Bill Sewell (politician)

William Hawkins Sewell (7 February 1901 – 13 June 1980) was an Australian politician who was a Labor Party member of the Legislative Assembly of Western Australia from 1950 to 1974, representing the seat of Geraldton.

Bill Sewell
Member of the Legislative Assembly
of Western Australia
In office
25 March 1950 – 30 March 1974
Preceded byEdmund Hall
Succeeded byJeff Carr
Personal details
Born(1901-02-07)7 February 1901
Beverley, Western Australia, Australia
Died13 June 1980(1980-06-13) (aged 79)
Geraldton, Western Australia, Australia
Political partyLabor

Sewell was born in Beverley, a small town in Western Australia's Wheatbelt region. After leaving school, he worked as a shearer for a period, and later went to Geraldton, where he eventually became a works foreman for the Geraldton Municipality. A long-time member of the Australian Workers' Union (AWU) and the Labor Party, Sewell first stood for parliament at the 1946 Legislative Council elections, but was defeated in Central Province by the sitting Liberal member, Charles Simpson.[1] The following year, he was selected as Labor's candidate for the Legislative Assembly seat of Geraldton at the 1947 state election. The retiring member was John Willcock, a former Labor premier. Sewell faced Liberal and Country Party opponents, and despite polling 47.7 percent on first-preference votes, could only poll 49.9 percent of the two-party-preferred vote, losing to Country candidate Edmund Hall.[2]

At the 1950 state election, Sewell was again selected as the Labor candidate for Geraldton, and reversed the result from the previous contest, defeating Hall with 50.7 percent of the two-party-preferred vote.[2] After the 1956 election, he was made deputy chairman of committees in the government of Albert Hawke. In November 1957, following Arthur Moir's elevation to the ministry, he was made chairman of committees, serving in the position until the Labor government's defeat at the 1959 election.[1] Sewell remained in parliament until his retirement at the 1974 state election, after which he was replaced as the member for Geraldton by Jeff Carr.[2] He died in Geraldton in June 1980, aged 79. Sewell had married Bridget Ethel Connolly (née Kempton), a widow, in January 1926, with whom he had two children.[1]


  1. ^ a b c William Hawkins Sewell – Biographical Register of Members of the Parliament of Western Australia. Retrieved 26 May 2016.
  2. ^ a b c Black, David; Prescott, Valerie (1997). Election statistics : Legislative Assembly of Western Australia, 1890-1996. Perth, [W.A.]: Western Australian Parliamentary History Project and Western Australian Electoral Commission. ISBN 0730984095.
Parliament of Western Australia
Preceded by
Edmund Hall
Member for Geraldton
Succeeded by
Jeff Carr