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Sir Charles Walter Michael Court (Liberal)

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Sir Charles CourtApril 8 1974 to January 25, 1982

Sir Charles Court was born in England and came to Australia with his parents when he was six weeks old. His father was a master plumber. Sir Charles left school after passing his Intermediate Certificate and helped supplement the family income by selling newspapers. He wanted to study law but the lack of family finances meant he turned to accountancy instead, studying at night as an articled clerk.

He was also a keen and talented cornet player, wining at the age of 18, the Australian Champion of Champions Award.

Sir Charles began his own accountancy business in 1933 and then went into partnership five years later. He left the practice in 1940 to 1946 to serve in the Army where he went from a private to lieutenant-colonel, serving in the South-West Pacific during World War ll.

He joined the Liberal Party in 1946 after what he described were the "disturbing happenings" in Australia post war. He won the seat of Nedlands in 1953 and was later appointed Minister for Industrial Development, Railways and the North-West in the Brand government.

He took over from Sir David Brand as party leader in 1972 and won government in a coalition with the National Country Party in 1974. He continued the industrial development initiatives of the Brand and Tonkin governments.

He was renowned for his anti-centralist views, was a staunch defender of States' rights, and an ardent advocate for the development of the North-West shelf.

He was the MLA for Nedlands from 1953 to 1982 when he resigned as Premier. He received his knighthood in the same year. He is the father-in-law of Margaret Court, the former Wimbledon women's singles tennis champion and father to Richard Court who also became Premier. Together father and son held the seat of Nedlands for 48 years.

Acknowledgement of Country

The Government of Western Australia acknowledges the traditional custodians throughout Western Australia and their continuing connection to the land, waters and community. We pay our respects to all members of the Aboriginal communities and their cultures; and to Elders both past and present.