Gordon Bryant

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The Honourable
Gordon Bryant
Member of the Australian Parliament
for Wills
In office
10 December 1955 – 19 September 1980
Preceded by Bill Bryson
Succeeded by Bob Hawke
Personal details
Born (1914-08-03)3 August 1914
Lismore, Victoria
Died 14 January 1991(1991-01-14) (aged 76)
Nationality Australian
Political party Australian Labor Party
Spouse(s) Pat
Alma mater University of Melbourne
Occupation Teacher

Gordon Munro Bryant (3 August 1914 – 14 January 1991) was an Australian politician. A member of the Australian Labor Party, he represented the Division of Wills from 1955 until his retirement in 1980.

Bryant was born in Lismore, Victoria, and educated at Frankston High School, Melbourne Teachers' College and Melbourne University. He worked as a high teacher and served in the Australian Army and later the Citizens' Military Force before entering Parliament in 1955. A passionate supporter of land rights, Bryant was President of the Aborigines Advancement League for seven years, from 1957 to 1964.

After seventeen years in Parliament, Bryant joined the Cabinet of Prime Minister Gough Whitlam, becoming Minister for Aboriginal Affairs in 1972. A year later he became Minister for the Capital Territory. As Minister for Aboriginal Affairs, he was instrumental in the Whitlam Government's historic land rights deal with Vincent Lingiari and the Gurindji people. Bryant retired in 1980, and his electorate was taken over by future Prime Minister Bob Hawke. Bryant had earlier resisted pressure to retire early in order to expedite Hawke's entry to Parliament via a by-election.

After retirement, he worked as Secretary of the Association of Former Members of the Parliament of Australia.

Bryant died in January 1991, eleven months prior to Hawke's ousting as Prime Minister.

He is survived by his wife, Pat, and two sons, Robin and Linton.

References[edit]

  • Australian House of Representatives HANSARD, "DEATH OF HON. G.M. BRYANT, E.D.", 1991-02-12 (excerpt available online).
  • "PM lent hand to land rights", Karen Middleton, The West Australian, 2004-01-01.
Political offices
Preceded by
Peter Howson
Minister for Aboriginal Affairs
1972–1973
Succeeded by
Jim Cavanagh
Preceded by
Kep Enderby
Minister for the Capital Territory
1973–1975
Succeeded by
Reg Withers
Parliament of Australia
Preceded by
Bill Bryson
Member for Wills
1955–1980
Succeeded by
Bob Hawke