Chris Bourke

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Chris Bourke
Member of the ACT Legislative Assembly
In office
1 June 2011 – 15 October 2016
Preceded by Jon Stanhope
Constituency Ginninderra
Personal details
Nationality Australian
Political party Australian Labor Party
Alma mater Melbourne University
Profession Dentist

Christopher John "Chris" Bourke is an Australian politician, a Labor member of the Australian Capital Territory Legislative Assembly representing the electorate of Ginninderra from 2011 to 2016. He was the first Indigenous Australian elected to the ACT Legislative Assembly.[1] He filled the casual vacancy created by the resignation of former Chief Minister Jon Stanhope.[2] His election was the result of a countback of ballots cast for Stanhope in the 2008 Australian Capital Territory election.[3] Following his election Mr Bourke was made Minister of Education, Minister for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Affairs, Minister for Industrial Relations, and Minister for Corrections.[4]

Bourke grew up in country Australia.[5] He graduated from Melbourne University in 1982, where he was the first Indigenous Australian to complete a dentistry degree.[6] He undertook graduate studies at Adelaide University and Sydney University.[5] Prior to being elected in 2011, Bourke worked as a dentist, performing locum dentistry work in remote areas of Australia after a period of private practice in Canberra. He is President of the Indigenous Dentists' Association of Australia.[7]

Bourke was defeated at the 2016 election.


  1. ^ "Bourke to be first indigenous MLA". Canberra Times. 30 May 2011. 
  2. ^ "Dr Chris Bourke officially declared elected to fill the casual vacancy". ACT Electoral Commission. 1 June 2011. Retrieved 1 June 2011. 
  3. ^ "Casual vacancy countback result: Mr Chris Bourke to be elected to the ACT Legislative Assembly". ACT Electoral Commission. 30 May 2011. Retrieved 1 June 2011. 
  4. ^ [1]
  5. ^ a b "Dr Christopher Bourke". Australian Indigenous HealthInfoNet. Retrieved 2 June 2011. 
  6. ^ "Congratulations Chris Bourke". Regional Development Australia, ACT. 1 June 2011. 
  7. ^ "Indigenous Dentists' Association of Australia". Retrieved 2 June 2011. 

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