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Living Former Senators (1949-1972)

The following table shows the senators elected or appointed between 1949 and 1972 who are still living.

As of January 18, 2023, there are four former senators from this period – the Menzies era – still living: 2 Liberals, 1 ALP and 1 independent.

The earliest elected senator from this group is Doug McClelland (ALP-NSW), who was elected in 1961 and took up his seat on July 1, 1962. A minister in the Whitlam government, McClelland went on to become President of the Senate.

Two of the former senators are in their 90s, whilst two are in their 80s. The oldest (Doug McClelland) is 96, whilst the youngest (Martin Cameron) is 87.

Recent deaths of senators from this period are:
– April 3, 2022: Jim Webster (CP, Vic, 1964-80), aged 96
– November 11, 2020: Margaret Guilfoyle (Liberal, Vic, 1971-87), aged 94
– May 21, 2018: Don Jessop (Liberal, SA, 1971-87), aged 90

The current ages update automatically on the table below.

Australian Senate 1949-72 – Members Still Living
No. Name Party State Term Began Term Finished Date of Birth Current Age
Doug McClelland
05 August 1926
96 years, 9 months, 25 days
First elected on December 9, 1961, McClelland remained in the Senate for 25 years. He was Minister for the Media (1972-75) and Special Minister of State (1975) in the Whitlam government. He is one of three surviving ministers from that period and one of only two of the original full Whitlam ministry. He was President of the Senate (1983-87) and later served as High Commissioner to the UK.
Peter Rae
24 September 1932
90 years, 8 months, 6 days
First elected at the 1967 Senate election, Rae took up his seat on July 1, 1968. Whilst a shadow minister, he never served as a minister and is best known for his Committee work that led to the establishment of the Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC). In 1986 he won election to the Tasmanian House of Assembly, serving as one of the members for Bass until 1989.
Martin Cameron
24 August 1936
86 years, 9 months, 6 days
Cameron filled a casual vacancy in 1969 but was defeated the federal election later that year. In 1971, he entered the South Australian Legislative Council. He left the Liberal Party when the Liberal Movement was formed but later rejoined. He was Leader of the Opposition in the Council until he retired in 1990.
Michael Townley
04 November 1934
88 years, 6 months, 26 days
Elected in 1970, Townley took up his seat as an Independent senator on July 1, 1971. In 1975, he joined the Liberal Party, thus augmenting its numbers when Supply was blocked during the Whitlam Dismissal crisis. He retired in 1987.

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