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Clerk of the Australian Senate

The Clerk of the Australian Senate is the head of the Department of the Senate, which is the parliamentary department supporting the work of the Australian Senate. The parliamentary head of the department is the President of the Senate.

The Department of the Senate provides the Senate, its committees, the President of the Senate and senators with a broad range of advisory and support services related to the exercise of the legislative power of the Commonwealth.

The Clerk's Office is directly responsible for:

  • provision of high quality procedural and constitutional advice to senators in respect of the operations of the Senate and its committees
  • provision of secretariat, advisory and administrative support to the Procedure Committee and the Committee of Privileges
  • production, amendment and updating of Odgers' Australian Senate Practice
  • production and dissemination of material relating to the work of the Senate and its committees to the widest possible audience
  • corporate leadership of the Department of the Senate
  • secretariat services for the Inter-Parliamentary Union.

In addition, the office exercises overall responsibility for, and quality control of, all procedural and administrative activities of the department.

The longest-serving Clerk was Harry Evans, who served 21 years 1988-2009. During his term, legislation was passed to limit the terms of the Clerk of the Senate and the Clerk of the House of Representatives to 10 years. The change in the law did not affect the incumbents.

The Department of the Senate is not part of the Executive Government of Australia, being instead responsible to the President of the Australian Senate, who has accountability obligations for the department to the Senate.

Clerks of the Senate

# Name Term in Office
1 Edwin Gordon Blackmore CMG 1 April 1901 – 30 June 1908
2 Charles Broughton Boydell 1 July 1908 – 31 December 1916
3 Charles Gavan Duffy CMG 1 February 1917 – 27 August 1920
4 George Henry Monahan CMG 28 August 1920 – 31 December 1938
5 Robert Arthur Broinowski 1 January 1939 – 30 November 1942
6 John Ernest Edwards 1 December 1942 – 20 July 1955
7 Rupert Harry Colin Loof CBE 21 July 1955 – 14 August 1965
8 James Rowland Odgers CBE 16 August 1965 – 8 August 1979
9 Roy Edwards Bullock OBE 9 August 1979 – 15 July 1981
10 Keith Oscar Bradshaw 29 October 1980 – 15 July 1982
11 Alan Ritchie Cumming Thom 16 July 1982 – 15 February 1988
12 Harry Evans 17 February 1988 – 4 December 2009
13 Dr Rosemary Laing 5 December 2009 -

See also

External links

  • Official website of the Australian Senate
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