William James Frederick Riordan CBE (8 February 1908 – 15 January 1973) was an Australian politician and Minister for the Navy.

Bill Riordan

Bill Riordan, 1936.JPG
Member of the Australian Parliament
for Kennedy
In office
12 December 1936 – 31 October 1966
Preceded byDarby Riordan
Succeeded byBob Katter
Personal details
Born(1908-02-08)8 February 1908
Chillagoe, Queensland
Died15 January 1973(1973-01-15) (aged 64)
Political partyAustralian Labor Party
Spouse(s)Kathleen Amelda Garvey
OccupationPolitical secretary

Riordan was born in Chillagoe, Queensland, son of Jim Riordan (a member of the Queensland Legislative Council from 1917 to 1923) and nephew of Darby Riordan (member for Kennedy from 1929 to 1936) and Ernest Riordan (a member of the Legislative Assembly of Queensland from 1936). He was educated at state schools at Chillagoe, Mareeba and Gordonvale and at Brisbane Grammar School. He worked in the Queensland Department of Justice and then became secretary to his father when he was appointed to the Industrial Court of Queensland in 1933.[1]

Political careerEdit

On the death of his uncle Darby Riordan in 1936 he won the subsequent by-election for the Australian Labor Party and held the seat until his retirement before the 1966 election. He married Kathleen Amelda Garvey in December 1942—they had no children. He was appointed Minister for the Navy in the Chifley ministry from November 1946 to the defeat of the government at the 1949 election. Kennedy was a very large electorate, which meant Riordan had to travel constantly to meet his constituents, particularly workers in the sugar, mining and meat processing industries, in order to be re-elected. After his retirement his seat was won by the Country Party and has been held by Labor for only one parliamentary term since.

Riordan was made a Commander of the Order of the British Empire (CBE) in 1967.[2] He died of pneumonia at the Princess Alexandra Hospital and was buried in Nudgee Cemetery.[1]


  1. ^ a b Preston, A. N. (2002). "Riordan, William James Frederick (1908–1973)". Australian Dictionary of Biography. Canberra: Australian National University. Retrieved 29 January 2008.
  2. ^ "Riordan, William James Frederick, CBE". It's an Honour. Government of Australia. Retrieved 29 January 2008.
Political offices
Preceded by
Arthur Drakeford
Minister for the Navy
Succeeded by
Josiah Francis
Parliament of Australia
Preceded by
Darby Riordan
Member for Kennedy
Succeeded by
Bob Katter