Bill Galvin (Australian politician)

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Bill Galvin
Deputy Premier of Victoria
In office
17 December 1952 – 7 June 1955
Premier John Cain
Preceded by Keith Dodgshun
Succeeded by Arthur Rylah
Member of the Victorian Legislative Assembly
for Bendigo
In office
26 May 1945 – 22 April 1955
Preceded by Arthur Cook
Succeeded by John Stanistreet
In office
31 May 1958 – 11 May 1964
Preceded by John Stanistreet
Succeeded by Robert Trethewey
Personal details
Born Leslie William Galvin
(1903-04-30)30 April 1903
Woollahra, Sydney, New South Wales, Australia
Died 1 July 1966(1966-07-01) (aged 63)
Bendigo, Victoria, Australia
Political party Australian Labor Party
Spouse(s) Anne Edith Ruby (m. 1931)
Occupation Railway worker

Leslie William "Bill" Galvin (30 April 1903 – 1 July 1966) was an Australian politician. He was an Australian Labor Party member of the Victorian Legislative Assembly for Bendigo from 1945 to 1955 when he was defeated at the state election, then regained the seat in 1958 until 1964.

Galvin was born in the Sydney suburb of Woollahra, and was educated at Petersham Commercial School until his family moved to Melbourne, where he continued his education at Scotch College. He became involved in the trade union movement while apprenticed as a fitter and turner with the Victorian Railways in Bendigo, and served on the local Trades Hall councils and branches of the Australian Railways Union.[1]

In 1939, Galvin was elected to the Bendigo City Council, and was Mayor of Bendigo from 1944 to 1945. He then considered a tilt at federal politics, but was convinced by his friend, John Cain, to nominate for the 1945 Bendigo state by-election triggered by the death of Arthur Cook. Duly elected, Galvin was made President of the Board of Land and Works, Commissioner of Crown Lands and Survey and Minister for Water Supply in the Second Cain Ministry after Labor won the 1945 election. Following the defeat of the Cain government in 1947, Galvin was voted deputy leader of the Labor Party in Victoria.[2]

When Labor re-gained power in 1952, Galvin became Chief Secretary and Deputy Premier. He was acting Premier in 1953, while Cain attended the coronation of Queen Elizabeth II. During the Australian Labor Party split of 1955, Galvin remained loyal to Cain and the traditional party, although his support wavered to Bill Barry when he heard that Cain preferred Ernie Shepherd to be deputy leader. At the 1955 election, Galvin was defeated in Bendigo by the Liberal and Country candidate, John Stanistreet, by just twelve votes. His defeat removed him from the running to lead the party, and Shepherd was elected leader when Cain died in 1957. Although Galvin regained Bendigo in 1958, he was once again denied the leadership when he was injured a car accident days before the leadership ballot, which saw Clive Stoneham voted leader.[2]

Galvin retired from parliament in 1964 due to ill health. He died two years later in Bendigo, suffering from cirrhosis.[2]


  1. ^ Galvin, (Leslie) William, Re-member (Parliament of Victoria).
  2. ^ a b c Fahey, Charles, 'Galvin, Leslie William (Bill) (1903–1966)', Australian Dictionary of Biography, National Centre of Biography, Australian National University, accessed 10 May 2012.
Civic offices
Preceded by
William Henry Taylor
Mayor of Bendigo
Succeeded by
Anthony Truscott
Victorian Legislative Assembly
Preceded by
Arthur Cook
Member for Bendigo
Succeeded by
John Stanistreet
Preceded by
John Stanistreet
Member for Bendigo
Succeeded by
Robert Trethewey
Political offices
Preceded by
Edwin Mackrell
Minister of Water Supply
Succeeded by
John McDonald
Preceded by
William Everard
President of the Board of Land and Works
Commissioner of Crown Lands and Survey

Preceded by
Keith Dodgshun
Deputy Premier of Victoria
Chief Secretary

Succeeded by
Arthur Rylah