Australian Labor Party National Executive

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The Australian Labor Party National Executive is an internal body of the Australian Labor Party, one of the major political parties in Australia. Twenty members of the National Executive are elected by the party's National Conference, which is the highest representative body of the party's state and territory branches. The other eight members are party ex-officio members. Members on the Executive may be officials of trade unions affiliated to the party or members of federal or state Parliaments. The ex-officio members are the National President, the National Secretary and two National Vice-Presidents (who are directly elected by Labor members), and the Leader of the Federal Parliamentary Labor Party,[1] but of these only the party Leader has a vote.

The National Executive is concerned mainly with organisational matters. It does not decide party policy, which is determined by the National Conference. The National Executive does not elect the party's parliamentary leaders, which is done by a ballot of both the Parliamentary Caucus and by the Labor Party's rank-and-file members. The National President or Vice-President are elected by party members. Its most public role is to act as the final arbiter of disputes about parliamentary candidacies (preselections). On these matters the National Executive usually votes on factional lines. The Labor Right faction holds a majority on the National Executive,[2] though it did not hold a majority at the 2015 National Conference.[3]

The power of the National Executive extends to the reorganisation of a State Branch. For example, in 1970 to improve the party's chances of electoral success, the National Executive intervened in the Socialist Left controlled Victorian Branch, involving the sacking of State officers and dissolution of the Branch. Less drastic forms of intervention are more common, such as the final arbiter of preselection disputes.[4] The executive has authority over policy as it can interpret the party’s constitution, platform and conference decisions.[2][5]

Members of the National Executive[edit]

The current members of the National Executive are:[1]

Member type Member name Position / title Faction State/territory Voting member
Ex-officio members Wayne Swan National President Labor Right[6] Queensland No
Noah Carroll National Secretary Labor Right[7] Victoria No
Mark Butler, MP Senior Vice-President Labor Left[6][8] South Australia No
Mich-Elle Myers Junior Vice-President Labor Left[9] Victoria No
Anthony Albanese, MP Leader of the Federal Parliamentary Labor Party Labor Left New South Wales Yes
Jason Byrne National President, Young Labor Labor Right South Australia No
Elected members Anthony Albanese, MP Federal Member for Grayndler Labor Left[10] New South Wales Yes
Tim Ayres New South Wales branch Secretary of the Australian Manufacturing Workers Union Labor Left[11] New South Wales Yes
Chris Brown National Secretary of the Health Services Union Labor Left Tasmania Yes
Senator Kim Carr Senator for Victoria Labor Left[12] Victoria Yes
Russ Collison New South Wales branch Secretary of the Australian Workers Union Labor Right[13] New South Wales Yes
Senator Stephen Conroy n/a Labor Right[14] Victoria Yes
Gerard Dwyer National Secretary of the Shop, Distributive and Allied Employees Association Labor Right[15] New South Wales Yes
Nadine Flood National Secretary of the Community and Public Sector Union Labor Left[16] New South Wales Yes
David Gray Labor Left[17] South Australia Yes
Tim Kennedy National Secretary of the National Union of Workers Labor Right[18] Victoria Yes
Senator Sue Lines Senator for Western Australia Labor Left[19] Western Australia Yes
Peter Malinauskas, MP n/a Labor Right[20] South Australia Yes
Senator Claire Moore Senator for Queensland Labor Left[21] Queensland Yes
Tara Moriarty New South Wales branch Secretary of the Liquor and Hospitality Division, United Voice Labor Right[22] New South Wales Yes
Charis Mullen, MLA n/a Labor Right Queensland Yes
Kaila Murnain State Secretary of the Australian Labor Party (New South Wales Branch) Labor Right[23] New South Wales Yes
Michael Ravbar National Vice President of the Construction, Forestry, Mining and Energy Union Labor Left[24] Queensland Yes
Michelle Roberts, MLA n/a Labor Right[25] Western Australia Yes
Shannon Threlfall-Clarke Vice President of the Australian Workers Union, Victorian Branch Labor Right[26] Victoria Yes
Linda White Assistant National Secretary of the Australian Services Union Labor Left[27] Victoria Yes

Executive leaders[edit]

National Presidents[edit]

National President Period
Tom Burns 1970–1973
Bob Hawke 1973–1980
Neville Wran 1980–1986
Mick Young 1986–1988
John Bannon 1988–1991
Stephen Loosley 1991–1992
Barry Jones 1992–2000
Greg Sword 2001–2004
Carmen Lawrence 2004–2005
Barry Jones 2005–2006
Warren Mundine 2006–2007
John Faulkner 2007–2008
Linda Burney 2008–2009
Michael Williamson 2009–2010
Anna Bligh 2010 – 1 July 2011
Jenny McAllister 1 July 2011 – 17 June 2015
Mark Butler 17 June 2015 – 18 June 2018
Wayne Swan 18 June 2018 – present

