|Michael Keith Organ|
|Member of the Australian Parliament for Cunningham|
19 October 2002 – 8 October 2004
|Preceded by||Stephen Martin|
|Succeeded by||Sharon Bird|
22 September 1956 |
Bulli, New South Wales
|Political party||Australian Greens|
|Children||Andrew, Kyle, India, Emma|
|Occupation||University library archivist|
|Website||Home page (2011)|
Michael Keith Organ (born 22 September 1956) is an Australian politician. He was an Australian Greens member of the Australian House of Representatives between 2002 and 2004, representing the Division of Cunningham, New South Wales. He was the first member of the Greens to win a seat in the House of Representatives, having won a by-election which the Liberal Party did not contest.
Life and education
Organ was born in Bulli, New South Wales. His mother was a hospital domestic and his father was a brickworker. He studied geology at the University of Wollongong and completed a post-graduate diploma in archive administration at the University of New South Wales, where he subsequently took up a post as an archivist. He has been employed at the University of Wollongong library, as an archivist (1996–2002) and, as of 5 May 2013[update], manager, repository services.
Three months prior to the Cunningham by-election, he unsuccessfully contested the local government election for the lord mayorship of Wollongong.
He has four children, Andrew (b. 1991), Kyle (b. 1993), India (b. 2008) and Emma (b. 2011).
The ALP preselected a TAFE teacher, Sharon Bird, by decision of the party executive rather than the usual rank-and-file nomination procedure, and the Liberal party opted not to contest the by-election.
Organ was endorsed by the South Coast Labour Council and received strong preference flows from two popular independent candidates, David Moulds and Peter Wilson. He gained 23% of the primary vote and 52% after allocation of preferences, defeating Bird and becoming the first Green elected to the House of Representatives, at the same time making Cunningham a marginal seat.
He contested the position of Lord Mayor of Wollongong City Council for a second time in September 2011.
In his first speech, Organ credited his win to community opposition to a planned development by the Stockland Trust Group at Sandon Point. The campaign included a tent embassy by the local Kuradji nation, and a community blockade of around 300 people which was confronted by a force of around sixty police officers and police dogs. Organ said that the development was inappropriate, threatened European and Indigenous cultural heritage, threatened wetlands and a green corridor.
Organ co-authored a Greens policy on Tibet, which supported the right of Tibetans to self-determination and the Dalai Lama's Middle Way approach. He participated to the Save Tibet Asia Pacific Forum in Tokyo 1 –3 July 2008.
- Cunningham By-Election, Adam Carr's election archive. Accessed 24 November 2013
- Meet Michael Organ, the boy from Bulli who brought a breath of fresh air to the Cunningham electorate, Canberra Times, 26 October 2002 Archived 4 October 2011 at the Wayback Machine.
- UoW Library Staff, University of Wollongong website. Accessed 24 November 2013
- Cunningham electoral profile, Australian Broadcasting Corporation, 2004. Accessed 24 November 2013
- Cunningham 2002 by-election, Australian Electoral Commission, 19 January 2011. Accessed 24 November 2013
- House of Representatives 2004 – Cunningham, Australian Electoral Commission, 2005
- House of Representatives 2007 – Cunningham, Australian Electoral Commission, 2007
- Michael Organ for Lord Mayor website, 2011. Accessed 24 November 2013
- First speech, on personal website, February 2003
- Save Sandon Point Community Website Archival campaign site, 2003–2005
- Australian Greens' policy on Tibet (2005) University of Wollongong website. Accessed 24 November 2013
- SAVE TIBET: ASIA-PACIFIC FORUM sent out the resolution to G8 leaders
|Parliament of Australia|
|Member for Cunningham