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His Excellency The Honourable
 Dr. Brendan Nelson
 MBBS, MRACGP, FRACP (Hon.), FAMA


In office
3 December 2007 – 16 September 2008
Deputy Julie Bishop
Preceded by Kevin Rudd
Succeeded by Malcolm Turnbull

In office
27 January 2006 – 3 December 2007
Prime Minister John Howard
Preceded by Robert Hill
Succeeded by Joel Fitzgibbon

In office
26 November 2001 – 27 January 2006
Prime Minister John Howard
Preceded by David Kemp
Succeeded by Julie Bishop

In office
2 March 1996 – 19 October 2009
Preceded by David Connolly
Succeeded by Paul Fletcher

Born 19 August 1958 (1958-08-19) (age 51)
Coburg, Victoria
Nationality Australian
Political party Liberal Party of Australia
Spouse(s) Gillian Adamson[1]
Alma mater Flinders University
Profession GP
Religion Roman Catholic

Dr Brendan John Nelson (born 19 August 1958) is a former Australian politician and former federal Opposition leader. He served as a member of the Australian House of Representatives from 1996 federal election until 16 September 2009 as the Liberal member for Bradfield, a northern Sydney seat. A doctor by profession, he came to public prominence as the Federal President of the Australian Medical Association (1993–1995), and served as a Minister in the third and fourth terms of the Howard Government, serving as Minister for Education, Science and Training (2001–2006) and Minister for Defence (2006–2007). Following the 2007 federal election, at which the Howard Government was defeated, Nelson was elected leader of the federal Liberal parliamentary group in a contest against former Minister for Environment and Water Resources Malcolm Turnbull, and became the Leader of the Opposition on 3 December 2007.[2] On 16 September 2008, in a second contest following a spill motion, Nelson lost the leadership of the Opposition and the Liberal Party to Turnbull.[3] On 25 August 2009 he announced his retirement from politics, sparking a 2009 Bradfield by-election.[4]

Prime Minister Kevin Rudd in September 2009 announced Nelson as the next Ambassador to the European Union, Belgium and Luxembourg as well as Australia's Special Representative at the World Health Organisation and NATO.[5]

Contents

Early life

Nelson was born in Coburg, a suburb of Melbourne, Victoria, as the eldest of three children of Des Nelson, a marine chief steward active in the Seamen's Union, and his wife Patricia.[1] In his infancy, his family moved to his mother's home town of Launceston, Tasmania. In his early teenage years they relocated again to Adelaide, South Australia, where he matriculated at Saint Ignatius' College before going on to study economics at the University of Adelaide. However, he dropped out in his first year, working in various casual jobs in retail and hospitality before returning to university to study medicine. He switched to Flinders University to complete his Bachelor of Medicine and Surgery (MBBS). He married his first wife, Deanna, while a student at Flinders, but they lasted only a year together.[1]

Medical career

Nelson then relocated to Hobart, Tasmania, taking up practice as a general practitioner from 1985 until 1995. In 1986, he married for a second time, and became a father to twins. In 1987, he and Dr David Crean, brother of Labor politician Simon Crean and later a Tasmanian state Labor minister, established an after-hours locum service which he worked in until 1991.

In 1988, he joined the Australian Medical Association, and in 1990 became the Tasmanian State president of the organisation, taking a reformist approach to the role, and assisted the State branch in growing its membership. In 1991, he replaced Dr Michael Jones, a former AMA president from Western Australia, as federal AMA vice-president.[6] He took a strong public stand against sponsorship of sports events by cigarette companies, lobbying politicians directly for legislative change, and also encouraged airlines to increase the number of non-smoking seats.[7]

On 30 May 1993, Nelson was elected unopposed as federal president of the Australian Medical Association, at 34 being the youngest ever holder of the office. He came to the office after significant hostility between the AMA and the federal Labor government, which peaked at the 1993 election under former AMA president Dr Bruce Shepherd and former Health Minister Brian Howe. Nelson attempted to establish better relations with the government and its new Health Minister, Graham Richardson, and pledged to make Aboriginal health and the effects of unemployment on health a high priority during his term, and would appoint a full-time worker based in Canberra to look after these issues.[8][9]

