Frank Arkell

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Frank Arkell
Member of the New South Wales Parliament
for Wollongong
In office
24 March 1984 – 3 May 1991
Preceded byEric Ramsay
Succeeded byGerry Sullivan
8th Lord Mayor of Wollongong
In office
27 September 1974 – September 1991
Preceded byJohn Parker
Succeeded byDavid Campbell
Alderman of the Wollongong City Council
In office
4 December 1965 – September 1991
Personal details
Born(1935-09-13)13 September 1935
Port Kembla, New South Wales, Australia
Died26 June 1998(1998-06-26) (aged 62)
Wollongong, New South Wales, Australia
Alma materEdmund Rice College

Francis Neville (Frank) Arkell (13 September 1935 – 26 June 1998) was an Australian politician. Arkell was a long-serving Lord Mayor of Wollongong and an independent member of the New South Wales Legislative Assembly, representing Wollongong. In 1998 Arkell was violently murdered in his home, aged 62 years.

Early life[edit]

Arkell was born in Port Kembla, New South Wales.

Political career[edit]

Between 1974 and 1991, Arkell served as Lord Mayor of Wollongong City Council. He was elected as an independent to represent the seat of Wollongong in the New South Wales Parliament from 1984 until his defeat at the 1991 election.[1]

Later life and death[edit]

In October 1996, Franca Arena asked in state parliament whether Arkell was the person known to the Wood Royal Commission as W1 in allegations involving paedophilia.[2][3]

In 1998, seven years after he had left politics, Arkell was murdered at his home in Wollongong by Mark Valera.[4][5] Arkell's head had been smashed in with a bedside lamp, an electric cord was wrapped tightly around his neck, and from his eyes and cheeks tie-pins protruded. According to a subsequently broadcast media report, a police investigator revealed that, at the time of his death, Arkell was "...facing charges which had not gone to court..."[6]

Valera told police that he had killed Arkell because he was a "very, very horrible man". At his trial Valera attempted to run a homosexual advance defense, giving evidence that Arkell had seduced him and that they had been in a sexual relationship for more than a year. Valera claimed to have lost control when Arkell when wanted him to be the active partner for the first time. Valera also testified that he had been a victim of sexual abuse at the hands of his own father, Jack Van Krevel, from the age of seven. In convicting Valera of murder the jury had rejected the homosexual advance defense. In sentencing Valera to two terms of life imprisonment, Justice Studdert rejected Valera's evidence that he had been sexually abused by his father or that Arkell had asked him to engage in sexual activity and that this prompted a loss of self control.[7]


  1. ^ "Mr (Frank) Francis Neville Arkell (1935 - 1998)". Members of Parliament. Parliament of New South Wales. Retrieved 19 February 2010.
  2. ^ Arena, Franca (31 October 1996). "Royal Commission into the New South Wales Police Service paedophile investiagation". Hansard. Parliament of New South Wales. Retrieved 6 October 2012.
  3. ^ "Parliamentary Disclosures By The Honourable Franca Arena". Hansard. Parliament of New South Wales. 14 November 1996. Retrieved 27 September 2008.
  4. ^ Kidd, Paul B. "Mark Mala Valera: The Butcher of Wollongong". Retrieved 2008-09-27.
  5. ^ Crichton, Sarah (2002-04-13). "Terse words from judge dismissing lifer's appeal". The Sydney Morning Herald. Retrieved 29 August 2008.
  6. ^ Robinson, Gareth (30 August 1998). "Wonderful Wollongong" (transcript). Background Briefing. Australia: ABC Radio National. Retrieved 6 October 2012.
  7. ^ R v Valera [2000] NSWSC 1220 (21 December 2000), Supreme Court (NSW, Australia).
Civic offices
Preceded by
Deputy Lord Mayor of Wollongong
Succeeded by
Preceded by
John Parker
Lord Mayor of Wollongong
Succeeded by
David Campbell
Parliament of New South Wales
Preceded by
Eric Ramsay
Member for Wollongong
Succeeded by
Gerry Sullivan