Sir Philip Oakley Fysh KCMG (1 March 1835 – 20 December 1919) was an Australian politician, Premier of Tasmania and a member of the first federal ministry.

Sir Philip Fysh

Unidentified participant at the Australasian Federal Convention, 4.jpg
Fysh at the 1898 Australasian Federal Convention.
12th Premier of Tasmania
In office
9 August 1877 – 5 March 1878
Preceded byThomas Reibey
Succeeded byWilliam Giblin
In office
29 March 1887 – 17 August 1892
Preceded byJames Agnew
Succeeded byHenry Dobson
Personal details
Philip Oakley Fysh

(1835-03-01)1 March 1835
Highbury, London, England, United Kingdom
Died20 December 1919(1919-12-20) (aged 84)
Sandy Bay, Tasmania, Australia
Political partyProtectionist Party
Spouse(s)Esther Willis

Fysh was born in Highbury, London, the son of John Fysh and his wife Charlotte. He was educated at the Denmark Hill school in Islington. At 13 years of age, Fysh commenced work in a London stockbroker's office, then he obtained a position in the office of a shipping firm, L. Stevenson & Sons, with Australian connexions. Fysh migrated to Tasmania in 1859, becoming a leading merchant (establishing P. O. Fysh and Company), hop-grower and orchardist.

A Protectionist, Fysh was a member of the Tasmanian Legislative Council from 1866–69, 1870–73, 1884–90, and of the Tasmanian House of Assembly 1873–78 (where he was treasurer in the Alfred Kennerley ministry until March 1875) and 1894–99. Fysh became Premier and Chief Secretary of Tasmania in 1877, serving initially until 1878 and returning to the positions in 1887, serving to 1892. He was again elected to the assembly and was treasurer in Braddon's ministry from April 1894 to December 1898, when he was appointed Agent-General for Tasmania at London.

Fysh took an important part in the federal movement in Tasmania. He was a representative of his colony at the 1891 and 1897 conventions, and was a member of the Australian delegation that watched the passing of the federal bill through the Imperial Parliament.

Fysh was elected to the Australian House of Representatives in 1901 as a member for Division of Tasmania and was minister without portfolio until 1903. After Tasmania was split into five electoral divisions in 1903, Fysh was elected for the Division of Denison, based on Hobart. He was Postmaster-General 1903–04. He retired in 1910.

Fysh was created a Knight Commander of the Order of St Michael and St George (KCMG) in January 1896. He died in December 1919, aged 84. He was survived by five sons and four daughters. Fysh's wife, Esther Kentish Willis, was the daughter of William, a straw-hat manufacturer of Luton, Bedfordshire, who was also father of the judge and M.P. William Willis.[1]


The Canberra suburb of Fyshwick was named after him.

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ Dod's Peerage, Baronetage and Knightage, 1901, S. Low, Marston & Co., pg 376
  • Parliamentary Library profile
  • Serle, Percival (1949). "Fysh, Philip". Dictionary of Australian Biography. Sydney: Angus and Robertson. Retrieved 29 October 2008.
  • Quentin Beresford, 'Fysh, Sir Philip Oakley (1835–1919)', Australian Dictionary of Biography, Volume 8, MUP, 1981, pp 602–603.
Political offices
Preceded by
Thomas Reibey
Premier of Tasmania
Succeeded by
William Giblin
Preceded by
James Agnew
Premier of Tasmania
Succeeded by
Henry Dobson
Preceded by
James Drake
Succeeded by
Hugh Mahon
Tasmanian Legislative Council
Preceded by
John Wedge
Member for Hobart
Served alongside: Kennerley, Wilson
Succeeded by
William Crowther
Preceded by
Thomas Lowes
Member for Buckingham
Succeeded by
Thomas Chapman
Preceded by
Thomas Chapman
Member for Buckingham
Succeeded by
Frederick Piesse
Parliament of Australia
New division Member for Tasmania
Served alongside: Braddon, Cameron, O'Malley, Piesse
Division abolished
Member for Tasmania
Served alongside: Braddon, Cameron, Hartnoll, O'Malley
New division Member for Denison
Succeeded by
William Laird Smith