Lynn Arnold

Lynn Maurice Ferguson Arnold, AO (born 27 January 1949) is an Anglican priest and a former Australian politician, who represented the South Australian Branch of the Australian Labor Party, serving as Premier of South Australia between 4 September 1992 and 14 December 1993, during the 11 years of Labor government which ended in a landslide defeat of his government at the 1993 election.

Lynn Arnold
40th Premier of South Australia
Elections: 1993
In office
4 September 1992  14 December 1993
MonarchElizabeth II
GovernorDame Roma Mitchell
DeputyFrank Blevins
Preceded byJohn Bannon
Succeeded byDean Brown
Leader of the Opposition of
South Australia
In office
14 December 1993  20 September 1994
DeputyMike Rann
Preceded byDean Brown
Succeeded byMike Rann
17th Leader of the South Australian
Labor Party
In office
4 September 1992  20 September 1994
Preceded byJohn Bannon
Succeeded byMike Rann
Minister of Education
In office
10 November 1982  18 December 1985
Preceded byHarold Allison
Succeeded byGreg Crafter
Member of the South Australian Parliament
for Taylor
In office
11 December 1993  5 November 1994
Preceded byNew district
Succeeded byTrish White
Member of the South Australian Parliament
for Ramsay
In office
7 December 1985  11 December 1993
Preceded byNew district
Succeeded byMike Rann
Member of the South Australian Parliament
for Salisbury
In office
15 September 1979  7 December 1985
Preceded byReg Groth
Succeeded byDistrict abolished
Personal details
Lynn Maurice Ferguson Arnold

(1949-01-27) 27 January 1949
Political partyAustralian Labor Party (SA)

After leaving politics, Arnold worked for World Vision from 1997 to 2007, and for Anglicare SA after March 2008. In November 2013, he was ordained as a deacon in the Anglican Church. In December 2014, he was ordained a priest in St Peter's Cathedral, Adelaide.

Political career

Entering in Parliament as member for Salisbury on 15 September 1979,[1] Arnold became a Minister after the election of the John Bannon Labor Government in 1982. He served as Minister of Education, Tertiary Education, Agriculture and State Development. He held the seat of Salisbury until it was abolished on 6 December 1985, and then represented Ramsay from 7 December 1985 to 11 December 1993.[1][2]

Arnold was elected Labor leader and Premier of South Australia in September 1992, following the resignation of John Bannon after the $3.1 billion collapse of the State Bank of South Australia. However, the change of leader did not appease the simmering voter anger against Labor ahead of a statutory general election due for 1993. A warning sign came at the March 1993 federal election, which saw two of Labor's longest-standing federal strongholds fall to the Liberals. Hindmarsh was won by a non-Labor member for the first time since 1919 and only the second time ever, while Grey was won by the conservatives for only the second time in 50 years.

Arnold waited as long as he could, finally calling an election for 11 December. That resulted in the 11-year Labor government being swept out of office in a massive swing to the Liberal Party led by Dean Brown. Labor suffered an 8.9%, 14-seat swing, and its share of the two-party-preferred vote was reduced to 39.1%. That was mainly because Labor was decimated in its long-time stronghold in Adelaide, losing all but nine seats in the capital. Arnold was elected in the newly-created seat of Taylor.

Most commentators did not blame Arnold for the landslide defeat and believed Labor would have been heavily defeated regardless of who was leading the party. Almost a year after the election, Arnold resigned as Labor leader, and left politics. He was succeeded as Labor leader by his deputy, Mike Rann, who had earlier succeeded him in Ramsay. Arnold's resignation led to a by-election for Taylor on 5 November 1994, at which Trish White retained the seat for Labor.

Life after politics

In August 2003, Arnold received a Ph.D. in sociolinguistics from the University of Adelaide (Graduate School of Education). In his doctoral thesis he drew a number of conclusions that were based on the study of the language of Asturianu (also known as Bable), spoken in the northern Spanish province known as the Principau d’Asturies.[3][4]

Arnold was Chief Executive of the humanitarian organisation World Vision Australia from 1997 until 2003. In 2003, he was appointed Regional Vice President of World Vision International for the Asia Pacific Region,[5] based in Bangkok, Thailand. In October 2006, he was appointed Senior Director (Board Development & Peer Review) for World Vision International, heading a team assisting World Vision boards and advisory councils in the development of their governance capacity, and also for administering peer review programs in World Vision partnerships.

On 8 December 2007, the Anglican Archbishop of Adelaide, the Most Revd Jeffrey Driver, announced Arnold's appointment as Chief Executive of Anglicare SA,[6] and he served in that role from 18 March 2008[7] to 30 June 2012. He left to explore ordination to the Anglican priesthood,[8] and was succeeded by the Reverend Peter Sandeman.[9]

Arnold was ordained as a deacon in Adelaide in November 2013.[10] In December 2014, he was ordained a priest by the Archbishop of Adelaide, and is currently serving as Assistant Priest at St Peter's Cathedral, Adelaide.[11]

He was chair of the Don Dunstan Foundation from 2010 to June 2020, when Jane Lomax-Smith AM was announced as the new chair.[12] Arnold remains on the Board as Director and Patron.[13]


  1. "Hon Dr Lynn Arnold AO". Former members of the Parliament of South Australia. Retrieved 23 August 2022.
  2. SA Votes 2014: Ramsay
  3. "Lynn Arnold to receive doctorate". The University of Adelaide (press release). 5 August 2003. Retrieved 19 August 2016.
  4. Lingua Nullius: A Retrospect and Prospect about Australia's First Languages Archived 22 August 2016 at the Wayback Machine (Transcript), Lowitja O'Donoghue Oration 2016, 31 May 2016
  5. "Lynn Arnold, Vice President Asia Pacific Region". World Vision. Archived from the original on 27 September 2007. Retrieved 26 June 2006.
  6. "Anglicare SA appoints new chief executive". Anglicare SA (press release). 8 December 2007. Retrieved 4 April 2008.
  7. "Lynn Arnold pits Anglicare against 'dead-end options'". Anglicare SA (press release). 18 March 2007. Archived from the original on 29 March 2008. Retrieved 4 April 2008.
  8. Dr Lynn Arnold announces resignation as CEO, (16 April 2012), Media Release, Anglicare SA accessed 10 May 2013
  9. New CEO of Anglicare SA announced, (12 August 12), Media Release, Anglicare SA accessed 10 May 2013
  10. "Former SA premier Lynn Arnold ordained as deacon by Anglican Church". ABC News. 1 December 2013. Retrieved 1 January 2014.
  11. "Our Team". St Peter's Cathedral, Adelaide. Retrieved 20 March 2018.
  12. "Dr Jane Lomax-Smith AM appointed as new Chair of the Don Dunstan Foundation". Don Dunstan Foundation. 10 May 2020. Retrieved 4 June 2020.
  13. "The Hon. Rev. Dr Lynn Arnold AO". Don Dunstan Foundation. Retrieved 4 June 2020.


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