-serving members of the Parliament of Australia.

Longest total service

This section lists members of parliament who have served for a cumulative total of at least 30 years.

All these periods of service were spent in one House exclusively. A number of people have served in both the Senate and the House of Representatives,[1] but none of them to date has had an aggregate length of service to the Parliament reaching 30 years.

No woman yet appears on this list. Bronwyn Bishop served in the Australian parliament longer than any other woman, in October 2014 outstripping the record of 27 years and 119 days previously held by Kathy Sullivan.[2] At the end of her term at the 2 July 2016 double dissolution, Bishop had served for 28 years and 274 days.

Name Party Chamber(s) Start of service End of service Period of service
Hughes, BillyBilly Hughes   Labor/Nationalist/UAP/Liberal House of Reps 29 March 1901 28 October 1952 51 years, 213 days
Ruddock, PhilipPhilip Ruddock   Liberal House of Reps 22 September 1973 9 May 2016 42 years, 229 days
Page, EarleSir Earle Page   Country House of Reps 13 December 1919 9 December 1961 41 years, 362 days
Pearce, GeorgeSir George Pearce   Labor/Nationalist/UAP Senate 29 March 1901 30 June 1938 37 years, 94 days
Cooper, WalterSir Walter Cooper   Country Senate 17 November 1928 30 June 1932 36 years, 227 days
1 July 1935 30 June 1968
Maloney, WilliamWilliam Maloney   Labor House of Reps 30 March 1904 27 August 1940 36 years, 151 days
McEwen, JohnSir John McEwen   Country House of Reps 15 September 1934 1 February 1971 36 years, 139 days
Makin, NormanNorman Makin   Labor House of Reps 13 December 1919 14 August 1946 36 years, 37 days
29 May 1954 1 November 1963
Brennan, FrankFrank Brennan   Labor House of Reps 8 February 1911 19 December 1931 35 years, 362 days
15 September 1934 31 October 1949
Clark, JoeJoe Clark   Labor House of Reps 15 September 1934 29 September 1969 35 years, 15 days
Sinclair, IanIan Sinclair   National House of Reps 30 November 1963 31 August 1998 34 years, 275 days
Watkins, DavidDavid Watkins   Labor House of Reps 29 March 1901 8 April 1935 34 years, 11 days
O'Byrne, JustinJustin O'Byrne   Labor Senate 1 July 1947 30 June 1981 34 years, 0 days
Howard, JohnJohn Howard   Liberal House of Reps 18 May 1974 24 November 2007 33 years, 191 days
Cadman, AlanAlan Cadman   Liberal House of Reps 18 May 1974 17 October 2007 33 years, 152 days
Brown, GordonGordon Brown   Labor Senate 1 July 1932 30 June 1965 33 years, 0 days
Groom, LittletonSir Littleton Groom   Protectionist/Liberal/Nationalist/UAP House of Reps 14 September 1901 12 October 1929 32 years, 353 days
19 December 1931 6 November 1936
Francis, JosiahSir Josiah Francis   Nationalist/UAP/Liberal House of Reps 16 December 1922 4 November 1955 32 years, 324 days
Holt, HaroldHarold Holt   UAP/Liberal House of Reps 17 August 1935 17 December 1967 32 years, 123 days
Ward, EddieEddie Ward   Labor/Lang Labor House of Reps 7 March 1931 19 December 1931 32 years, 99 days
6 February 1932 31 July 1963
Beazley, KimKim Beazley Sr.   Labor House of Reps 18 August 1945 10 November 1977 32 years, 85 days
Daly, FredFred Daly   Labor House of Reps 21 August 1943 11 November 1975 32 years, 83 days
Snowdon, WarrenWarren Snowdon   Labor House of Reps 11 July 1987 2 March 1996 32 years, 60 days
3 October 1998 11 April 2022
Calwell, ArthurArthur Calwell   Labor House of Reps 21 September 1940 2 November 1972 32 years, 43 days
McMahon, WilliamSir William McMahon   Liberal House of Reps 10 December 1949 4 January 1982 32 years, 26 days
Lynch, PatrickPatrick Lynch   Labor/Nationalist/UAP Senate 1 January 1907 30 June 1938 31 years, 181 days
Menzies, RobertSir Robert Menzies   UAP/Liberal House of Reps 15 September 1934 17 February 1966 31 years, 156 days
Boswell, RonRon Boswell   National Senate 5 March 1983 30 June 2014 31 years, 117 days
Uren, TomTom Uren   Labor House of Reps 22 November 1958 19 February 1990 31 years, 90 days
Katter, BobBob Katter   National/Independent/KAP House of Reps 13 March 1993 present 30 years, 354 days
Andrews, KevinKevin Andrews   Liberal House of Reps 11 May 1991 11 April 2022 30 years, 335 days
Scullin, JamesJames Scullin   Labor House of Reps 13 April 1910 31 May 1913 30 years, 304 days
18 February 1922 31 October 1949
Cameron, ClydeClyde Cameron   Labor House of Reps 10 December 1949 19 September 1980 30 years, 285 days
Jull, DavidDavid Jull   Liberal House of Reps 13 December 1975 5 March 1983 30 years, 39 days
1 December 1984 17 October 2007
Lazzarini, HubertBert Lazzarini   Labor House of Reps 13 December 1919 19 December 1931 30 years, 24 days
15 September 1934 1 October 1952
Crawford, ThomasThomas Crawford   Nationalist/UAP/Independent Senate 1 July 1917 30 June 1947 30 years, 0 days
Foll, HarryHarry Foll   Nationalist/UAP/Liberal Senate 1 July 1917 30 June 1947 30 years, 0 days
Watson, JohnJohn Watson   Liberal Senate 1 July 1978 30 June 2008 30 years, 0 days

