Robin Rhodes Millhouse QC (born 9 December 1929) has been, at various times, the South Australian Attorney-General, the first Australian Democrats parliamentarian, and the Chief Justice of both Kiribati and Nauru.
Early life and career
After working as a barrister, Millhouse entered the South Australian Legislative Assembly on 7 May 1955 as the Liberal and Country League (LCL) member for Mitcham, a safe LCL seat in southeastern Adelaide. Millhouse rapidly gained a reputation as both the intellectual driving force behind the LCL and an outspoken spokesperson for the urban middle class faction of the LCL, a group under-represented within the party hierarchy.
Millhouse ran for the LCL leadership pre-selection following leader Sir Thomas Playford's retirement, but lost to Steele Hall, another member of the LCL's progressive faction. Instead, following the LCL's return to power in the 1968 election, Millhouse was given the portfolios of Attorney-General, Aboriginal Affairs, Social Welfare, and Labour and Industry. In these roles, Millhouse gained a reputation as a crusader for progressive social change as he sought to position South Australia as a national leader on social issues.
In the wake of the LCL's 1970 election loss, Millhouse was elected Deputy Leader of the Opposition on 2 June but resigned from the party on 18 March 1973 to form the Liberal Movement following growing dissatisfaction at the continuing conservatism of the LCL. While a number of other senior LCL members, including former premier Steele Hall, also joined the Liberal Movement, all except Millhouse eventually returned to the Liberal Party. Millhouse chose instead to form a new political party, named the New LM, before merging that with the Australia Party, the Centre-Line Party and other like minded groups to form the Australian Democrats and, as a sitting member, became the first Australian Democrats Member of Parliament. As a Democrat, he continued to campaign for progressive social issues, including the introduction of a bill to legalise prostitution in South Australia.
After having been made a Queen's Counsel in 1979, Millhouse resigned from parliament on 7 July 1982, sparking a Mitcham by-election, upon accepting a position as a South Australian Supreme Court justice. He served on the Supreme Court until his enforced retirement in December 1999.
Further judicial appointments
At his Retirement Sitting, he announced his appointment as Chief Justice of the High Court of Kiribati, a position he held until Jan 2011. He was Chief Justice of Nauru from early 2006  to late 2010.
He married Ann (deceased 1992) in 1957 and has three daughters and two sons.
|Parliament of South Australia|
|Member for Mitcham
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