In an address to the National Press Club on 30 September 1993, acknowledging the AMA's reputation for conservatism, he said he would not "lead the AMA safely", but believed doctors should "lead the way in showing that national progress can be made by placing the welfare and consideration of other human beings ahead of their own," asserting their obligation to speak out on issues for the public good. In the address, he advocated gay law reform, greater concern for the environment, more attention to Aboriginal and unemployed health, and greater co-operation between the medical profession and politicians of all sides to build a better health system.[10] In November, he told a national Aboriginal conference in Sydney that he was ashamed of the medical profession's track record on Aboriginal health, arguing that "doctors need to ask themselves how a person can be well when they've been denied their land, their hunting grounds, their citizenship and freedom and even their own children. Of course Aboriginal people's health has suffered when you look at this litany of misery".[11] As president, while personally opposing euthanasia, he supported the right of doctors to withdraw treatment from consenting critically ill patients, and supported euthanasia campaigner Dr Philip Nitschke's case against the Royal Darwin Hospital.[12]

The role of private health in the health care mix, Aboriginal health, the AMA's ongoing campaign against cigarette sponsorship of sports events, and the size of the Medicare levy were other significant issues which occupied a lot of Nelson's time and attention as federal president, as they did the various Ministers for Health in the final years of the Keating Government. Nelson took ministers and shadow ministers around Central Australia to view Aboriginal communities. In October 1994, the World Conference on Tobacco and Health in Paris unanimously adopted an AMA resolution calling for a formal United Nations strategy on tobacco control.[13]

Political career

Nelson's father's strong involvement in the union movement and the Australian Labor Party influenced his early political development, and he joined Labor at the age of 13. However, he resigned from the Labor Party in 1991 before accepting a role on the AMA executive, on account of his perception of it as an apolitical position.[1][9] At a rowdy pre-election rally during the 1993 election campaign in Toorak, as vice-president of the AMA, he declared via a loud-hailer that "I have never voted Liberal in my life!"[14] On 25 November 1993, he told journalist and medical writer Steve Dow that Labor governments generally were better for Australia but not always in their handling of health care.[15][16]

In January 1994, Nelson had joined the Liberal Party of Australia, at first joining the Tasmanian branch. After initially being tipped for the South Australian seat of Boothby, being vacated by outgoing Liberal MP Steele Hall,[17] he sold his Tasmanian home, and moved to Lindfield in the affluent North Shore region of Sydney, establishing a surgery at The Rocks and switching his membership to the Pymble branch. On 30 January 1995, he announced his nomination for the preselection contest for Bradfield, a safe Liberal seat in which Pymble was located and held since 1974 by shadow minister David Connolly.[18] He was supported in his bid by former AMA president Dr Bruce Shepherd, who served as his campaign treasurer. On 1 March 1995 at a Liberal gathering, he renounced his view that Labor governments had been better for Australia, and stated that he believed Medicare was unsustainable and that voluntary work programs for the unemployed would build self-esteem, and advocated a consumption tax. He declared that "if all I wanted to do was be a parliamentarian, a seat-warmer, I would have gone for a marginal seat."[16][19] A bitter preselection campaign ensued, and on 13 May 1995 he gained the party's endorsement on a 96-to-93 vote against incumbent MP and shadow minister David Connolly, despite the latter having the support of Liberal leader John Howard and deputy leader Peter Costello. Nelson claimed his win was "a victory for liberalism".[1][20] After the preselection, Nelson worked on an Aboriginal health program for the Cape York Peninsula, and in June, following his retirement as president of the AMA, went to the slums of Nairobi, Kenya, on behalf of World Vision to hear about that country's struggles with AIDS—only three months after losing his younger brother to the disease.[21]

On 14 July 1995, as master of ceremonies for a fundraising dinner supporting Howard, he was criticised for his risque humour concerning then-current entertainment and political events, not having realised that Lady Fairfax, Lady McMahon and conservative business leaders were in the audience. The incident gained considerable publicity and there were calls from inside the Liberal Party to reverse his preselection, but he was supported by key decision-makers including the president of the NSW Liberal Party.[22]

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Member for Bradfield

After being elected as the member for Bradfield in the federal election on 2 March 1996, at which the Keating government was defeated and John Howard became Prime Minister, Nelson worked as a government backbencher.

