Brendan Nelson

Knowledge Identifier: +Brendan_Nelson


Brendan Nelson

Former Australian politician and former federal Opposition leader add

Category: Politics

Born in 1958.

Countries: Australia (67%), Luxembourg (22%), France (4%)

Education: undef.

Main connections: Malcolm Turnbull, John Howard, David Connolly (Australian politician)

Linked to: Australian Medical Association, Liberal Party of Australia, Australian Labor Party, Flinders University




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Brendan Nelson was born in 1958 add something


Nelson became the first person since Billy Snedden in 1972 to become Opposition Leader without prior experience in Opposition add something


Nelson relocated to Hobart, Tasmania, taking up practice as a medical practitioner from 1985 until 1995 add something


In 1986, he married for a second time, and became a father to twins add something


In 1987, he and Dr David Crean, brother of Labor politician Simon Crean and later a Tasmanian state Labor minister, established an after-hours locum service which he worked in until 1991 add something


However, he resigned from the Labor Party in 1991 before accepting a role on the AMA executive, on account of his perception of it as an apolitical position add something


In 1991, he replaced Dr Michael Jones, a former AMA president from Western Australia, as federal AMA vice-president add something


He came to the office after significant hostility between the AMA and the federal Labor government, which peaked at the 1993 election under former AMA president Dr Bruce Shepherd and former Health Minister Brian Howe add something


On 30 May 1993, Nelson was elected unopposed as federal president of the Australian Medical Association, at 34 being the youngest ever holder of the office add something


In an address to the National Press Club on 30 September 1993, acknowledging the AMA's reputation for conservatism, he said he would not "lead the AMA safely", but believed doctors should "lead the way in showing that national progress can be made by placing the welfare and consideration of other human beings ahead of their own," asserting their obligation to speak out on issues for the public good add something


In January 1994, Nelson joined the Tasmanian branch of the Liberal Party of Australia add something


In October 1994, the World Conference on Tobacco and Health in Paris unanimously adopted an AMA resolution calling for a formal United Nations strategy on tobacco control add something


On 30 January 1995, he announced his nomination for the preselection contest for Bradfield, a safe Liberal seat in which Pymble was located and held since 1974 by shadow minister David Connolly add something


On 1 March 1995 at a Liberal gathering, he renounced his view that Labor governments had been better for Australia, and stated that he believed Medicare was unsustainable and that voluntary work programs for the unemployed would build self-esteem, and advocated a consumption tax add something


A bitter preselection campaign ensued, and on 13 May 1995 he gained the party's endorsement on a 96-to-93 vote, even though Connolly had the support of Liberal leader John Howard and deputy leader Peter Costello add something


On 14 July 1995, as master of ceremonies for a fundraising dinner supporting Howard, he was criticised for his risque humour concerning then-current entertainment and political events, not having realised that Lady Fairfax, Lady McMahon and conservative business leaders were in the audience add something


He served as a member of the Australian House of Representatives from the 1996 federal election until 19 October 2009 as the Liberal member for Bradfield, a northern Sydney seat add something


Nelson was elected to Parliament as expected at the federal election on 2 March 1996, at which the Keating government was defeated and John Howard became Prime Minister add something


Nelson was a vocal opponent of the views of Independent MP Pauline Hanson following her maiden speech on 10 September 1996, challenging her to visit Palm Island and other Aboriginal communities with him add something


In December 1996, Liberal MP Kevin Andrews raised a private members' bill to overturn the Northern Territory's euthanasia legislation, which had been championed by Dr Philip Nitschke add something


David Connolly (Australian politician) - He was elected to the Australian House of Representatives, and held the seat until 1996, when he was defeated for preselection by future Liberal leader Brendan Nelson


After the 2001 federal election he was promoted directly to Cabinet with the senior portfolio of Minister for Education, Science and Training add something


Nelson was appointed Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister for Defence in 2001 add something


In 2005 Nelson expressed support for giving parents the option of having students exposed to the controversial subject of intelligent design add something