National Secretaries[edit]

National Secretary Period
Cyril Wyndham 1963–1969
Mick Young 1969–1973
David Combe 1973–1981
Bob McMullan 1981–1988
Bob Hogg 1988–1993
Gary Gray 1993–2000
Geoff Walsh 2000–2003
Tim Gartrell 2003–2008
Karl Bitar 2008 – 16 March 2011
George Wright 19 April 2011 – September 2016
Noah Carroll September 2016 – Present
  • Cyril Wyndam was the first full time Secretary. Prior to 1963 the position was not full time[28]


  1. ^ a b Australian Labor Party National Executive
  2. ^ a b The Australian, 2 July 2015: Vote change to shift Labor’s power to the Left
  3. ^ Sydney Morning Herald, 18 June 2015: Labor powerbrokers lose control with reform back on the agenda
  4. ^ ABC News, 4 November 2015: ALP national executive pulls rank on WA branch attempt to dump MPs Gary Gray and Alannah MacTiernan
  5. ^ The Age, 27 July 2005: Labor Left accuses Right of stacking branch rules
  6. ^ a b "NATIONAL PRESIDENT ELECTION". Australian Labor Party. 18 June 2018. Archived from the original (Press release) on 9 August 2018. Retrieved 9 August 2018.
  7. ^ Aston, Heath (23 September 2016). "ALP appoints Victorian party boss Noah Carroll to steer next federal election campaign". The Age. Retrieved 1 October 2016.
  8. ^ Kenny, Mark. "Labor Left's Mark Butler wins ALP presidency". The Sydney Morning Herald. Retrieved 22 May 2016.
  9. ^ Carey, Adam (13 April 2018). "Unions dump Butler, back one of their own in run for ALP president". The Age. Retrieved 9 August 2018.
  10. ^ "Crikey List: which MPs were involved in student politics?". Crikey. Retrieved 17 March 2013.
  11. ^ Morris, Sophie (19 July 2014). "Faulkner expects state conference defeat on party reform". The Saturday Paper. Retrieved 19 July 2014.
  12. ^ "ALP meeting leaves some unhappy" (transcript). PM (ABC Radio). Australia. 7 October 2002.
  13. ^ Summers, Anne (24 August 2013). "Master of the maze". The Sydney Morning Herald. Retrieved 19 July 2014.
  14. ^ Millar, Royce (25 November 2013). "Labor factions show scant regard for democracy push". The Age. Retrieved 19 July 2014.
  15. ^ Bramston, Troy. "The power of one faction". The Australian. Retrieved 22 May 2016.
  16. ^ Crook, Andrew. "Bonhomie thick at ALP conference as the deal-making begins". Crikey. Retrieved 22 May 2016.
  17. ^ Martin, Sarah. "Powerbrokers labour behind the scenes". The Advertiser.
  18. ^ Schneiders, Ben. "Gone with a text. The demise and possible rise of unions". The Age. Retrieved 22 May 2016.
  19. ^ Crook, Andrew (12 April 2013). "Louise Pratt shafted in WA Labor Senate battle". Crikey. Retrieved 19 July 2014.
  20. ^ Will, Daniel. "Reshuffle: Peter Malinauskas and Leesa Vlahos set to join Jay Weatherill's Cabinet". The Advertiser. Retrieved 22 May 2016.
  21. ^ Elks, Sarah. "Meanwhile, in Queensland: who's who on LNP, Labor Senate tickets". The Australian.
  22. ^ Maher, Sid (30 May 2011). "Labor heavy Tara Moriarty leans on Andrew Wilkie". The Australian. Retrieved 19 July 2014.
  23. ^ Nicholls, Sean (13 February 2016). "New Labor general secretary Kaila Murnain wants to drive cultural change in the party membership". The Sydney Morning Herald. Retrieved 22 May 2016.
  24. ^ Crook, Andrew (21 August 2009). "Queensland ALP embraces intra-factional bloodsports". Crikey. Retrieved 19 July 2014.
  25. ^ "Ripper promotes leadership rival: analysts". The Sydney Morning Herald. AAP. 10 February 2011. Retrieved 19 July 2014.
  26. ^ Willingham, Richard (12 May 2011). "Young Labor, same old rifts". The Age. Retrieved 22 May 2016.
  27. ^ Hannan, Ewin (8 December 2009). "Unions at war over ACTU leadership". The Australian. Retrieved 19 July 2014.
  28. ^