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The Premiers of New South Wales - Volume Two 1901-2005

The Premiers of New South Wales - Volume Two 1901-2005

Edited by David Clune and Ken Turner


This is Volume Two of an authoritative two-volume work containing biographies of the 13 Colonial Premiers to 1901 and the 26 State Premiers in the 20th century, up to and including Bob Carr.

The portraits are detailed, scholarly and entertaining. Each has a real depth of scholarship while remaining sufficiently concise to satisfy those seeking a quick overview of particular periods or facets of NSW political history.

Volume Two, authors include, as well as distinguished scholars, practitioners of politics. Rodney Cavalier uses his Cabinet diaries to provide a fascinating, insider’s account of the premiership of Barrie Unsworth. Graham Freudenberg writes with insight and lucidity of Neville Wran.

Volume One and Volume Two are available as individual purchases or as part of the Set.

Sesquicentenary 1856-2006 Responsible Government in New South Wales   A NSW Sesquicentenary of Responsible Government publication.





David Clune and Ken Turner
John (later Sir John) See
Michael Hogan
Thomas Waddell
Michael Hogan
Joseph (later Sir Joseph) Hector Carruthers
Don Harwin
Charles (later Sir Charles) Gregory Wade
David Clune
James Sinclair Taylor McGowen
Lucy Taksa
William Arthur Holman
Michael Hogan
John Storey
Jim Hagan
James Dooley
Duncan Waterson
George (later Sir George) Warburton Fuller
David Clune
John Thomas Lang
Michael Hogan
Thomas (later Sir Thomas) Rainsford Bavin
John Paul
Bertram (later Sir Bertram) Sydney Barnsdale Stevens
John McCarthy
Alexander Mair
Gilbert van der Jagt
William (later Sir William) John McKell
Ken Turner
James McGirr
Ken Turner
John Joseph Cahill
David Clune
Robert James Heffron
Evan Williams
John Brophy Renshaw
Ken Turner
Robin (later sir Robert ) William Askin
Ian Hancock
Thomas Lancelot Lewis
Norman Abjorensen
Eric (later Sir Eric) Archibald Willis
Malcolm Mackerras
Neville Kenneth Wran
Graham Freudenberg
Barrie John Unsworth
Rodney Cavalier
Nicholas Frank Hugo Greiner
Greg Melleuish
John Fahey
Greg Melleuish
Robert John Carr
Rodney Smith

Table 1: Background of Premiers
Table 2: Premiers in Office



The chapters combine personal biography with a focus on agents of political socialisation,with an assessment of the leaders’ time in parliament. This provides something of a history of NSW politics since, in the 39 lives and careers, reflections of the society surrounding them can be seen. Many of the chapters are written in a lively and readable style, making this collection welcome to those outside the field but interested in the stories that make up the political culture of Australia’s most populous state. Even for a non-resident of NSW these volumes make for interesting reading as the contributors trace patterns and trends through politics, and leadership specifically, over the past 150 years.

Australian Journal of Politics and History, Vol 52 (3), Sept 2006

An invaluable addition to the reference library of anyone concerned with NSW state politics over the past 150 years.

Journal of the Royal Australian Historical Society, Vol 92(1), June 2006

Much of the information is useful and undoubtedly interesting … perhaps its greatest interest for the non-specialist reader will be the extent to which the premiers’ lives reflect changes occurring in New South Wales society … It is possible to trace the origins of the political values with which John Howard and the New South Wales Liberals have re-emerged after almost a century of Deakinite protection as far back as Reid, Waddell and Carruthers.
The highlights of the later part of the 20th century are David Clune on Joe Cahill and Ian Hancock on Bob Askin. … Cahill’s maiden speech in 1925 addressed to Fuller’s Nationalists might be a contemporary message: “ You regard those whom you employ in your workshops as mere pieces of machinery … Your experience only reaches as far as your office, where you sit in the midst of luxury.” For Askin, Hancock has carefully surveyed the available evidence … Although Askin’s political achievements were impressive and he had the common touch, … he was not himself attractive.

Australian Historical Studies, Vol 128, 2006

The book is an important addition to the State’s political heritage.

Law Society Journal (NSW), Vol 44/6, July 2006


Published 18 January 2006
Publisher The Federation Press
ISBN 9781862875517
Australian RRP $39.95
International Price $35.00
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Government / Political Studies
Australian History / Studies

NSW Sesquicentenary of Responsible Government

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