Nelson was a vocal opponent of the views of Independent MP Pauline Hanson following her maiden speech on 10 September 1996, challenging her to visit Palm Island and other Aboriginal communities with him.[23] On 6 October, he proposed a bipartisan condemnation of her statements along lines already suggested by Labor Opposition leader Kim Beazley, saying that politicians had an obligation to show leadership on the issue.[24] He questioned the Prime Minister, who offered to cooperate and negotiate, but indicated he would not support the Opposition's motion in full.[25] On 19 October, Nelson said he believed the Government needed to more clearly repudiate Hanson's claims, and that she was "appealing to a primeval instinct" in her statements on Aboriginals and Asian migrants.[26] On 30 October 1996, a bipartisan motion on tolerance, nondiscriminatory immigration and Aboriginal reconciliation was moved and passed.[27]

In December 1996, Liberal MP Kevin Andrews raised a private members' bill to overturn the Northern Territory's euthanasia legislation, which had been championed by Dr Philip Nitschke. Nelson, along with former New South Wales premier John Fahey, were accused of convincing the son of the first man to die under the law, who had previously been a euthanasia advocate, to change his mind. The man, a branch secretary of a rural Liberal branch, ended up in hospital after suffering a nervous breakdown following the publicity surrounding the matter.[28] When the bill went through the House of Representatives on 10 December, Nelson was one of 88 MPs who voted for Andrews' bill on a conscience vote.[29] Nelson also had to apologise to Parliament in March 1997 when it was found that 11 parts of a speech he had given matched a paper on overseas doctors by immigration expert Dr Bob Birrell of Monash University published the previous year.[30]

Nelson was appointed Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister for Defence in 2001.

Minister for Education, Science and Training

After the 2001 federal election he was promoted directly to Cabinet with the senior portfolio of Minister for Education, Science and Training. He introduced a series of radical changes to Australia's higher education system that simultaneously imposed more direct government control over the management of universities while also allowing them to earn more revenue by charging higher fees to students. He extended the government's policy of directing more federal funding to non-government schools, as well as becoming more involved in reviewing the state education systems. In 2005 he introduced Voluntary Student Unionism. He was a popular target for student activism because of these changes.[31][32]

In 2005 Nelson expressed support for giving parents the option of having students exposed to the controversial subject of intelligent design. However he emphasized that evolution should always hold first place saying, "I'd be quite concerned if intelligent design were to replace evolution."[33] He later said intelligent design should only be taught in religion or philosophy classes.[34]

Minister for Defence

Nelson with Robert Gates in August 2007

After his rapid promotion to Cabinet, Nelson was spoken of as a possible future Liberal leader. On 24 January 2006, then Prime Minister John Howard announced Nelson's promotion from the Education, Science and Training portfolio to the high profile Defence portfolio.

As Defence Minister, he made the controversial decision to purchase Boeing's Super Hornet aircraft instead of a fighter perceived by some to be more capable.[35]

Leader of the Opposition

Following the defeat of the Howard government at the 2007 federal election, he was elected Liberal party leader and therefore Leader of the Opposition, narrowly defeating Malcolm Turnbull in a 45 to 42 vote,[2] after the withdrawal from the race of Tony Abbott. After Nelson's election, his political past resurfaced, with him claiming he came from a Labor family.[36]

Nelson became the first person since Billy Snedden in 1972 to become Opposition Leader without prior experience in Opposition. Nelson is also the first Catholic to lead the Liberal Party.[37]

