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Research Guides

Malcolm Fraser: Guide to Archives of Australia's Prime Ministers

Appendix 1: Timeline


21 May John Malcolm Fraser is born in Melbourne, the younger of two children of John Neville and Una (Woolf) Fraser.


28 February Tamara (Tamie) Beggs is born.


Fraser becomes a boarder at Tudor House School in Moss Vale.


Fraser begins secondary school at Melbourne Grammar School.


Fraser graduates from Oxford University with a degree in philosophy, politics and economics.


11 November Fraser is preselected as Liberal Party candidate for Wannon district.


May Fraser stands unsuccessfully for the seat of Wannon.


December Fraser wins the seat of Wannon, becoming the youngest member of the new Parliament.


22 February Fraser makes his maiden speech in Parliament.
9 December Fraser marries Tamie Beggs.


Fraser is the co-recipient (with Gough Whitlam) of a US Government Leader Grant to travel to the United States; also travels to Vietnam.


26 January Fraser is appointed Minister for the Army by Prime Minister Harold Holt.


28 February Fraser becomes Minister for Education and Science under Prime Minister John Gorton.


November Gorton allocates the Defence portfolio to Fraser.


8 March Fraser resigns from the Defence portfolio after disagreements with Gorton.
August Fraser is appointed Minister for Education and Science by Prime Minister William McMahon.


December Fraser is appointed Shadow Minister for Primary Industry.


3 August Fraser is appointed Shadow Minister for Industrial Relations.


21 March Fraser replaces Billy Snedden as Leader of the Liberal Party and becomes Leader of the Opposition.
15 October Fraser announces the Shadow Cabinet has voted to block supply.
11 November After the Governor-General Sir John Kerr dismisses the Labor government, Fraser becomes caretaker Prime Minister pending a general election.
13 December In the 30th federal election, the Coalition wins government with a resounding majority, following a double dissolution.


16 December The Aboriginal Land Rights (Northern Territory) Act 1976 is enacted.


15 June The Gleneagles Agreement among Commonwealth countries affirms opposition to racial discrimination in sport.
1 July The first Commonwealth Ombudsman takes office, with responsibility to investigate complaints about administrative decisions.
23 August The Fraser government approves the mining and export of uranium.
31 August Fraser announces the Galbally report on migrant services.
8 December Sir Zelman Cowen becomes Governor-General after Sir John Kerr's resignation.
10 December

In the 31st federal election, the Coalition is returned to government, maintaining a strong majority.


1 January

The Special Broadcasting Service (SBS) comes into operation under the Broadcasting and Television Amendment Act.

1 July

The Northern Territory achieves limited self-government, with a fully elected Legislative Assembly.


5 April The Kakadu National Park is proclaimed; in October, the first stage of the Great Barrier Reef marine park is proclaimed.
1–8 August Fraser attends the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting in Lusaka, Zambia.


6 June The Whale Protection Act is enacted.
18 October In the 32nd federal election, the Coalition is returned with a reduced majority.
3 November A committee is created to undertake a review of the functions of Commonwealth departments and authorities; headed by the Minister for Industry and Commerce, Philip Lynch, the committee becomes commonly known as the Lynch Committee or the Razor Gang.


14 April The Human Rights Commission Act is enacted.
30 April Cabinet approves the final report of the Lynch Committee.
8 July Fraser is awarded an Honorary Doctorate of Law by the University of South Carolina.

30 September – 7 October

Fraser hosts the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting in Melbourne.


9 March The Fraser government passes the Freedom of Information Act.


3 February Fraser announces a double dissolution of Parliament; the same day Bob Hawke is elected Leader of the Australian Labor Party.
5 March In the 33rd federal election, the Australian Labor Party wins government by a landslide. Bob Hawke becomes Prime Minister. Fraser retains the seat of Wannon but resigns as Leader of the Liberal Party.
31 March Fraser resigns from Parliament.
  Fraser is appointed Distinguished International Fellow of the American Enterprise Institute for Public Policy Research and Senior Adjunct Fellow of the Center for Strategic and International Studies.


September Fraser is appointed Fellow of the Centre for International Affairs at Harvard University.
October Fraser is appointed Co-chair of the Commonwealth Group of Eminent Persons seeking an end to apartheid in South Africa and Chair of the United Nations Panel of Eminent Persons on the Activities of Transnational Corporations in South Africa and Namibia.


Fraser forms CARE Australia as part of the International CARE network of humanitarian aid organisations. He is Chair from 1987 until 2002.


13 June Fraser is appointed a Companion of the Order of Australia.


  Fraser is appointed Chair of the UN Secretary-General's Expert Group on African Commodity Issues.
October Fraser is awarded an Honorary Doctorate by Deakin University, Geelong, Victoria.


Fraser is appointed President of CARE International until 1995.


Fraser joins the Commonwealth observers group in Pakistan for the October election.


Fraser leads the observer mission in the Pakistan election on 3 February.


19 April Fraser is appointed the Australian Government's special envoy to Yugoslavia to seek the release from prison of CARE Australia workers Steve Pratt and Peter Wallace.


November Fraser is awarded Australia's Human Rights Medal for his contribution to the advancement of human rights in Australia and internationally.


29 April Fraser is awarded an Honorary Doctorate of Laws by the University of Technology, Sydney.
17 September Fraser is awarded an Honorary Doctorate of Laws by Murdoch University, Western Australia.


20 May Fraser is awarded an Honorary Doctorate of Laws by the University of New South Wales.


March Fraser establishes Australians All to oppose racism and discrimination.


4 March Malcolm Fraser: the political memoirs, written by Malcolm Fraser and Margaret Simons, is published by The Miegunyah Press.