†= Died in office

Longest service by women

Name Party Chamber(s) Start of service End of service Period of service
Bronwyn Bishop   Liberal Senate 11 July 1987 24 February 1994 28 years, 272 days
House of Reps 26 March 1994 9 May 2016
Kathy Sullivan   Liberal Senate 18 May 1974 5 November 1984 27 years, 117 days
House of Reps 1 December 1984 8 October 2001
Marise Payne   Liberal Senate 9 April 1997 30 September 2023 26 years, 174 days
Tanya Plibersek   Labor House of Reps 3 October 1998 present 25 years, 150 days
Dorothy Tangney   Labor Senate 21 August 1943 30 June 1968 24 years, 314 days
Annabelle Rankin   Liberal Senate 1 July 1947 24 April 1971 23 years, 297 days
Jenny Macklin   Labor House of Reps 2 March 1996 11 April 2019 23 years, 40 days
Amanda Vanstone   Liberal Senate 1 December 1984 26 April 2007 22 years, 146 days
Catherine King   Labor House of Reps 10 November 2001 present 22 years, 112 days
Sussan Ley   Liberal House of Reps 10 November 2001 present 22 years, 112 days
Maria Vamvakinou   Labor House of Reps 10 November 2001 present 22 years, 112 days
Margaret Reid   Liberal Senate 5 May 1981 14 February 2003 21 years, 285 days
Penny Wong   Labor Senate 1 July 2002 present 21 years, 244 days
Ivy Wedgwood   Liberal Senate 22 February 1950 30 June 1971 21 years, 128 days
Kay Patterson   Liberal Senate 11 July 1987 30 June 2008 20 years, 355 days
Jacinta Collins   Labor Senate 3 May 1995 30 June 2005 20 years, 341 days
8 May 2008 15 February 2019
Sue Knowles   Liberal Senate 1 December 1984 30 June 2005 20 years, 211 days
Julie Bishop   Liberal House of Reps 3 October 1998 11 April 2019 20 years, 190 days
Judi Moylan   Liberal House of Reps 13 March 1993 5 August 2013 20 years, 145 days
Sharman Stone   Liberal House of Reps 2 March 1996 9 May 2016 20 years, 68 days

Chronological list

This section lists the members of parliament (and of each chamber) with the longest continuous service at any given time. The longest-serving MPs in each chamber are sometimes referred to as the "Father of the House" and "Father of the Senate", and very rarely the overall longest-serving MP is called the "Father of the Parliament".

House of Representatives Practice describes the title "Father of the House" as a "completely informal designation" with "no functions attached to it".[3]

Odgers' Australian Senate Practice notes that the title "Father of the Senate" is "now seldom referred to or used". It further notes that "as no woman senator has ever been in this situation, it is not clear what the title would be in that circumstance".[4] Since then, the title was assumed by Marise Payne, the longest serving female senator in Australia's history. After Payne's resignation took effect, Penny Wong, also a woman, became the longest serving incumbent senator.

