Geoff Gallop

Geoffrey Ian Gallop AC FASSA (born 27 September 1951) is an Australian academic and former politician who served as the 27th Premier of Western Australia from 2001 to 2006. He is currently a professor and director of the Graduate School of Government at the University of Sydney and former chairman of the Australian Republican Movement.

Geoff Gallop
Gallop at the Midland Railway Workshops in 2002
27th Premier of Western Australia
Elections: 2001, 2005
In office
10 February 2001  16 January 2006
MonarchElizabeth II
GovernorJohn Sanderson
DeputyEric Ripper
Preceded byRichard Court
Succeeded byAlan Carpenter
Leader of the Opposition
in Western Australia

Elections: 1996
In office
8 October 1996  10 February 2001
PremierRichard Court
DeputyJim McGinty
Eric Ripper
Preceded byJim McGinty
Succeeded byRichard Court
Leader of the Western Australian
Labor Party
In office
8 October 1996  25 January 2006
DeputyJim McGinty
Eric Ripper
Preceded byJim McGinty
Succeeded byAlan Carpenter
Member of the Western Australian Parliament
for Victoria Park
In office
7 June 1986  25 January 2006
Preceded byRon Davies
Succeeded byBen Wyatt
Personal details
Geoffrey Ian Gallop

(1951-09-27) 27 September 1951
Geraldton, Western Australia, Australia
Political partyLabor Party
Spouse(s)Beverly Diane Jones (m.1975–2009; her death)
Ingrid van Beek (m.2010–present)
Alma materSt John's College, Oxford
Nuffield College, Oxford
University of Western Australia

Born in Geraldton, Western Australia, Gallop studied at the University of Western Australia, and later progressed to St John's College at the University of Oxford after winning a Rhodes Scholarship. Having joined the Labor Party in 1971, he served as a councillor for the City of Fremantle between 1983 and 1986, and was elected to the seat of Victoria Park in the Western Australian Legislative Assembly at the 1986 state election. Having held several portfolios in the preceding Lawrence Ministry (including Minister for Education), Gallop replaced Jim McGinty as Leader of the Opposition in 1996 following McGinty's resignation.

At the 1996 election, Labor was defeated by the incumbent Liberal Party led by Richard Court despite a rise in Labor's share of the vote, but he remained as the party's leader, and at the 2001 election Labor was elected to government, with Gallop becoming premier. Having successfully contested the 2005 election, Gallop resigned as Premier, Labor leader and from parliament in early 2006 to aid his recovery from depression, and was replaced by Alan Carpenter.

Early life, education and pioneer family

Gallop was born and educated in Geraldton. He then entered The University of Western Australia (UWA) in 1969 to study economics. He joined the Labor Party in 1971,[1] and was awarded a Rhodes Scholarship in 1972.[2] In 1974 he studied Philosophy, Politics, and Economics[3] at St John's College, Oxford where he met and became close friends with Tony Blair.[4] Blair is the godfather of Gallop's son Tom,[1] and Gallop was a groomsman at Blair's 1980 wedding.[5] He is also a long-time friend of former federal Labor Leader Kim Beazley.[6] Gallop subsequently received a doctorate of philosophy (DPhil) from Oxford in 1983.[7][8]

Before entering state politics, Gallop worked as a tutor and lecturer at both Murdoch University and The University of Western Australia, and was a City Councillor at Fremantle from 1983 to 1986.[9]

Gallop's family was among the first pioneer settlers to the new Swan River Colony now known as Perth in Western Australia. His great-great-grandfather, James Gallop arrived in the Swan River Colony in 1829 the year of the colony's founding. At the age of 18 James, along with two brothers – 20-year-old Richard and 15-year-old Edward – left a Thakeham, West Sussex workhouse. The Gallop brothers left the small village of Thakeham in West Sussex along with several other families from Thakeham and the nearby villages of Sullington and Storrington. Several of these migrants later inter-married: James' son also named James married Emma Woods daughter of George Woods who also came out from Thakeham with his brother John and nephew Jesse Woods. Edward Gallop later drowned but James and Richard became pioneering market gardeners and vignerons. Two homes, Gallop House and Dalkeith House, are heritage-listed legacies of the family's prominence.[10] The brothers were part of a clearing-out of the parishes in the aftermath of the Napoleonic wars. As Greenfield wrote "The 1820s were very difficult years for agricultural workers and great poverty prevailed, owing partly to the demobilization of soldiers following the end of the Napoleonic Wars, and partly to the high cost of bread due to the Corn Laws. Sullington seems to have been particularly hard hit. ... Emigration was encouraged throughout West Sussex to relieve the parishes of the burden of excessive poor relief. “[11]:57 The Gallop brothers were among those who chose Australia instead of America: "West Australia was still very much in the pioneering stage. Letters from emigrants to their friends and relations in this neighbourhood give the impression that those who sailed to America, provided they were not afraid to work, had an easier life than those who took the greater risk and went to Australia".[11]:58


Gallop was elected to the Western Australian Legislative Assembly for the seat of Victoria Park in 1986.[12] From 1990 to 1993, during the Lawrence Labor Government, Gallop held portfolios including Education, Parliamentary and Electoral Reform, Fuel and Energy, Micro-Economic Reform, and Minister assisting the Treasurer.[9] The Lawrence government was defeated at the 1993 state elections, and Gallop was elected Deputy Leader of the State Parliamentary Labor Party.

