Joseph Sleeman

Joseph Bertram Sleeman (21 June 1885 – 6 July 1970) was an Australian politician who was a Labor Party member of the Legislative Assembly of Western Australia from 1924 to 1959, representing the seat of Fremantle. He served as Speaker of the Legislative Assembly from 1939 to 1947.

Joseph Sleeman
Joseph Sleeman.png
Speaker of the Legislative Assembly
of Western Australia
In office
4 August 1939 – 31 July 1947
Preceded byWilliam Johnson
Succeeded byCharles North
Member of the Legislative Assembly
of Western Australia
In office
22 March 1924 – 21 March 1959
Preceded byFrank Gibson
Succeeded byHarry Fletcher
Personal details
Born(1885-06-21)21 June 1885
Inglewood, Victoria, Australia
Died6 July 1970(1970-07-06) (aged 85)
Fremantle, Western Australia, Australia
Political partyLabor

Sleeman was born in the small country town of Inglewood, Victoria. He and his parents moved to Western Australia in 1895, and he attended school in Day Dawn, a mining town in the state's Mid West. After working for a period as a storeman in Leonora, Sleeman moved to Fremantle (the port city of Perth), where he began working as an organiser for the Shop Assistants Union.[1] At the 1924 state election, he stood for the seat of Fremantle, and defeated the sitting Nationalist member, Frank Gibson.[2] Following the 1939 election, Sleeman was elected Speaker of the Legislative Assembly, going on to serve until the Labor government's defeat at the 1947 election. Only two other speakers have served for longer periods – Sir James Lee-Steere and John Hearman.[3] Sleeman continued in parliament until his retirement at the 1959 election, having spent nearly 35 years as the member for Fremantle. He died in July 1970, aged 85.[1]

In 1992 Joe Sleeman Court, a housing complex on South Terrace, was named in Sleeman's honour and dedicated by the then MLA for Fremantle, Jim McGinty.[4]


  1. ^ a b Joseph Bertram Sleeman – Biographical Register of Members of the Parliament of Western Australia. Retrieved 13 May 2016.
  2. ^ 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.
  3. ^ Speakers of the Legislative Assembly – Parliament of Western Australia. Retrieved 13 May 2016.
  4. ^ Joe Sleeman Court plaque, 7 November 1992
Parliament of Western Australia
Preceded by
Frank Gibson
Member for Fremantle
Succeeded by
Harry Fletcher
Preceded by
William Johnson
Speaker of the Legislative Assembly
Succeeded by
Charles North