On 1 December 2007 Nelson attempted to distance himself from some of the conservative policies of his predecessor, saying "I don't support gay marriage, adoption or IVF. But I believe in addressing the social and economic injustices affecting homosexuals."[38]

Nelson declared that the Liberal Party had "listened and learned" from the Australian public and that WorkChoices is "dead", and called on the Government to move quickly to introduce draft industrial relations legislation.[39]

Crowds turn their backs part way through Brendan Nelson's reply to the Parliamentary apology for the stolen generations in February 2008.[40]

In January 2008, Nelson opposed making any formal apology to the indigenous Australians known as the "Stolen Generations". Nelson said such an apology would fuel guilt among middle Australia, and cause a mentality of "victimhood" among indigenous Australians.[41] In early February 2008, Nelson changed his stance, and declared that he supported the apology, first personally[42][43][44], then also on behalf of his party:

I, on behalf of the Coalition, of the alternative government of Australia, are [sic] providing in-principle support for the offer of an apology to the forcibly removed generations of Aboriginal children.[45]

Nelson's leadership came under increased pressure in January 2008, after an MP shifted loyalties to Turnbull, and taking into consideration that former MP David Tollner was still allowed to vote, the leadership vote would now be deadlocked at 43-43.[46] Newspoll polling in February 2008 set a record low "Preferred Prime Minister" rating for any opposition leader at 9 percent, with March polling setting another record of 7 percent, with two party preferred setting another Newspoll record at 37-63 percent.[47] Nelson responded by declaring himself the underdog.[48] In response to increased speculation about his leadership Nelson commented in April that he "will keep fighting and standing up for everyday Australians.".[49]

Nelson used his 2008 budget reply to declare the Rudd government budget a "tax and spend" budget, as well as arguing for a 5 cent reduction in petrol excise, and pledging to block an increase in the "alcopop" tax.[50]. Nelson's performance prompted Deputy Leader Julie Bishop to declare that Nelson's leadership was "not in question"[51]

In May 2008, Nelson gave his approval to a merger occurring between the Queensland Liberal Party and Queensland National Party.[52]

Support for Nelson as leader within the Liberal Party had all but collapsed by the end of July 2008, in part due to repeated gaffes on emissions trading and climate change. Expected to challenge him was either Peter Costello or Malcolm Turnbull, upon the release of Costello's book, The Costello Memoirs.[53][54][55] Costello stated he would not be making any move for the Liberal leadership,[56] however media outlets capitalised on Costello's failure to categorically rule out any future leadership challenge.[57][58]

Nelson suffered from another gaffe in August 2008, where he stated:

Peter's made his decision that he did not seek the leadership of the party. As I've said before, I'd be very happy if he changes his mind.

He later attempted to clarify the comment in that he was referring to Costello staying in parliament.[59][60][61]

Despite a small and steady increase after record low polling, Nelson lost the leadership of the Liberal Party to Shadow Treasurer, Malcolm Turnbull, on 16 September 2008 by 45 to 41 votes in a spill motion.[62] Nelson went to the backbench. On 16 February 2009 he announced that he would retire from politics at the next federal election.[63] On 25 August 2009 he announced that he would resign from Parliament in late September 2009, triggering a 2009 Bradfield by-election.[4]

Ambassador to the European Union and NATO

On 16 September 2009, Prime Minister Kevin Rudd appointed Nelson as the Ambassador to the European Union and NATO along with former Federal Labor Leader, Kim Beazley as the Australian Ambassador to the United States of America. Nelson accepted the appointment from his former rival and commended Rudd's decision on appointing Beazley as Ambassador to the USA. Nelson said to both of their appointments "It would be accepted across the political spectrum". [64] Nelson officially resigned from Federal Parliament the same day, ending 13 years as the member for Bradfield.[65]

Personal life

Nelson has been married three times and has two children.[1] In 1995, his brother, Philip, died after a long battle with AIDS.[1] His hobbies include playing guitar[66][67] and riding motorcycles, which he started at 17 after he dropped out of an economics degree at Adelaide University and needed a cheap form of transport.[68]

