Kezia Purick

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The Honourable
Kezia Purick
9th Speaker of the Northern Territory Legislative Assembly
Assumed office
23 October 2012
Deputy Gary Higgins (2012-2015)
Matt Conlan (2015-2016)
Chansey Paech (2016-present)
Preceded by Jane Aagaard
Member of the Northern Territory Legislative Assembly
for Goyder
Assumed office
9 August 2008
Preceded by Ted Warren
Personal details
Born Kezia Dorcas Tibisay Purick
(1958-05-12) 12 May 1958 (age 58)
Brisbane, Queensland, Australia
Nationality Australian
Political party Country Liberal (2008–2015)
Independent (2015–present)
Relations Noel Padgham-Purich (mother)
Residence Darwin
Education Methodist Ladies' College, Perth
Alma mater University of Western Australia
Occupation Business executive

Kezia Dorcas Tibisay Purick (born 12 May 1958) is an Australian politician. She is an independent member of the Northern Territory Legislative Assembly, having held her seat of Goyder since the 2008 election. Prior to entering Parliament, Purick was the CEO of the NT Minerals Council for 16 years.

The position of Speaker of the Northern Territory Legislative Assembly has been held by Purick since 23 October 2012. Despite Labor's massive majority following the outcome of the 2016 election, the incoming government re-appointed Purick as Speaker.

Early life and education[edit]

Purick was born in Brisbane, Queensland. She was educated in Western Australia at Methodist Ladies' College, Perth. She graduated with a Bachelor of Commerce from the University of Western Australia.[1]

She worked for St John Ambulance Australia from 1985 until 1991, when she became CEO of the NT Minerals Council.[1]

Political career[edit]

Purick was elected to parliament representing the Country Liberal Party (CLP). She was shadow minister for Major Projects, Trade and Economic Development, Planning and Lands, Housing, Statehood and Women's Policy in the Territory opposition from 2008 to 2012.[2] In addition, she was deputy leader of the CLP, and therefore deputy leader of the opposition.

Prior to the 2012 election, party leader Terry Mills indicated that should the party win government, Purick would remain as his deputy, and would be Deputy Chief Minister. The parliamentary wing of the party overrode Mills' preference, and Purick was replaced as deputy by Robyn Lambley, and given no ministerial roles in the cabinet.[3]

When the parliament resumed on 23 October 2012, Purick was elected unopposed as Speaker of the Legislative Assembly.[4] As Speaker, Purick is chairman of the House Committee, a member of the Standing Orders and Legal and Constitutional Affairs Committees and is the chairman of the select committee enquiring into foetal alcohol spectrum disorder.

On 20 July 2015, Purick announced that she was quitting the CLP because of her annoyance at the lack of integrity within the government and government's lack of communication with elected CLP members. She said she would continue to sit in parliament as an independent and wanted to remain as Speaker. She undertook not to support any motion of no-confidence against the government. On 11 September 2016, the newly elected Labor Government announced that it would continue to support Purick holding the role of Speaker in the newly elected Legislative Assembly.[5]

On 17 November 2015, Attorney-General John Elferink moved a motion to suspend standing orders to debate removing Purick from the Speaker's role, citing what he claimed were partial comments she had posted on Facebook regarding government-funded advertising about anti-ice legislation. On the morning of 18 November, the CLP and independent Larisa Lee passed Elferink's motion to spill the speakership role, however when the ballot to elect a new speaker was held, Labor and Delia Lawrie re-nominated Purick to stand against the CLP nominee Matt Conlan. An unknown CLP member "crossed the floor" to vote for Purick and she was re-elected 13 votes to 12.[6]

The position of Speaker of the Northern Territory Legislative Assembly has been held by Purick since 23 October 2012. Despite Labor's massive majority following the outcome of the 2016 election, the incoming government re-appointed Purick as Speaker.[7]

Personal life[edit]

Purick is the daughter of former politician Noel Padgham, who was a member of the assembly from 1977 to 1997. Her father, Phillip Purich, was an appointed member for the Legislative Council in the 1960s. Born in the Netherlands, his family was originally from the Dalmatia region of Croatia.[8][9]


  1. ^ a b Who's Who in Australia 2015, ConnectWeb.
  2. ^ Opposition Portfolios, Legislative Assembly of the Northern Territory, 2008–2012.
  3. ^ Betts, Alyssa (29 August 2012). "Mills cops flak over axed deputy". The NT News. Retrieved 14 September 2012. 
  4. ^ Rawlinson, Clare (23 October 2012). "Opening of parliament welcomes new speaker". ABC Darwin. Retrieved 23 October 2012. 
  5. ^
  6. ^ "Kezia Purick fired and rehired: Attorney-General fails in bid to dump Kezia Purick". ABC News. 18 November 2015. Retrieved 19 November 2015. 
  7. ^ NT Labor Government announces female-dominated Cabinet: ABC 11 September 2016
  8. ^ Kezia Purick, Territory Women, 2010.
  9. ^ Davidson, Helen (1 January 2016). "Kezia Purick: 'Some say I'm to the right of Genghis Khan, which is OK by me'". The Guardian. Retrieved 1 January 2016. 
Northern Territory Legislative Assembly
Preceded by
Ted Warren
Member for Goyder
Preceded by
Jane Aagaard
Speaker of the Northern Territory Legislative Assembly
Party political offices
Preceded by
Fay Miller
Deputy Leader of the Country Liberal Party
Succeeded by
Robyn Lambley