Rodney Cavalier

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The Honourable
Rodney Cavalier
Member for Fuller
In office
7 October 1978 – 28 August 1981
Preceded by Peter Coleman
Succeeded by District abolished
Member for Gladesville
In office
19 September 1981 – 22 February 1988
Preceded by New district
Succeeded by Ivan Petch
Minister for Energy and Minister for Finance
In office
10 February 1984 – 5 April 1984
Minister for Education
In office
5 April 1984 – 25 March 1988
Preceded by Eric Bedford
Succeeded by Terry Metherell
Personal details
Born Rodney Mark Cavalier
(1948-10-11) 11 October 1948 (age 66)
Nationality Australian
Political party Australian Labor Party
Domestic partner Sally
Children Alison (born 1992), and Nicholas (born 1996)
Residence Bowral, New South Wales
Alma mater Fort Street Boys' High School;
The University of Sydney
Profession Politician; public servant
Website NSW Parliament profile

Rodney Mark Cavalier AO (born 11 October 1948 in Sydney), a former Australian politician, is the current Chairman of the Sydney Cricket and Sports Ground Trust and a Fellow of The University of Sydney. Cavalier was a member of the New South Wales Legislative Assembly representing Fuller between 1978 and 1981, and then Gladesville between 1981 and 1988 for the Australian Labor Party. During his term in parliament, Cavalier was Minister for Energy, Minister for Finance, and Minister for Education in the Wran and Unsworth governments.[1]


Cavalier's father was of Italian extraction, originally surnamed Frank Cavallari, his mother of Scottish background, named Elizabeth.[2] He grew up in the Sydney suburb of Putney, attending the local public school before moving to Fort Street Boys' High School and the University of Sydney, where he studied government and became increasingly involved in left-wing politics. Cavalier worked for the Australia Council, for the Miscellaneous Workers' Union, as an aide to Whitlam minister Clyde Cameron, and was an alderman on Hunters Hill Council.[1][2]

In 1978 he was elected member for the state seat of Fuller, which was later to be redrawn as Gladesville, representing the Australian Labor Party. He served as Minister for Education from 1984 to 1988 in the Neville Wran and Barrie Unsworth governments.[1] He was noted for his abrasive personality, reformist zeal and intolerance of sloppy work.[2] One left-wing Teachers' Federation activist described him as "the rudest, most pugnacious individual to hold office".[2] He lost office, and his seat, in 1988, and subsequently declined an offer to return to State Parliament in the seat of Granville or by way of the Legislative Council.[2]

He was appointed chairman of the Australian Language and Literacy Council and subsequently became deputy chairman of the National Council for the Centenary of Federation and chairman of the Sesquicentenary of Responsible Government in NSW. He was appointed a member of the Council of the National Library of Australia.[2]

Cavalier is an ardent book collector and lover of cricket,[2] and in 2001 was appointed Chairman of the Sydney Cricket Ground Trust. In January 2004, he was appointed an Officer of the Order of Australia for service to the community as a contributor to a range of cultural, literary and sporting organisations, to education and training, and to the New South Wales Parliament.[3]

Published works[edit]

  • Power crisis: the self-destruction of a state Labor Party (paperback). Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. 2010. p. 202. ISBN 978-0-521-13832-1. 


  1. ^ a b c "The Hon. Rodney Mark Cavalier (born 1948)". Members of Parliament. Parliament of New South Wales. Retrieved 5 January 2010. 
  2. ^ a b c d e f g "With the ghosts of Tests past". The Sydney Morning Herald. 3 January 2009. Retrieved 26 January 2012. 
  3. ^ "Search: CAVALIER, Rodney Mark". It's an Honour. Commonwealth of Australia. 26 January 2004. Retrieved 26 January 2011.