Opposition Leader

In Opposition, his Shadow Ministerial responsibilities included Treasury, Resources and Energy, Parliamentary and Electoral Reform, Public Sector Management, Accountability, Sport and Recreation, Aboriginal Affairs, Health, Federal Affairs, Treasury and the South West.[9]

In October 1996, Jim McGinty resigned as Leader of the Opposition and named Gallop his successor, a role he assumed without a caucus vote.[1] Soon afterwards, he led Labor into an election held in December. He was heavily defeated by the Liberal Party government of Richard Court, taking only 35.8 percent of the primary vote—its lowest total since 1901.[13]

In government

At the February 2001 state election, Gallop led the Labor Party to victory,[14] taking 13 seats from the Liberals on a seven-percent swing—the largest swing against a sitting government in the state since 1911.[15]

Gallop became Premier and Minister for Public Sector Management, Federal Affairs, Science, Citizenship and Multicultural Interests.[16] Gallop went on to win a second term at the 26 February 2005 state election.[17] As premier, Dr Gallop oversaw a range of political and social reforms (electoral reform, gay and lesbian equality and a state Administrative Tribunal), changed the State's industrial and labour laws, brought a spirit of reconciliation to the resolution of native Title and developed partnership models for the State's indigenous communities, changed the law to require all 16- and 17-year-olds to be in education or training, was the first Premier to commit his government to a major desalination plant, stopped the logging of all of the State's Old Growth Forests, creating a record number of new national parks, restructured the State's electricity and racing industries, and started construction of the Perth to Mandurah Railway and the associated City Rail Tunnel.

As Minister for Science he established the Science Council, committed significant funding to Research and Development in the State, and established the Premier's Research Fellowship Program to attract leading researchers from overseas and interstate.


On 16 January 2006 Gallop announced he was resigning as premier and retiring from politics to aid his recovery from depression.[18] He addressed a news conference stating that "in the interests of my health and my family I have decided to rethink my career".[18] Deputy Premier and Treasurer Eric Ripper took over from Gallop as Acting Premier, pending a leadership vote at the State Labor Caucus.[18] Alan Carpenter was elected unopposed[19] and was sworn in on 25 January 2006.

Post-government activities

Gallop became a professor and director of Sydney University's Graduate School of Government in 2006.[2]

From 2007 to 2009 he was a community member of the NSW Health Department's great Metropolitan Clinical Task force.[20]

From 2007 to 2011 he was Deputy Chair of the Council of Australian Government (COAG) Reform Council and in 2008 he was appointed to the National Health and Hospitals Reform Commission which reported to the Commonwealth Government in June 2009.

In 2010, he joined the Advisory Board of the Hawke Research Institute at the University of South Australia and from 2011 has been the Chair of the New Democracy Foundation's Research Committee. He also sits on the Dean's Advisory Group at the University of Sydney Medical School.

In 2011 he was appointed by Australia's Foreign Minister to chair the Australia Awards Board and in the same year was appointed a member of the Commonwealth's International Education Advisory Council.

Since 2010 he has been writing a weekly column for Fairfax Media's online paper WA Today and from 2006 to 2007 was a columnist for the Australian newspaper's Higher Education Supplement.

In 2010, Gallop accepted the role as Chairman of the research committee of The newDemocracy Foundation, a research group, focused on better models of government.[21] Gallop is a patron of the Jhana Grove Meditation Centre and the Buddhist Society of Western Australia, where he received help for depression.[22]

Gallop was elected chairman of the Australian Republic Movement in November 2012, replacing Maj.-Gen. Michael Keating.[23]

In 2019 Gallop was reportedly appointed to the Global Commission on Drug Policy.[24]

Political views

Gallop is a strong supporter of the movement for an Australian republic, and took a leading role in the push for a directly elected president during the 1998 Constitutional Convention in Canberra.[9] He is pro-choice on the issue of abortion.[25] Professor Gallop has published three books – one on the English radical Thomas Spence "Pig's Meat – Selected Writings of Thomas Spence", edited with an introductory essay (Spokesman Books Nottingham, 1982), one on Western Australian politics and society "A State of Reform: Essays for a Better Future" (Helm Wood Publishers, Wembley, 1998) and "Politics, Society, Self: Occasional Writing" (UWA Press, Crawley, 2012)

Gallop is an advocate for drug policy reform.[26][27][28][29]


  • In 2001 he was awarded the Centenary Medal and was honoured with Life Membership of the Association for the Blind (Western Australia).
  • In 2003 he was elected a Fellow of the Institute of Public Administration Australia, in 2006 he was admitted to the honorary degree of Doctor of Letters from the University of Western Australia.
  • In 2008 he was appointed a Companion of the Order of Australia.
  • In 2022 he was elected a Fellow of the Academy of the Social Sciences in Australia.[30]


