Luncheon Details

Highgate Sub-Branch’s next luncheon will be held on Monday 19 March 2018 at the Western Australian Club on Level 11 Grosvenor Building, 12 St Georges Terrace (opposite Perth Concert Hall) at a cost of $30 per person and payable by no later than Wednesday 14th March. 

Brian Burke


Our guest speaker will be the former Western Australian Premier Brian Burke.  He will be speaking about his book – A Tumultuous Life – an outline of which follows.

The Book It is the story of an aspiring young politician who gathered around him a group of talented, like-minded Labor Party idealists branded by the press as the Young Turks. Together they reinvented the Labor Party in Western Australia.
Brian Burke was 35 years of age when he led Labor to its biggest ever victory when the party won government in WA in 1983. At the age of 36 he was sworn in as Premier.

Brian was born into Labor politics - and into Catholicism. His father Tom was the Federal Member for Perth, who was expelled from the Labor Party during the desperate politics of the Split of the 1950s. It was from his father that Brian learned so much about politics - and life.

Brian began his working life as a proof-reader and then journalist on The West Australian newspaper. After winning the seat of Balcatta by just 30 votes in a by-election in 1973, he spent 10 years in Opposition in the WA Parliament before becoming Premier during the crazy, heady, exciting times of the 1980s.
It was a time when much of the commercial action across Australia was being driven by a group of colourful, audacious, creative and - in some cases - dishonest entrepreneurs.

While still in his 40s, Brian Burke had been a member of the WA Parliament for 15 years, Leader of the WA Opposition, Premier of WA, Ambassador to Ireland and the Holy See - and incarcerated in Wooroloo Prison.

He describes his life as one of success, of failure and of regret - regret about things he may have done better; things done for the right reasons that didn't work as well as he hoped. A life much like everyone else's.

But entwined and ever-present in this incredible life is a rare love story. It's a love story strengthened by adversity; a love story that has endured, and now - after 52 years of marriage, six children and 19 grandchildren - is still being written.