Young Liberals (Australia)

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Young Liberal Movement
President Simon Breheny
Vice President Anthony Spagnolo
Founded 31 August 1945
Headquarters Cnr Blackall & Macquarie St
Barton ACT 2600
Ideology Conservatism
Mother party Liberal Party of Australia
International affiliation International Young Democrat Union

The Young Liberal Movement is the youth movement of the Liberal Party of Australia. Membership is open to those between 16 and 31 years of age. The party is organised with events, policy and elections for each state, as well as a national executive and delegate system. The organisation is also a founding member of the International Young Democrat Union.


The Young Liberal Movement was first formed on 12 December 1945, just a few months after the official inauguration of the Liberal Party on 31 October in the same year, and, as for the Party proper, much of the credit for its creation can be attributed to Sir Robert Menzies. The formation occurred through a meeting at the Melbourne Town Hall, at which 750 people were present.[1] However, the Young Nationalists Organisation, also founded by Menzies in Victoria, and which became part of the Liberal Party at its founding, can be seen as its earliest form.

In 2007, the QLD division of the Liberal Party of Australia and the QLD National Party merged to become the Liberal National Party of Queensland. As Part of this merger process the Queensland Young Liberals and the Queensland Young Nationals were merged to become the Young Liberal National Party (Young LNP). The Young LNP is effectively the Queensland division of both the federal Young Liberals and the Federal Young Nationals, and is the largest division of each of these movements.

In 2011, for the first time in 10 years, the right faction lost the presidency of the NSW Young Liberals with the assistance of Federal MP Alex Hawke.[2]

Make Education Fair[edit]

In February 2008, the Young Liberals launched a campaign titled Make Education Fair that alleged there was bias in the educational system.[3][4] The Young Liberals were motivated by comments by former Prime Minister John Howard who said "The left-liberal grip on educational institutions and large, though not all, sections of the media remains intense".[5]


In response to the campaign, the Senate announced an Inquiry into Academic Freedom [6] in June 2008 with the Inquiry Into Academic Freedom - Parliament of Australia terms of reference.[3] Others described the campaign as a "witch hunt" or McCarthyism, and as an attack on the professionalism of academics.[7] In response to Make Education Fair, the National Tertiary Education Union said "there is no evidence of widespread left-wing bias" [8] and launched its own campaign entitled "Academic Freedom Watch".[9] The President of the NTEU dismissed the accusation that academics are running their own agendas in the classroom as "nonsense".[5] New South Wales Greens politician John Kaye said "any school or university educator who expresses an opinion would be at risk from the young Liberals plan to create a McCarthy-ist environment on campuses and schools"[10]


  1. ^ Australian Young Liberals. "About the YLM - Young Liberal Movement of Australia". Retrieved 2010-07-09. 
  2. ^ Johnson, Stephen (31 July 2011). "Right loses grip on NSW Young Liberals". 
  3. ^ a b 25 June 2008 12:00AM (25 June 2008). "Libs push for bias probe | The Australian". Retrieved 2010-07-09. 
  4. ^
  5. ^ a b "Meet the new vanguard in culture wars - National". 2008-04-01. Retrieved 2010-07-09. 
  6. ^ "Senate tests academic freedom - Herald Sun". 26 June 2008. Retrieved 2010-07-09. 
  7. ^ Josephine Tovey (10 October 2008). "Academics rally against Young Liberal 'witch-hunt'". Sydney Morning Herald (Fairfax Digital). Retrieved 2008-10-10. 
  8. ^ "Tertiary union denies accusations of left-wing bias - ABC News (Australian Broadcasting Corporation)". 1 April 2008. Retrieved 2010-07-09. 
  9. ^ "The World Today - Inquiry into academic freedom accused of bias". Retrieved 2010-07-09. 
  10. ^ "Young Liberals on university 'witch-hunt' - ABC News (Australian Broadcasting Corporation)". 1 April 2008. Retrieved 2010-07-09. 

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