|Senator for Queensland|
1 July 1993 – 27 July 2001
|Succeeded by||John Cherry|
9 February 1938 |
|Political party||Australian Democrats|
Life before politics
Woodley was briefly in the Australian Defence Force from 1957-1959.
During his ministry, Woodley worked mainly in rural churches and had extensive contact with Aboriginal people.
He served as Director of Social Responsibility in the Uniting Church, Queensland Synod, from 1977 to December 1984 and was very active fighting for justice during the Joh Bjelke-Petersen era in Queensland.
He was also a member of the Uniting Church in Australia's National Social Justice Committee between 1977 and 1982.
He officially retired as a Uniting Church minister on the grounds of age on 1 September 2001. The 23rd Synod meeting of The Uniting Church in Australia, Queensland Synod, in October 2002 received a minute of appreciation for his ministry.
Woodley was elected in March 1993 as the second Australian Democrats Senator for Queensland and appointed to his seat in July 1993. Woodley was for a time the Democrats' spokesperson on Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Affairs, Family Services, Regional Development and Agriculture.
Woodley resigned from the Senate in August 2001 with three years to run in his second term, not long after the party's members voted for Natasha Stott Despoja to replace Meg Lees as the Parliamentary Leader of the Democrats. The reason given for his resignation was health reasons, but he also stated that "I don't have the same commitment to the new leadership team." Woodley was among the Democrat Senators who voted with Meg Lees to introduce the GST. The casual vacancy for his seat for the Democrats was filled by Senator John Cherry.
Woodley made several public statements about Democrats' internal politics, consistently voicing support for former Leader Meg Lees. He left the Democrats not long after retiring from the Senate and soon joined the Australian Progressive Alliance, the breakaway party set up by Meg Lees after she resigned from the Democrats. He served as the National President of this Party, which wound up after unsuccessfully contesting the 2004 federal election.
In retirement, Woodley continues to be active in church circles in Queensland.
- Senate Foreign Affairs, Defence and Trade Committee
- Council for Aboriginal Reconciliation (October 1997-February 1999)