Max Willis

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The Honourable
Max Willis
President of the New South Wales Legislative Council
In office
3 July 1991 – 29 June 1998
Preceded by Max Willis
Succeeded by Meredith Burgmann
Member of New South Wales Legislative Council
In office
2 September 1970 – 5 March 1999
Personal details
Born (1935-12-06) 6 December 1935 (age 79)
Murwillumbah, New South Wales
Political party Liberal Party of Australia
Spouse(s) Wendy Patricia Booth
Occupation Solicitor

Max Frederick Willis RFD, ED, (born 6 December 1935) is a former Australian politician. He was a Liberal member of the New South Wales Legislative Council from 1970 to 1999. His brother Sir Eric Willis was briefly Premier of New South Wales in 1976.

Born in Murwillumbah, Willis was the son of Archibald Clarence Willis, a butter factory hand, and Vida Buttenshaw. He was educated at Murwillumbah High School and then received a Bachelor of Laws from the University of Sydney in 1957. Following his admission as a solicitor in 1958, Willis became a partner with Serisier, Willis and Bowring in Miranda until 1971. On 8 August 1970 he married Wendy Patricia Booth, with whom he had four children. Willis had joined the Citizen Military Forces in 1953, and was involved in the Army Reserve for thirty years, attaining the rank of Brigadier.[1] For his military service, Willis was awarded the Reserve Force Decoration (RFD) and the Efficiency Decoration (ED) by the Australian Government, and the Cross of Solomon Islands (CSI).[1] He was also awarded with the Centenary Medal on 1 January 2001,[2] and the National Medal with clasp on 24 October 2001.[3]

In 1970 Willis was appointed to the New South Wales Legislative Council. He was Deputy Leader of the Opposition in the Council from 1977 to 1978 and Leader from 1978 to 1981. In 1991 he was elected President of the Council, succeeding Johno Johnson who had been President since 1978. Willis was forced to resign as the President and from the house when, under the influence of alcohol, he was unable to control proceedings during voting on a motion to dismiss Supreme Court Justice Vince Bruce.[4] He was replaced by Virginia Chadwick in 1998 and retired from politics in 1999.[1]


  1. ^ a b c Parliament of New South Wales (2008). "The Hon. Max Frederick Willis". Former Members. Parliament of New South Wales. Retrieved 4 January 2010. 
  2. ^ "Centenary Medal". It's an Honour. Australian Government. Retrieved 2010-01-15. 
  3. ^ "National Medal with clasp". It's an Honour. Australian Government. Retrieved 2010-01-15. 
  4. ^ "Distinguished NSW Minister known as Iron Lady". Sydney Morning Herald. John Fairfax ltd. 4 September 2009. Retrieved 2009-01-11. 
Military offices
Preceded by
B. N. Nunn
Commanding Officer of the University of New South Wales Regiment
1972 – 1975
Succeeded by
W. B. Molloy
Parliament of New South Wales
Preceded by
Johno Johnson
President of the New South Wales Legislative Council
1991 – 1998
Succeeded by
Virginia Chadwick