Tom Evans (Western Australian politician)

Thomas Daniel "Tom" Evans (18 April 1929 – 27 February 1995) was an Australian politician who was a Labor Party member of the Legislative Assembly of Western Australia from 1956 to 1980, representing the seat of Kalgoorlie. He served as a minister in the government of John Tonkin, including as treasurer and attorney-general.

Tom Evans
Treasurer of Western Australia
In office
3 March – 12 October 1971
Preceded bySir David Brand
Succeeded byJohn Tonkin
Attorney-General of Western Australia
In office
12 October 1971 – 8 April 1974
Preceded byRon Bertram
Succeeded byNeil McNeill
Member of the Legislative Assembly
of Western Australia
In office
7 April 1956 – 23 February 1980
Preceded byHerbert Styants
Succeeded byTed Evans
Personal details
Born(1929-04-18)18 April 1929
Denmark, Western Australia, Australia
Died27 February 1995(1995-02-27) (aged 65)
Subiaco, Western Australia, Australia
Political partyLabor

Early lifeEdit

Evans was born in Denmark, Western Australia, to Kathleen Veronica (née Hayden) and Daniel Thomas Evans. He was educated at various country schools, and later spent two years in Perth studying teaching, attending Claremont Teachers College. As a teacher, Evans spent time at schools in Leonora, Westonia, Gwalia, Roelands, Esperance, Boyup Brook, and Kalgoorlie.[1]


Evans was elected to parliament at the 1956 state election, aged only 26.[2] He had defeated Herbert Styants (a long-serving MP) for Labor preselection.[3] After entering parliament, he began studying law. He served his articles of clerkship with Tom Hartrey (a future Labor MP), and was called to the bar in 1965.[1]

Following Labor's victory at the 1971 state election, Evans was made Treasurer, Minister for Forests, and Minister for Tourism in the new ministry formed by John Tonkin (also a former schoolteacher).[1] He was the first state treasurer since James Gardiner in 1919 to not serve simultaneously as premier.[4] However, Evans served as treasurer for only seven months, as Tonkin effected a ministerial reshuffle in October 1971 and assumed the position himself. After the reshuffle, Evans was appointed Attorney-General and Minister for Education.[1]

In July 1972, Evans was also made Minister for Recreation. He lost the education portfolio to Jerry Dolan in May 1973, but remained in the ministry until the Labor government's defeat at the 1974 state election. Evans subsequently served in the shadow ministry until the 1977 election, under two leaders of the opposition (John Tonkin and Colin Jamieson).[1]

Later lifeEdit

Evans left parliament at the 1980 election, and afterwards practised law in Kalgoorlie and Perth, including with his own firm. Evans died in Perth in February 1995, aged 65. He was married twice, firstly to Eileen O'Donnell in 1957, with whom he had three children. He remarried in 1979, to Karen Camilleri (née Broxton).[1]

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ a b c d e f Thomas Daniel Evans – Biographical Register of Members of the Parliament of Western Australia. Retrieved 29 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. ^ Herbert Henry Styants – Biographical Register of Members of the Parliament of Western Australia. Retrieved 29 May 2016.
  4. ^ Treasurers of Western Australia – Parliamentary Library of Western Australia. Retrieved 6 July 2016.
Parliament of Western Australia
Preceded by
Herbert Styants
Member for Kalgoorlie
Succeeded by
Ted Evans
Political offices
Preceded by
Sir David Brand
Succeeded by
John Tonkin
Preceded by
Stewart Bovell
Minister for Forests
Succeeded by
David Evans
Preceded by
Sir David Brand
Minister for Tourism
Succeeded by
Don Taylor
Preceded by
Ron Bertram
Succeeded by
Neil McNeill
Preceded by
John Tonkin
Minister for Education
Succeeded by
Jerry Dolan
New creation Minister for Recreation
Succeeded by
Graham MacKinnon