Sid Spindler

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Sid Spindler
Senator for Victoria
In office
1 July 1990 – 30 June 1996
Personal details
Born (1932-07-09)9 July 1932
Łódź, Poland
Died 1 March 2008(2008-03-01) (aged 75)
Richmond, Victoria
Nationality Polish Australian
Political party Australian Democrats
Alma mater University of Melbourne
Occupation Adviser

Siegfried Emil "Sid" Spindler (9 July 1932 – 1 March 2008) was an Australian politician representing the Australian Democrats in the Australian Senate for one term from 1990 to 1996.

Spindler was born in Łódź, Poland. After migrating to Australia, he studied at the University of Melbourne where he graduated LL.B. His background as a refugee from World War II Europe influenced what he described as

a personal quest to resolve issues related to the Holocaust, reaching a conclusion that a repetition can be prevented only if every human being is respected and treated equally, regardless of race, religion, gender and sexuality.[1]

He was an administrator of the Alice Springs Community College and an organiser and candidate for the Australia Party[2] before joining the Australian Democrats and becoming senior adviser to Don Chipp and Janine Haines.[3][4]

Spindler was Victorian state president of the Australian Democrats from 1985 to 1989 and a national vice-president from 1987 to 1990. He was elected as a senator for Victoria in 1990, serving from 1 July 1990 to 30 June 1996 and managing a range of shadow-ministerial portfolios, as was mandatory for all Democrat parliamentarians. In parliament he spoke in support of the rights of Aborigines, refugees, prisoners, pensioners, taxpayers and the environment. He also spoke and campaigned against child labour and sexual discrimination. He retired from the Senate at the end of his term in 1996.[3][5][6]

Spindler's relationship with Janet Powell, then leader of the Democrats, was used as leverage to remove Powell from the leadership in 1991.[7]

Spindler and his family established the Towards a Just Society Fund in 2002, which distributes $200,000 annually to help Aboriginal students.

He died of liver cancer in the Epworth Hospital in Melbourne, on his fiftieth wedding anniversary. He was survived by his wife Julia and four children.[4][5]


  1. ^ Sid Spindler monograph in 30 Years: Australian Democrats, Melbourne 2007, page 35
  2. ^ Spindler S Gordon Barton—electoral impacts (Speech at Sydney University, 3 Sep 2005)
  3. ^ a b "Biography for Spindler, Sid". ParlInfo Web. Parliament of Australia. Retrieved 2008-03-02. 
  4. ^ a b "Sid Spindler, Democrats icon, dies". The Herald Sun. 2 March 2008. Archived from the original on 11 March 2008. Retrieved 2008-03-02. 
  5. ^ a b "Democrat stalwart Sid Spindler dies". The Age. 2 March 2008. Retrieved 2008-03-02. 
  6. ^ "Sid Spindler dies". Andrew Bartlett. Retrieved 2008-03-02. 
  7. ^ "A cautionary tale of hypocrisy and ambition". Melbourne: The Age. 5 July 2002. Retrieved 2008-03-02.