Ray O'Connor

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Ray O'Connor
22nd Premier of Western Australia
In office
25 January 1982 – 25 February 1983
Preceded by Sir Charles Court
Succeeded by Brian Burke
Member of the Western Australian Parliament
for Mount Lawley
In office
Preceded by Edward Oldfield
Succeeded by George Cash
Member of the Western Australian Parliament
for North Perth
In office
Preceded by Stan Lapham
Succeeded by Seat abolished
Personal details
Born Raymond James O'Connor
(1926-03-06)6 March 1926
Perth, Western Australia, Australia
Died 25 February 2013(2013-02-25) (aged 86)
Perth, Western Australia, Australia
Nationality Australian
Political party Liberal

Raymond James "Ray" O'Connor (6 March 1926 – 25 February 2013) was an Australian politician. He served as the 22nd Premier of Western Australia, from 1982 to 1983. He also played Australian rules football for the South Fremantle and East Perth Football Clubs in the Western Australian National Football League (WANFL). In 1991, he was convicted of fraud as part of the WA Inc scandal, and served a six-month jail term.

Pre-political life[edit]

O'Connor was born in Perth and attended schools in towns of Narrogin and York, and St Patrick's Boys' School in Perth. He enlisted in the Australian Army and served in the 61st Battalion of the Second Australian Imperial Force between 1944 and 1947.[1] His first attempt to enter Parliament failed when he stood as an Independent Liberal candidate for the Metropolitan Province in the Legislative Council.[citation needed] O'Connor also played several senior matches of Australian rules football: two matches for South Fremantle in 1944 in the war-time under-age competition, and later 14 matches for East Perth from 1948 to 1950.[2]

Political career[edit]

O'Connor joined the Liberal Party in 1957 and in the general election of 1959 he was elected MLA for North Perth, defeating Stan Lapham, a Labor member who had held the seat for 6 years. O'Connor became Premier on the resignation of Sir Charles Court.[3][4] He was defeated at the polls after just over a year in office in 1983.[5]

A Western Australian Royal Commission into business dealings by the Government was conducted during 1991 and 1992. He was tried in 1995 on charges of stealing a A$25,000 cheque from the Bond Corporation and was given a six-month jail sentence.[6][7]:p.104 et seq As a result, his 1989 appointment as an Officer of the Order of Australia[8] was rescinded in 1995.[9]


Ray O'Connor died in 2013 at the age of 86.[10]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "O'Connor, Raymond James". World War Two Nominal Roll. Commonwealth of Australia. Retrieved 26 February 2013. 
  2. ^ "Footballers in the House" (PDF). Western Australian Parliamentary Library. Parliament of Western Australia. Retrieved 30 September 2011. 
  3. ^ Wilson, Nigel (21 January 1982). "After Court, a change in style". The Age. Retrieved 11 September 2011. 
  4. ^ 'Rocky' makes it to the top. -Raymond O'Connor becomes premier of Western Australia- The Australian, 25 January 1982, p.7 (ISSN 1038-8761) Poprzeczny, Joseph
  5. ^ The winning of the West. Kitney, Geoff National Times, 23 January 1983, p.6-7
  6. ^ "Premiers – O'Connor". Western Australian Governors and Premiers. Constitutional Centre of Western Australia. Retrieved 11 September 2011. 
  7. ^ The Bond cheque for $25,000 in WA Inc Royal Commission Report, Vol.VI, 1992, p. 135, at State Law Publisher, Government of WA
  8. ^ Commonwealth of Australia Gazette S.28, 26 January 1989. Retrieved 20 March 2014
  9. ^ Peter Mickelburough, "Social leaders stripped of honours after falling from grace", Herald Sun, 6 June 2013. Retrieved 20 March 2014
  10. ^ "Former Premier Ray O'Connor dies, aged 86". Perth Now. 26 February 2013. Retrieved 26 February 2013. 

Further reading[edit]

  • Reid, G. S. and M.R. Oliver (1982) The premiers of Western Australia 1890–1982 Nedlands, W.A: University of Western Australia Press. ISBN 0-85564-214-9 pp. 102–106

External links[edit]

Audio interview[edit]

  • Reid, Stuart (1996) Interview with Raymond James O'Connor, politician (sound recording) 8 sound cassettes (7 hr. 50 min.), A joint project of J.S. Battye Library of West Australian History and Parliament of Western Australia, Parliamentary History Committee. Transcript (typescript, 165 p. + index + appendix) Part of Battye Library catalogue note-While reticent about going over matters from the WA Inc Royal Commission which led to him being gaoled, Mr O'Connor does discuss the prison experience and how he was affected by it. An extract from the judge's summing up in that court case is appended at Mr O'Connor's request
Political offices
Preceded by
Sir Charles Court
Premier of Western Australia
Succeeded by
Brian Burke
Party political offices
Preceded by
Sir Charles Court
Leader of the Liberal Party of Australia (WA division)
Succeeded by
Bill Hassell