References

  1. ^ a b c d e f g "The evolution of Brendan Nelson". Sydney Morning Herald. 23 December 2005. http://www.smh.com.au/articles/2005/12/22/1135032135726.html?page=fullpage. Retrieved 16 February 2009. 
  2. ^ a b "Nelson wins Liberal leadership". Sydney Morning Herald. 29 November 2007. http://www.smh.com.au/articles/2007/11/29/1196037040072.html. Retrieved 29 November 2007. 
  3. ^ Hudson, Phillip (16 September 2008). "Get behind Turnbull: Nelson tells Libs". Sydney Morning Herald. http://www.smh.com.au/articles/2008/09/16/1221330800745.html. Retrieved 16 February 2009. 
  4. ^ a b Grattan, Michelle (25 August 2009). "Nelson to quit politics and force byelection". The Age. http://www.theage.com.au/national/nelson-to-quit-politics-and-force-byelection-20090825-exax.html. Retrieved 25 August 2009. 
  5. ^ Kim Beazley, Brendan Nelson new US, EU ambassadors: The Australian 17/9/2009
  6. ^ Birnbauer, Bill (27 September 1993). "Doctor In Charge Shakes Up AMA". The Age: p. 4. 
  7. ^ Mostyn, Suzanne (10 July 1991). "Cricket body challenged on tobacco funds". Sydney Morning Herald: p. 6. 
    * "Smoking campaign". The Age: p. 15. 22 October 1991. 
    * Stapleton, John (1 June 1992). "It's a funny way to give up smoking". Sydney Morning Herald: p. 4. 
  8. ^ Johnston, Nicholas (31 May 1993). "Richardson and new AMA chief in truce". The Age: p. 2. 
  9. ^ a b Cooke, Jennifer (29 May 1993). "AMA shepherds in a new era". Sydney Morning Herald: p. 5. 
  10. ^ "New prescription for the AMA". Sydney Morning Herald: p. 16. 1 October 1993. 
    Dempster, Quentin (24 October 1993). "Personalities not principles". The Sun-Herald: p. 35. 
  11. ^ Davies, Julie-Anne (28 November 1993). "AMA Chief Vows To Aid Aborigines". Sunday Age: p. 10. 
  12. ^ Magazanik, Michael (9 July 1993). "Letting People Die Is A Duty - Doctor". The Age: p. 3. 
  13. ^ Daley, Paul (16 October 1994). "Australian Anti-smoke Move Gets World Nod". Sunday Age: p. 8. 
  14. ^ "Nelson support for gay couples". Herald Sun. 3 December 2007. http://www.news.com.au/heraldsun/story/0,21985,22858855-662,00.html. Retrieved 16 February 2009. 
  15. ^ Henderson, Gerard (23 August 1994). "Nelson's high hopes". Sydney Morning Herald: p. 15. 
  16. ^ a b Dow, Steve (1 March 1995). "Nelson chooses his seat". The Age: p. 11. ""Again, it's probably consistent with my perhaps lifelong philosophy of, you know, saying, well maybe Labor governments are generally better for the country that's a personal view, by the way, it's not an AMA view..."" 
  17. ^ Wright, Tony (8 November 1994). "Robert Hill falls foul of the Steele Hall factor". Sydney Morning Herald: p. 19. 
  18. ^ Huxley, John (31 January 1995). "No Half Nelson, The Doctor Is In The Liberal Party To Win". Sydney Morning Herald: p. 4. 
  19. ^ Seccombe, Mike (6 May 1995). "Brendan struggles to get a half-Nelson on politics". Sydney Morning Herald: p. 33. 
  20. ^ Grattan, Michelle (8 May 1995). "Nelson accuses his opponents of spreading rumours". The Age: p. 3. 
    * Daley, Paul (14 May 1995). "Nelson wins safe Lib seat". Sunday Age: p. 5. 
    * "Editorial: An earthquake in Bradfield". Sydney Morning Herald: p. 16. 15 May 1995. 
  21. ^ Lamont, Leonie (18 July 1995). "Wounded Nelson counts the very visible cost of his battles". Sydney Morning Herald: p. 6. 
