President of the Victorian Legislative Council

President of the Legislative Council
Bruce Atkinson (Liberal)

since 21 December 2010
Style The Honourable
Appointer Elected by the Victorian Legislative Council
Inaugural holder Sir James Frederick Palmer
Formation 21 November 1856

The President of the Victorian Legislative Council, also known as the Presiding Officer of the Council, is the presiding officer of the Victorian Legislative Council, the upper house of the Parliament of Victoria and equivalent to the President of the Australian Senate. The current President is Bruce Atkinson.[1]

The role of the President

The President is always a Member of the Victorian Legislative Council, and is the ceremonial head of that Council. The President performs ceremonial duties, and represents the Council to other organisations. In conjunction with the Speaker of the Victorian Legislative Assembly, the President is responsible for the administration of the Victorian Parliament. When the Council is sitting, the President enforces procedures and assists the smooth running of Council meetings. The President is assisted in their duties by a Deputy President.[2]

Choosing the President

The President of the Legislative Council is an elected position. When a new President is required, any Member of the Legislative Council may propose, during a Council sitting, any other present Member for the position of President. If more than one Member is proposed and seconded, all Members must agree to one particular candidate. After election, the President presents his or herself as the choice of the Council to be their President.[2]

List of Presidents of the Legislative Council

Note: where no political party is listed, this means that either the party is unknown, or that the President in question was not affiliated with any particular party. Multiple parties are listed in cases where the President represented more than one party over his career as a Member of the Legislative Council.
President[3] Party (if applicable) Term in office
Sir James Frederick Palmer 21 Nov 1856 –     Sep 1870
Sir William Mitchell 27 Oct 1870 – 24 Nov 1884
Sir James MacBain 27 Nov 1884 –   8 Nov 1892
Sir William Zeal 10 Nov 1892 –     May 1901
Sir Henry John Wrixon 18 Jun 1901 – 28 Jun 1910
Sir John Mark Davies   6 Jul  1910 –      Jun 1919
Sir Walter Manifold Nationalist Party of Australia   8 Jul  1919 – 28 Aug 1923
Sir Frank Clarke Nationalist, UAP, Liberal 29 Aug 1923 –      Jun 1943
Sir Clifden Eager Nationalist, Liberal, Lib. & Country 29 Jun 1943 –      Jun 1958
Sir Gordon McArthur Lib. & Country, Liberal   8 Jul   1958 – 10 Aug 1965
Sir Ronald Mack Liberal 14 Sep 1965 – 12 Feb 1968
Sir Raymond Garrett Liberal 20 Feb 1968 –      Jun 1976
William Fry Liberal 29 Jun 1976 –      Jul   1979
Fred Grimwade Liberal 18 Jul  1979 – 15 Jul   1985
Rod Mackenzie Labor 16 Jul   1985 – 24 Oct 1988
Alan Hunt Liberal 25 Oct 1988 – 26 Oct 1992
Bruce Chamberlain Liberal 27 Oct 1992 – 24 Feb 2003
Monica Gould Labor 25 Feb 2003 – 18 Dec 2006
Bob Smith Labor 19 Dec 2006 – 20 Dec 2010
Bruce Atkinson Liberal 21 Dec 2010 – present


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