Graham McDonald Gunn, AM (born 5 September 1942),[1] Australian politician, was a member of the South Australian House of Assembly. He represented Eyre 1970 to 1997 and Stuart 1997 to 2010; he was a member of the Liberal Party.[2] First elected to Parliament at the 1970 state election, Gunn was the longest-serving member of any Parliament throughout Australia in the last years of his term.

Graham Gunn

Father of the
Parliament of South Australia
In office
11 December 1993 – 20 March 2010
Preceded byStan Evans
Succeeded byRob Lucas
Speaker of the
South Australian House of Assembly
In office
11 February 1994 – 2 December 1997
Preceded byNorm Peterson
Succeeded byJohn Oswald
Member of the
South Australian House of Assembly
In office
30 May 1970 – 20 March 2010
Preceded byErnie Edwards (Eyre)
Colleen Hutchison (Stuart)
Succeeded bydistrict abolished (Eyre)
Dan van Holst Pellekaan (Stuart)
ConstituencyEyre (1970-1997)
Stuart (1997-2010)
Alderman of the Streaky Bay Council
In office
2 July 1966 – 4 July 1970
Personal details
Graham McDonald Gunn

(1942-09-05) 5 September 1942 (age 77)
Mount Cooper, South Australia
Nationality Australian
Political partyLiberal and Country League (1970-1974),
Liberal Party of Australia (1974-2010)
Alma materScotch College, Adelaide
OccupationGrazier, Politician

Attending Adelaide's prestigious Scotch College, Gunn pursued a career as a farmer and grazier in the Mount Cooper area[3]. He served on the Streaky Bay Council between 1966 and 1970. In 1970, he was elected to the House of Assembly as a member of the Liberal and Country League (which became the South Australian division of the Liberal Party in 1974) for Eyre in South Australia's vast northern outback. Aged 27 at the time, he was one of the youngest politicians in Australia at the time.

Gunn served as Speaker of the South Australian House of Assembly from 1994 to 1997 during the Brown Liberal Government but lost it upon the ascendancy to the leadership of John Olsen.

For most of his tenure, Gunn was reelected with little difficulty. However, before the 1997 state election, his old seat was abolished in a redistribution. Gunn contested Stuart, essentially the eastern half of his old seat. While he went into the election sitting on a notional majority of eight percent, he suffered a 7.5 percent swing against vigorous Labor opposition. He faced a strong challenge from Labor candidate Justin Jarvis in the 2006 state election, with the final result not being known until nine days after the election. Gunn ultimately emerged victorious, albeit by only 233 votes.

Gunn retired at the 2010 state election, having spent half of his life in parliament. He was the last surviving parliamentarian from the LCL, as well as the last parliamentary survivor of the Dunstan, Corcoran and Tonkin governments. The Liberals pre-selected former national basketball player Dan van Holst Pellekaan to defend Stuart.[4]

On Australia Day 2011, Gunn was appointed a Member of the Order of Australia.[5]


  1. ^ House of Assembly Election Data - Part 3, Parliament of South Australia, 2006. Archived 1 March 2011 at the Wayback Machine
  2. ^ "Graham McDonald Gunn AM". Former Member of Parliament Details. Parliament of South Australia.
  3. ^ - GUNN, Graham McDonald
  4. ^
  5. ^

External linksEdit

Parliament of South Australia
Preceded by
Ernest Edwards
Member for Eyre
District abolished
New district Member for Stuart
Succeeded by
Dan van Holst Pellekaan
Preceded by
Stan Evans
Father of the Parliament of South Australia
Succeeded by
Rob Lucas
Preceded by
Norm Peterson
Speaker of the
South Australian House of Assembly

Succeeded by
John Oswald