The Honourable Kim Beazley, AC

Member of the Council of Advisors, United States Studies Centre

The Honourable Kim Beazley, AC

    The Honourable Kim Beazley AC is a member of the US Studies Centre's Council of Advisors.

    Beazley was born in Perth in 1948. He was educated at Hollywood High School and at the University of Western Australia, where he completed a Bachelor of Arts and Master of Arts, and was President of the Guild of Undergraduates in 1970. He was a member of the Senate and was appointed as the student member on the planning board of the new university Murdoch. He was awarded the Rhodes Scholarship for Western Australia in 1973, and completed an M. Phil at Oxford University in 1976.

    Returning to Australia in 1976, Professor Beazley taught at Murdoch University in the Department of Social Inquiry from 1976 to 1980.

    Continuing a distinguished family tradition of public service, Professor Beazley was elected to the Federal Parliament to represent the seat of Swan in 1980. He was a member of parliament from 1980 to 2007, representing the Swan and Brand electorates. He was a Minister from 1983-1996 in the Hawke and Keating Labor governments, holding at various times portfolios which included Defence, Finance, Transport and Communications, Employment Education and Training, Aviation and Special Minister of State.

    He was Deputy Prime Minister 1995-1996 under Prime Minister Paul Keating. He was elected Leader of the Australian Labor Party and Leader of the Opposition 1996-2001 and 2005-2006. Whilst in parliament, he served at times on a number of parliamentary committees, including Joint Intelligence and Joint Foreign Affairs, Defence and Trade. He was also a member of the Speaker's Panel. He retired from Parliament in 2007.

    Since his departure from Parliament, Professor Beazley has been appointed Winthrop Professor in the Department of Political Science and International Relations at the University of Western Australia. He is joint chairman of the international advisory board of the Australian American Leadership Dialogue, and is a member of the advisory boards of DefenceSA and the Australian Army Journal. He has chaired the Ernst and Young Defence Advisory Group since July 2008. In early 2009 he took up the role of Chancellor of the Australian National University, and in July 2009 became a member of the Council of the Australian War Memorial.

    In 2009, Professor Beazley was awarded the Companion of the Order of Australia, for service to the Parliament of Australia through contributions to the development of government policies in relation to defence and international relations, as an advocate for Indigenous people, and to the community.

    Professor Beazley was named in September 2009 as the next Australian Ambassador to the United States and took up this position in February 2010.