  1. Aisbett, Norman (13 January 2001). "Dr Who?". The West Australian. West Australian Newspapers Limited. p. 1.
  2. Lane, Bernard (12 July 2006). "Gallop strikes a new balance". The Australian. News Limited. p. 32.
  3. McIlveen, Luke (17 January 2006). "Gallop's act of public service – Praise from former premier". The Daily Telegraph. News Limited. p. 2. Awarded Rhodes Scholarship in 1972 and graduated in philosophy, politics and economics at Oxford in 1974
  4. Staff writer (8 January 2007). "Is Tony Blair hoping to clear out one of the dustier corners of Whitehall before he gallops into the sunset?". The Evening Standard. Associated Newspapers. ...Geoff Gallop, former Premier of Western Australia and one of Blair's oldest friends from St John's College, Oxford...
  5. Clarke, Tim (16 January 2006). "WA: From marxist to premier, smiling Gallop reveals a dark side". General News. Australian Associated Press. Dr Gallop was even a groomsman at the Blairs' wedding in 1980, and Mr Blair is godfather to Dr Gallop's son Tom.
  6. Staff writer (16 April 1999). "Everyone Is Connected in Western Australia". Canberra Times. p. 11. State Opposition leader Geoff Gallop, one-time Murdoch University and Oxford University mate and best buddy of Beazley, Jr...
  7. Premiers of Western Australia: Dr Geoff Gallop (Labor) – The Constitutional Centre of Western Australia. Retrieved 11 May 2013.
  8. Geoff Gallop: A Brief Biography – John Curtin College of the Arts. Retrieved 11 May 2013.
  9. Laurie, Victoria (17 January 2006). "Broken by the burden". The Australian. News Limited. p. 11.
  10. Sydney Morning Herald. 8 July 2006. {{cite news}}: Missing or empty |title= (help)
  11. Greenfield, Florence M. (1972). Round About Old Storrington. School Lane, Storrington: Norbertine Press. OCLC 503962367.
  12. Staff writer (8 October 1996). "RTRS-Gallop becomes W.Australia opposition leader". Reuters News. Reuters.
  13. Staff writer (14 December 1996). "Western Australian government returned". Agence France-Presse. The Western Australian Liberal-National Party Government, headed by Premier Richard Court, has been returned to office with an increased majority in the State Legislative Assembly (lower house).
  14. Staff writer (11 February 2001). "Labor claims state election victory". Associated Press Newswires. Associated Press.
  15. Black, David (December 2001). "The Western Australian election of 10 February 2001: Coalition demolition". Australian Journal of Political Science. 36 (2): 355–362. doi:10.1080/10361140120078871. ISSN 1036-1146. S2CID 153571399.
  16. Pryer, Wendy (16 February 2001). "The new cabinet". The West Australian. West Australian Newspapers Limited. p. 4.
  17. Staff writer (27 February 2005). "Gallop wins second term in close-fought contest". The Sunday Times. Perth: News Limited. p. 1.
  18. Staff writer (16 January 2006). "Ripper steps in as acting WA Premier". AAP Bulletins. Australian Associated Press Pty Ltd.
  19. Staff writer (22 January 2006). "WA Premier is chosen". The Sunday Mail (Brisbane). News Limited. p. 19.
  20. "Dr Geoffrey (Geoff) Ian Gallop". Parliament of WA. Retrieved 28 April 2020.
  21. "The Hon Geoff Gallop AC – Chair, Research Committee". The newDemocracy Foundation. 2013. Archived from the original on 24 April 2013. Retrieved 19 February 2021.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: unfit URL (link)
  22. "About Jhana Grove – Our Patron". Buddhist Society of Western Australia. 2021. Retrieved 19 February 2021.
  23. Gallop to lead republicans Archived 5 January 2013 at archive.todayThe West Australian. Published 26 November 2012. Retrieved 26 November 2012.
  24. Thompson, Angus (22 July 2019). "Former WA premier Geoff Gallop appointed to drug reform think tank". The Sydney Morning Herald. Retrieved 24 October 2021.
  25. Burns, Anne (18 March 1998). "Historic Abortion Debate Heats Up". The West Australian. West Australian Newspapers Limited. p. 1.
  26. Sparkes, David (23 July 2019). "Former WA premier to fight for drug reform in new role". Australian Broadcasting Corporation (ABC). Retrieved 26 October 2021.
  27. Arbour, Louise; Gallop, Geoff; Krinsky, Miriam (19 October 2019). "It's time for drug policy reform – in America and across the globe". Salon. Retrieved 26 October 2021.
  28. Gallop, Geoff (7 June 2011). "Drug policy – the case for realism". The Sydney Morning Herald. Retrieved 26 October 2021.
  29. Thompson, Angus (23 July 2019). "Former WA premier Geoff Gallop appointed to drug reform think tank". The Sydney Morning Herald. Retrieved 26 October 2021.
  30. "34 leading social scientists elected to the Academy". Academy of the Social Sciences in Australia. 9 November 2022. Retrieved 9 November 2022.
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