From To Overall Senate Continuous
term started
House Continuous
term started
29/30 March 1901 14 September 1923 Nil Nil n/a Nil n/a
15 September 1923 8 April 1935 Nil Sir George Pearce 29 March 1901 Billy Hughes
David Watkins
n/a
9 April 1935 30 June 1938 Nil[5] Billy Hughes 30 March 1901
1 July 1938 30 June 1947 Billy Hughes MP Thomas Crawford
Harry Foll
1 July 1917
1 July 1947 30 June 1950 Gordon Brown
Joe Collings
1 July 1932
1 July 1950 28 October 1952 Gordon Brown
29 October 1952 9 December 1961 Sir Earle Page MP Sir Earle Page 13 December 1919
10 December 1961 31 July 1963 Eddie Ward MP Eddie Ward 6 February 1932
1 August 1963 30 June 1965 Senator
Gordon Brown
Joe Clark
John McEwen
Sir Robert Menzies
15 September 1934
1 July 1965 16 February 1966 Joe Clark MP
John McEwen MP
Sir Robert Menzies MP
Sir Walter Cooper 1 July 1935
17 February 1966 30 June 1968 Joe Clark MP
John McEwen MP
Joe Clark
John McEwen
1 July 1968 29 September 1969 Bert Hendrickson
Justin O'Byrne
Dame Annabelle Rankin
1 July 1947
30 September 1969 1 February 1971 John McEwen MP John McEwen
2 February 1971 24 May 1971 Arthur Calwell MP Arthur Calwell 21 September 1940
25 May 1971 30 June 1971 Bert Hendrickson
Justin O'Byrne
1 July 1971 2 November 1972 Justin O'Byrne
3 November 1972 11 November 1975 Fred Daly MP Fred Daly 21 August 1943
12 November 1975 10 November 1977 Kim Beazley Sr. MP Kim Beazley Sr. 18 August 1945
11 November 1977 19 September 1980 Senator
Justin O'Byrne
Clyde Cameron
Sir William McMahon
10 December 1949
20 September 1980 30 June 1981 Sir William McMahon
1 July 1981 4 January 1982 Sir William McMahon MP Doug McClelland 1 July 1962
5 January 1982 31 March 1983 Malcolm Fraser MP
Sir James Killen MP
Sir Billy Snedden MP
Malcolm Fraser
Sir James Killen
Sir Billy Snedden
10 December 1955
1 April 1983 21 April 1983 Sir James Killen MP
Sir Billy Snedden MP
Sir James Killen
Sir Billy Snedden
22 April 1983 15 August 1983 Sir James Killen MP Sir James Killen
16 August 1983 18 January 1984 Doug Anthony MP Doug Anthony 14 September 1957
19 January 1984 23 January 1987 Tom Uren MP Tom Uren 22 November 1958
24 January 1987 27 February 1989 Arthur Gietzelt
Peter Durack
1 July 1971
28 February 1989 19 February 1990 Peter Durack
20 February 1990 30 June 1993 Ian Sinclair MP Ian Sinclair 30 November 1963
1 July 1993 31 August 1998 Mal Colston
Brian Harradine
13 December 1975
1 September 1998 30 June 1999 Philip Ruddock MP Philip Ruddock 22 September 1973
1 July 1999 30 June 2005 Brian Harradine
1 July 2005 30 June 2008 John Watson 1 July 1978
1 July 2008 30 June 2014 Ron Boswell 5 March 1983
1 July 2014 6 February 2015 John Faulkner 4 April 1989
6 February 2015 9 May 2016 Ian Macdonald 1 July 1990
9 May 2016 30 June 2019 Senator
Ian Macdonald
Kevin Andrews 11 May 1991
1 July 2019 11 April 2022 Kevin Andrews MP Kim Carr 28 April 1993
11 April 2022 1 July 2022 Bob Katter MP Bob Katter 13 March 1993
1 July 2022 30 September 2023 Marise Payne 9 April 1997
30 September 2023 - Penny Wong 1 July 2002

Longest-serving members by state and territory

State / Territory Longest-serving members
Lower house Upper house Overall
 Australian Capital Territory Jim Fraser
18 years, 338 days
1951–1970
Margaret Reid
21 years, 285 days
1981–2003
Bob McMullan
22 years, 86 days
1988–1996 (S), 1996–2010 (H)
 New South Wales Billy Hughes
45 years, 354 days
1901–1917, 1922–1952
Stan Amour
26 years, 364 days
1938–1965
Billy Hughes
45 years, 354 days
1901–1917, 1922–1952
 Northern Territory Warren Snowdon
32 years, 60 days
1987–1996, 1998–2022
Nigel Scullion
17 years, 232 days
2001–2019
Warren Snowdon
32 years, 60 days
1987–1996, 1998–2022
 Queensland Littleton Groom
32 years, 353 days
1901–1929, 1931–1936
Walter Cooper
36 years, 227 days
1928–1932, 1935–1968
Walter Cooper
36 years, 227 days
1928–1932, 1935–1968
 South Australia Norman Makin
36 years, 37 days
1919–1946, 1955–1963
Robert Hill
24 years, 257 days
1981–2006
Norman Makin
36 years, 37 days
1919–1946, 1955–1963
 Tasmania Gil Duthie
29 years, 76 days
1946–1975
Justin O'Byrne
34 years, 0 days
1947–1981
Justin O'Byrne
34 years, 0 days
1947–1981
 Victoria William Maloney
36 years, 151 days
1904–1940
Kim Carr
29 years, 63 days
1993–2022
William Maloney
36 years, 151 days
1904–1940
 Western Australia Kim Beazley Sr.
32 years, 145 days
1945–1977
George Pearce
37 years, 93 days
1901–1938
George Pearce
37 years, 93 days
1901–1938

See also

References

  1. ^ Handbook of the 42nd Parliament: Members who have served in both chambers
  2. ^ Wilson, Janet, & McCann, Dr Joy (9 July 2014). "Representation of women in Australian parliaments 2014". Parliament of Australia. Retrieved 11 December 2014.((cite news)): CS1 maint: multiple names: authors list (link)
  3. ^ "Titles accorded to members". House of Representatives Practice (6th ed.). Parliament of Australia. 2012.
  4. ^ "Seniority of senators". Odgers' Australian Senate Practice (14th ed.). Parliament of Australia. 2016.
  5. ^ Although Senator Sir George Pearce and Billy Hughes MP were elected on different dates (29 March and 30 March 1901 respectively), all members of the First Parliament were considered to be of equal seniority.
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List of longest-serving members of the Parliament of Australia
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