Father of the Australian Senate
This is a list of Fathers of the Australian Senate.
The Father of the Senate is an informal title that carries no parliamentary responsibilities. It is held by the senator who has served longer, continuously, than any other currently serving senator. Where two or more senators have equal lengths of continuous service, more than any other currently serving senators, they are known as the joint Fathers of the Senate. Joint Fathers are shown in small type in the following list.
The only Father of the Senate with broken service but whose latter period of continuous service was sufficiently long to qualify was Sir Walter Cooper.
The first Senate was elected on 29 and 30 March 1901. Despite the different election dates, all the members elected to that First Parliament were considered to have had equal seniority. It follows that there could not be a "longest-serving Senator" until only one Senator from the First Parliament was still serving. That occurred on 14 September 1923 with the death of Hon Edward Millen, leaving Sir George Pearce as the sole longest-serving Senator, and thus the inaugural Father of the Senate.
Since that date the Fathers and joint Fathers of the Senate have been:
|15 September 1923||30 June 1938||Sir George Pearce||29 March 1901||Father|
|1 July 1938||30 June 1947||Thomas Crawford
|1 July 1917||Joint Fathers|
|1 July 1947||30 June 1950||Joe Collings
|1 July 1932||Joint Fathers|
|1 July 1950||30 June 1965||Gordon Brown||1 July 1932||Father|
|1 July 1965||30 June 1968||Sir Walter Cooper||1 July 1935||Father|
|1 July 1968||24 May 1971||Bert Hendrickson
Dame Annabelle Rankin*
|1 July 1947||Joint Fathers (* The possibility of a woman becoming a longest-serving Senator was not contemplated in Australian Senate Practice, and there was no move to amend the text by the then-current Senate)|
|25 May 1971||30 June 1971||Bert Hendrickson
|1 July 1947||Joint Fathers|
|1 July 1971||30 June 1981||Justin O'Byrne||1 July 1947||Father|
|1 July 1981||23 January 1987||Doug McClelland||1 July 1962||Father|
|24 January 1987||27 February 1989||Arthur Gietzelt
|1 July 1971||Joint Fathers|
|28 February 1989||30 June 1993||Peter Durack||1 July 1971||Father|
|1 July 1993||30 June 1999||Mal Colston
|13 December 1975||Joint Fathers|
|1 July 1999||30 June 2005||Brian Harradine||13 December 1975||Father|
|1 July 2005||30 June 2008||John Watson||1 July 1978||Father|
|1 July 2008||incumbent||Ron Boswell||5 March 1983||Father|
- Walter Cooper had also served between 17 November 1928 and 30 June 1932.
- Father of the House
- Father of the Australian House of Representatives
- Father of the Australian Parliament
- Members of the Australian Parliament who have served for at least 30 years