Tim Wilson (Australian politician)

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Tim Wilson

Tim Wilson 2014.jpg
Wilson in 2014
Member of the Australian Parliament
for Goldstein
Assumed office
2 July 2016
Preceded byAndrew Robb
Personal details
Timothy Robert Wilson

(1980-03-12) 12 March 1980 (age 39)
Melbourne, Australia
Political partyLiberal
Ryan Bolger (m. 2018)
Alma materMonash University
OccupationPolicy analyst

Timothy Robert Wilson (born 12 March 1980) is an Australian politician who has represented Goldstein in the Australian House of Representatives since 2016 as a member of the Liberal Party.[1] He was a policy director of the Institute of Public Affairs (IPA) for seven years, and subsequently the Australian Human Rights Commissioner from 2014 to 2016.[2][3][4]

Early life[edit]

Wilson graduated from Monash University with a Bachelor of Arts (policy studies) and a Masters of Diplomacy and Trade (international trade), as well as a Graduate Certificate in Energy and Carbon Management from Murdoch University.[5]

Institute of Public Affairs[edit]

Wilson was employed by the Institute of Public Affairs for seven years, serving as Director of Climate Change Policy and the Intellectual Property and Free Trade.[5] During this time, he argued against plain cigarette packaging,[6] and to vote against the proposed local government referendum in Australia.[7] He was a vocal critic of the Human Rights Commission[8] and during his time at the IPA, the Institute called for the abolition of the Commission.[9]

Human Rights Commissioner[edit]

Wilson as Human Rights Commissioner in 2015 with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Social Justice Commissioner Mick Gooda

Wilson served as Australia's Human Rights Commissioner between February 2014 and February 2016.[2][10][11] On appointment to the Human Rights Commission, Wilson resigned his membership of the Liberal Party.[12] During the term of his appointment he argued for changes to Section 18C of the 1975 Racial Discrimination Act, calling the prosecution of broadcaster Andrew Bolt for vilification of indigenous Australians an infringement on Bolt's right to freedom of speech.[13]


In 2008, Wilson, then a Liberal Party member, unsuccessfully ran for the position of deputy mayor of the City of Melbourne in a joint ticket with Peter McMullin, a former Labor mayor of Geelong.[14]

On 19 March 2016, Wilson was preselected as the Liberal candidate for the seat of Goldstein defeating fellow Liberal Denis Dragovic by two votes.[15][16] He was subsequently elected to the Australian House of Representatives at the 2016 election.[17] Wilson currently serves on the Standing Committee on Health, Aged Care and Sport, Standing Committee on Industry, Innovation, Science and Resources and the Standing Committeet on Social Policy and Legal Affairs[18]

Personal life[edit]

Wilson is openly gay, an advocate for same-sex marriage,[14][19] and was an early supporter of the Safe Schools Coalition Australia.[20] Wilson supports same-sex marriage in Australia and has married his partner since the laws have changed.[21] Regarding Wilson's religious beliefs, he has said "I'm more of an agnostic, but I prefer to say that I haven't found God but I'm on a journey and I may one day find God."[22] Wilson proposed to his partner in a speech during early debate on the Marriage Amendment (Definition and Religious Freedoms) Bill 2017 on Monday 4 December in the Australian parliament, while his partner watched his speech from the public gallery. This proposal went viral on the internet and made news bulletins worldwide, the proposal was recorded in Hansard as was his partner's affirmative answer.[23] On 11 March 2018, the two married.

Wilson has opted out of the My Health Record system.[24]


  1. ^ "Goldstein – Australia Votes". Election 2016. Australian Broadcasting Corporation. Retrieved 7 July 2016.
  2. ^ a b "Human Rights Commissioner, Mr Tim Wilson". Australian Human Rights Commission.
  3. ^ Kerr, Christian (17 December 2013). "Tim Wilson to head freedom campaign as human rights commissioner". The Australian.
  4. ^ Wilson, Tim (15 February 2016). "Statement of Resignation".
  5. ^ a b "Tim Wilson". Institute of Public Affairs. Archived from the original on 20 December 2013. Retrieved 20 December 2013.
  6. ^ "Smoking out the spin" (transcript). Media Watch. Australia: ABC TV. 10 May 2010. Retrieved 7 June 2016.
  7. ^ "IPA Video on Local Government Referendum" (streaming video). Institute of Public Affairs.
  8. ^ "Tim Wilson condemns human rights commissioner for failing to defend free speech" (streaming video) – via YouTube.
  9. ^ Breheny, Simon (23 January 2013). "Australian Human Rights Commission should be abolished" (PDF) (Press release). Institute of Public Affairs. Retrieved 6 June 2016.
  10. ^ Brandis, George (17 December 2013). "Appointment of Mr Timothy Wilson as Human Rights Commissioner" (Press release). Attorney-General of Australia.
  11. ^ Hurst, Daniel (15 February 2016). "Tim Wilson resigns to seek Liberal preselection for seat of Goldstein". The Guardian. Australia. Retrieved 15 February 2016.
  12. ^ "Tim Wilson, former policy director of Institute of Public Affairs, appointed Human Rights Commissioner". ABC News. 17 December 2013. Retrieved 17 December 2013.
  13. ^ Wright, Tony; Harrison, Dan (18 December 2013). "Tim Wilson appointment to Human Rights Commission stirs controversy". The Sydney Morning Herald.
  14. ^ a b Noonan, Andie (22 October 2008). "Wilson to run for deputy". Star Observer. Retrieved 17 December 2013.
  15. ^ Hawthorne, Mark (19 March 2016). "Tim Wilson heading to Canberra after winning safe Liberal seat of Goldstein". The Sydney Morning Herald.
  16. ^ "Tim Wilson wins Liberal preselection in seat of Goldstein". The Australian. 19 March 2016. Retrieved 19 March 2016.
  17. ^ Hunter, Fergus (20 July 2016). "Fresh blood in the 45th Parliament: the new MPs". The Sydney Morning Herald. Retrieved 23 July 2016.
  18. ^ 7111;, corporateName=Commonwealth Parliament; address=Parliament House, Canberra, ACT, 2600; contact=+61 2 6277. "Mr Tim Wilson MP". aph.gov.au. Retrieved 20 August 2017.CS1 maint: extra punctuation (link)
  19. ^ Elliott, Tim (22 February 2014). "Tim Wilson: Freedom fighter". The Sydney Morning Herald.
  20. ^ "Messages of Support". Safe Schools Coalition Australia. Retrieved 19 March 2016.
  21. ^ Andersen, Brigid; Lipson, David (22 July 2016). "Tim Wilson calls on anti-same-sex marriage MPs to abstain from vote". Lateline. ABC News.
  22. ^ "Keeping it light". Bible Society Australia. 8 March 2017. Retrieved 14 March 2017.
  23. ^ Belot, Henry (4 December 2017). "Same-sex marriage: Tim Wilson proposes to his partner after bill introduced to House of Reps". ABC News.
  24. ^ "'Make My Health opt-in': Government MP opts out of e-health record". SBS News. Retrieved 23 July 2018.

External links[edit]

Parliament of Australia
Preceded by
Andrew Robb
Member for Goldstein