In 2005 he introduced Voluntary Student Unionism add something


On 24 January 2006, Prime Minister John Howard announced Nelson's promotion from the Education, Science and Training portfolio to the high profile Defence portfolio add something


Following the defeat of the Howard government at the 2007 federal election, he was elected Liberal party leader and therefore Leader of the Opposition, narrowly defeating Malcolm Turnbull in a 45 to 42 vote, after the withdrawal from the race of Tony Abbott add something


On 1 December 2007 Nelson attempted to distance himself from some of the conservative policies of his predecessor, saying "I don't support gay marriage, adoption or IVF. But I believe in addressing the social and economic injustices affecting homosexuals add something


Following the 2007 federal election, at which the Howard Government was defeated, Nelson was elected leader of the federal Liberal parliamentary group in a contest against former Minister for Environment and Water Resources Malcolm Turnbull, and became the Leader of the Opposition on 3 December 2007 add something


Following the 2007 federal election, at which the Howard Government was defeated, Nelson was elected leader of the federal Liberal parliamentary group in a contest against former Minister for Environment and Water Resources Malcolm Turnbull, and became the Leader of the Opposition on 3 December 2007 add something


Tony Abbott - Following the 2007 election he was appointed to Brendan Nelson's Shadow Cabinet as Shadow Minister for Families, Community Services, Indigenous Affairs and the Voluntary Sector


Kaman SH-2G Super Seasprite - On 25 May 2007, "The Age" reported the government would continue to support the Seasprite; Defence Minister Brendan Nelson commented that progress on the project was being closely monitored


Julie Bishop - Following the Coalition's loss at the 2007 election, Bishop was elected deputy leader of the Liberal Party under Brendan Nelson on 29 November 2007


Nigel Scullion - On 6 December 2007 he was named as Shadow Minister for Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries in the shadow ministry chosen by new Opposition Leader Brendan Nelson


Nelson used his 2008 budget reply to declare the Rudd government budget a "tax and spend" budget, as well as arguing for a 5-cent reduction in petrol excise, and pledging to block an increase in the "alcopop" tax add something


In January 2008, Nelson opposed making any formal apology to the indigenous Australians known as the "Stolen Generations" add something


Support for Nelson as leader within the Liberal Party had all but collapsed by the end of July 2008, in part due to repeated gaffes on emissions trading and climate change add something


Despite a small and steady increase after record low polling, Nelson lost the leadership of the Liberal Party to Shadow Treasurer, Malcolm Turnbull, on 16 September 2008 by 45 to 41 votes in a spill motion add something


On 16 September 2008, in a second contest following a spill motion, Nelson lost the leadership of the Opposition and the Liberal Party to Turnbull add something


Pat Farmer - In January 2008 he moved to Mosman, New South Wales against the advice of Liberal Party leader Brendan Nelson, but stated that it would not affect his ability to represent his electorate in the city's western suburbs


Alexander Downer - He informed colleagues in May 2008 that he was considering staying in politics with a view to becoming shadow treasurer under either Brendan Nelson or Malcolm Turnbull


On 16 February 2009, Nelson announced that he would retire from politics at the next federal election add something


On 25 August 2009 he announced his forthcoming retirement from politics add something


On 25 August 2009, he announced that he would resign from Parliament in late September 2009 add something


In September 2009, the Labor Prime Minister Kevin Rudd announced Nelson as the next Ambassador to the European Union, Belgium and Luxembourg as well as Australia's Special Representative at the World Health Organisation and NATO add something


On 17 September 2009, Foreign Minister Stephen Smith appointed Nelson as the Ambassador to Belgium, Luxembourg, the European Union and NATO, at the same time appointing former Federal Labor Leader, Kim Beazley as the Australian Ambassador to the United States of America add something


He remained Member for Bradfield until officially resigning on 19 October 2009, sparking the 2009 Bradfield by-election add something


Nearly two months later, Nelson officially resigned on 19 October 2009, triggering the 2009 Bradfield by-election add something


On 23 August 2012, the government announced that Nelson will be the new Director of the Australian War Memorial add something


He will take up this position on 17 December 2012, succeeding Major-General Steve Gower add something