Christine Gallus

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The Honourable
Christine Gallus
Member of the Australian Parliament
for Hawker
In office
24 March 1990 – 13 March 1993
Preceded by Elizabeth Harvey
Succeeded by Division abolished
Member of the Australian Parliament
for Hindmarsh
In office
13 March 1993 – 31 August 2004
Preceded by John Scott
Succeeded by Steve Georganas
Personal details
Born (1943-04-06) 6 April 1943 (age 73)
Adelaide, South Australia
Nationality Australian
Political party Liberal Party of Australia
Alma mater Flinders University
Australian National University
Occupation Journalist, business director

Christine Ann "Chris" Gallus (born 6 April 1943), Australian politician, was a Liberal member of the Australian House of Representatives from 1990 to 2004, representing two different seats in South Australia—the Division of Hawker from 1990 to 1993 and the Division of Hindmarsh from 1993 to 2004.[1] She was born in Adelaide and was educated at the Firbank Girls' Grammar School in Melbourne, Flinders University and the Australian National University. She was a researcher with the South Australian Health Commission, an advertising executive, journalist and small business director before entering politics.

Gallus was first elected to the seat of Hawker, based on Glenelg, at the 1990 election, defeating one-term Labor incumbent Elizabeth Harvey on a razor-edge 50.01 percent two-party vote from a 1.2 percent two-party swing. Had just 14 Australian Democrats supporters ranked Harvey higher than Gallus on next preferences, Harvey would have won.

Hawker was abolished ahead of the 1993 federal election. Most of its territory, including Glenelg, was absorbed into neighbouring Hindmarsh, and Gallus opted to follow most of her constituents there. Hindmarsh had long been a Labor stronghold, but had grown increasingly marginal over the last decade. A redistribution ahead of the election reduced Labor's already thin majority to an extremely marginal 1.2 percent. Additionally, the election was called at a bad time for the state Labor government, which was still reeling from the collapse of the State Bank of South Australia. Indeed, the state Labor government would be heavily defeated at a state election later that year. Gallus took a substantial first-count lead and ultimately won on the eighth count, becoming only the second non-Labor MP ever to win the seat and the first since 1917. To date, it is also the only time that Labor has been in government without holding Hindmarsh.

In the last couple of years of the Liberal Party's time in Opposition, which ended in 1996, Gallus was Shadow Minister for Aboriginal Affairs, in which she was seen as an effective opponent against Aboriginal Affairs Minister Robert Tickner when she attacked his credibility over the Hindmarsh Island bridge controversy. The controversy over the Hindmarsh Island bridge was believed to have cost Tickner his seat at the 1996 election. Despite this she was not picked for a place in the ministry by new Liberal Prime Minister John Howard.

Gallus did, however, become Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister for Reconciliation and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Affairs in 2001 and Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister for Foreign Affairs 2001-04.[2]

Gallus gained a large swing in the 1996 election, technically making Hindmarsh a safe Liberal seat. However, she had to withstand strong challenges from Labor's Steve Georganas in the next two elections. Gallus retired at the 2004 election and was replaced as the Liberal candidate by Simon Birmingham, who lost the seat to Georganas by just 108 votes.


Parliament of Australia
Preceded by
Elizabeth Harvey
Member for Hawker
Division abolished
Preceded by
John Scott
Member for Hindmarsh
Succeeded by
Steve Georganas