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Biography of the Minister for the Navy James Killen

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Minister for the Navy, Mr. Denis Janes ICillen, LL.B (Q’land).

Mr. ICillen was horn on 23rd November , 1925, at Dal b y ,

in Queensland, son of Mr.. Janes W. ICillen of Melbourne who had

a dental practice at Da,lby. ■

At the age of 13 he ran away from Brisbane Grammar .

School to become a jackeroo and worked on several properties, .

including some of the largest sheep stations of those days.

One was Portland Downs where 100,000 sheep were shorn

each year.,

At the end of five years of jackerooing Denis ICillen

was at Surat and enlisted there in the RAAF, He was then 18.

He qualified as an air gunner with the rank of Plight . . ~ ' ■

Sergeant and served in Australia and the Western Pacific until

his discharge in October 194-5. ’

Mr. ICillen returned to Brisbane and enrolled at t he. ' ^

Queensland Technical College in a three year course on sheep, ' ($

wool and veterinary science, which he completed in about 13

months, and qualified for a Diploma.

' He then - attempted to get a propert;" under the

Soldiers' Settlement Scheme but was miot successful in the


Mr. ICillen then went into commercial life, joining

Piheen (Aust) Pty. as quality control officer and then

pur elms ing officer. .

■He entered politics in 1955 at the age of 29 when he

won the Liberal seat of Moreton at the general elections after

the Member, Sir Josiah Francis (a former Minister for the. Navy)

was appointed Consul-General in Hew York, Mr. ICillen retained

the successive genera.1 elections in 1958, 1961 , 1966

and 1969.

. In 1963 Mr, ICillen was admitted to the "Queensland Bar

after graduating LL.B., as an external student at Queensland

University,. .

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_ He specialised in criminal law and has appeared in

most jurisdictions including the High Court. In spite of

his political commitments Mr. ICillen has kept on his chambers.

in Brisbane and intends to practice when circumstances permit.

As a young politician Mr. ICillen became foundation ·

president of the Young Liberals' Movement in Queensland. During

1953-55 he was Vice-President of the Queensland Division of ■

the liberal Party.

Between 24th February 1959 and 7th April 1959 and ·

from 9th April he was a member of the Parliamentary Privileges

Committee. .

In August 1954 Mr. ICillen was appointed a member of

the Joint Parliamentary Committee on Foreign Affairs. .

From February 1967 until August of that year he was

Assistant Government Whip, ' .

For some years Mr. ICillen wrote frequently for the

magazine "The Bulletin" in its earlier form, and also contributed

to other.journals. He researched and wrote on historical

subjects, the development of the Hew State Movement and

changing structures within the British Empire and the

Commonwealth, The articles were written under the initials


Mr. ICillen has travelled in South-East Asia and

behind the "iron curtain" of Czechoslovakia.

In 1949 Mr. ICillen married Joyce Clare, daughter of ■

Colonel E. Buley of Victoria, and has three daughters.

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The Minister's recreation is tennis.