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Biography for GRIMES, the Hon. Donald James, AO

Senator for Tasmania 1974-87

Australian Labor Party

Parliamentary Service

Elected to the Senate for Tasmania 1974 (term deemed to have begun 1.7.73), 1975, 1977 and 1983.

Resigned 2.4.87.

Ministerial Appointments

Minister for Social Security from 11.3.83 to 13.12.84.

Minister for Community Services from 13.12.84 to 16.2.87.

Committee Service

Senate Standing: Publications from 18.7.74 to 11.11.75; Disputed Returns and Qualifications from 24.2.76 to 4.2.83.

Senate Legislative and General Purpose Standing: Constitutional and Legal Affairs from 18.2.75 to 11.11.75; Social Welfare from 24.3.76 to 16.10.79 and from 22.4.80 to 4.2.83.

Senate Select: The Operations of the Mount Lyell Company from 11.11.76 to 3.12.76; Passenger Fares and Services to Tasmania from 22.5.80 to 18.8.81.

Senate Estimates: B from 3.10.74 to 11.11.75; F from 15.4.75 to 3.9.75; C from 3.9.75 to 11.11.75; E from 29.4.76 to 26.8.76; D from 26.8.76 to 16.3.78; C again from 16.3.78 to 2.4.81; G from 2.4.81 to 4.2.83.

Conferences, Delegations and Visits

Member, Commonwealth Parliamentary Delegation to the Australian Constitutional Convention, Melbourne, September 1975.

Member, Parliamentary Delegations to France and the Commissions of the European Community, May-June 1979.

Official visits to Thailand and Europe, October-November 1985; Sweden and Norway, March 1986; France, December 1986.

Parliamentary Party Positions

Member, Opposition Shadow Ministry from 27.1.76 to 11.3.83. Spokesman on Social Security from 29.1.76 to 11.3.83; on Repatriation and Compensation from 25.3.76 to 2.6.77; on Veterans' Affairs and Compensation from 2.6.77 to 22.12.77 and on Veterans' Affairs again from 23.11.80 to 11.3.83.

Deputy Leader of the Opposition in the Senate from 7.11.80 to 21.4.83.

Manager, Opposition Business in the Senate from 7.11.80 to 5.3.83.

Deputy Leader of the Government in the Senate from 21.4.83 to 17.2.87.

Manager of Government Business in the Senate from 21.4.83 to 17.2.87.

Party Positions

Vice-President, ALP (Tas) 1979-80.

Member, ALP Constitution and Rules Committee Tasmanian Branch 1973-74.

Delegate, ALP Federal Conference 1977.

Vice-Chairman, Asian-Pacific Socialist Organisation 1981.


Born 4.10.37 at Albury, New South Wales.

Qualifications and Occupation before entering Federal Parliament

MBBS (Syd).

Medical practitioner.


Appointed Officer of the Order of Australia, June 1992.