Fred Chaney

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The Honourable
Fred Chaney
Recognise Campaign Fred Chaney Presser.jpg
Senator for Western Australia
In office
1 July 1973 – 27 February 1990
Succeeded by Ian Campbell
Member of the Australian Parliament
for Pearce
In office
24 March 1990 – 8 February 1993
Preceded by New division
Succeeded by Judi Moylan
Personal details
Born (1941-10-28) 28 October 1941 (age 74)
Perth, Western Australia
Nationality Australian
Political party Liberal Party of Australia
Alma mater University of Western Australia
Profession Barrister

Frederick Michael "Fred" Chaney, AO (born 28 October 1941) is a former Deputy Leader of the Liberal Party of Australia who, until April 2007, held the position of deputy chairman of the Australian Native Title Tribunal[1] and is Chair of Desert Knowledge Australia and on the Board of Directors of Reconciliation Australia.


Chaney was born in Perth, Western Australia and educated at the University of Western Australia. He practised law and was admitted as a barrister and solicitor in Western Australia in 1963, and in Papua New Guinea in 1964.

He entered Federal Parliament as a Senator for Western Australia for the Liberal Party at the 1974 election on 18 May 1974 (his term was deemed to have begun on 1 July 1973 under the provisions of the Constitution). He was Leader of the Opposition in the Senate from 1983 until 1990 when he became the Member for Pearce in the House of Representatives, a position he held until 1993. Although still a Senator at the time, Chaney was also Parliamentary Deputy Leader of the Liberal Party from May 1989 to April 1990.

He was Minister for Administrative Services from August to December 1978, Minister for Aboriginal Affairs from December 1978 until November 1980 and Minister for Social Security from November 1980 until the defeat of the Fraser government at the 1983 election. He was also Minister Assisting the Minister for Education from August 1978 to December 1979 and Minister Assisting the Minister for National Development and Energy from December 1979 to November 1980.[2][3]

He was appointed as Officer of the Order of Australia (AO) in 1997 "for service to the Parliament of Australia and to the Aboriginal community through his contribution to the establishment of the Aboriginal Legal Service of Western Australia and mediating with the National Native Title Tribunal".[4]

Chaney's father was Sir Fred Chaney, a minister in the Menzies government. His brothers include Michael Chaney, former chief executive of Wesfarmers and chairman of the National Australia Bank; and John Chaney, Justice of the Supreme Court of Western Australia.

Chaney is an active old boy of Aquinas College, Perth.[5]

On 25 January 2014, Prime Minister Tony Abbott announced Mr Chaney as the 2014 Senior Australian of the Year. [6]


  1. ^ "Chaney retires after 12 years". 19 April 2007. Retrieved 8 October 2007. 
  2. ^ Murdoch University Honorary Degree citation
  3. ^ "Biography for Chaney, the Hon. Frederick Michael". ParlInfo Web. Parliament of Australia. Retrieved 9 January 2008. 
  4. ^ "Chaney, Frederick Michael". It's an Honour. Government of Australia. Retrieved 9 January 2008. 
  5. ^ Chaney Profile at H. R. Nicholls Society
  6. ^ "Senior Australian of the Year 2014". Australian of the Year Honours. Retrieved 25 January 2014. 
Parliament of Australia
New division Member for Pearce
1990 – 1993
Succeeded by
Judi Moylan
Political offices
Preceded by
Reg Withers
Minister for Administrative Services
Succeeded by
John McLeay
Preceded by
Ian Viner
Minister for Aboriginal Affairs
1978 – 1980
Succeeded by
Peter Baume
Preceded by
Margaret Guilfoyle
Minister for Social Security
1980 – 1982
Succeeded by
Don Grimes
Party political offices
Preceded by
John Carrick
Leader of the Liberal Party in the Senate
1983 – 1990
Succeeded by
Robert Hill
Preceded by
Andrew Peacock
Deputy Leader of the Liberal Party of Australia
1989 – 1990
Succeeded by
Peter Reith