  22. ^ Byrne, Andrew (15 July 1995). "Dr Nelson apologises to Libs for dirty jokes". Sydney Morning Herald: p. 1. 
    * Grattan, Michelle (24 July 1995). "Nelson will keep seat - party chief". The Age: p. 6. 
  23. ^ Corbett, Bryce (19 September 1996). "Hanson goes even further out on a limb". Daily Telegraph: p. 13. 
  24. ^ Chan, Gabrielle (7 October 1996). "Howard rejects racism claim as McCarthyism". The Australian: p. 4. 
    * Chan, Gabrielle (15 October 1996). "PM challenged to take stand on racism". The Australian: p. 2. 
  25. ^ Chan, Gabrielle (16 October 1996). "PM offers to negotiate bipartisan race motion". The Australian: p. 3. 
  26. ^ Rees, Peter (20 October 1996). "Hanson 'awakens base instincts'". Sunday Telegraph: p. 15. 
  27. ^ Ward, Ian (August 1997). "Australian Political Chronicle: July-December 1996". Australian Journal of Politics and History 43 (2): 216. ISSN 0004-9522. 
  28. ^ Middleton, Karen (4 December 1996). "Euthanasia about-turn by Liberal son". The Age: p. 2. 
    * "Nervous collapse hospitalises euthanasia son". The Australian: p. 3. 5 December 1996. 
  29. ^ Hansard; also, Ceresa, Maria (11 December 1996). "We cannot fight MPs' vote - Stone". The Australian: p. 2. 
  30. ^ Middleton, Karen (7 March 1997). "Liberal apologises to the House". The Age.  Also "Nelson says sorry over plagiarism". The Australian: p. 3. 7 March 1997.  The publication involved was Birrell, Bob (1996). "Medical manpower: the continuing crisis". People and Place 4 (3): 37–46. ISSN 1039-4788. http://elecpress.monash.edu.au/pnp/free/pnpv4n3/birrell.htm. 
  31. ^ Nelson too chicken to face us, say students Australian Broadcasting Corporation, 28 September 2005
  32. ^ 'Safety fear' stops Nelson talking at uni again, The Sydney Morning Herald, 28 September 2005
  33. ^ 'Intelligent design' an option: Nelson, The Age, 11 August 2005
  34. ^ Intelligent design not science: experts, The Sydney Morning Herald, 21 October 2005
  35. ^ 'Flying Blind', Four Corners, 29 October 2007
  36. ^ "Nelson dogged by Labor party past". ABC News. 2007-11-29. http://www.abc.net.au/news/stories/2007/11/29/2105620.htm. 
  37. ^ Holy oversight, Brendan: The Australian 29/7/2008
  38. ^ 'Nelson backs gay legal rights', Sunday Herald Sun, 2 December 2007
  39. ^ Nelson declares WorkChoices dead – ABC News (Australian Broadcasting Corporation)
  40. ^ Fury over Nelson's 'sorry' response: The Age 13/2/2008
  41. ^ Schubert, Misha (2008-01-30). "Liberal division grows on apology". The Age. http://www.theage.com.au/news/national/liberal-division-grows-on-apology/2008/01/29/1201369135991.html. Retrieved 2008-01-30. 
  42. ^ "Howard will not attend apology", Sydney Morning Herald, February 8, 2008
  43. ^ "Nelson agrees to 'sorry'", Phillip Coorey, Sydney Morning Herald, February 6, 2008
  44. ^ "Nelson rubbishes 'sorry' switch claims", Glenn Milne, News.com.au, February 10, 2008
  45. ^ "Opposition joins rush to say sorry", Daniel Hoare, ABC News, February 7, 2008
  46. ^ Nelson's leadership shaky as MPs shift loyalties, Dennis Shanahan, The Australian, 12 February 2008
  47. ^ Brendan Nelson and Liberal-Nationals Coalition hit all-time low in Newspoll
  48. ^ Nelson defends record low poll figures | The Australian
  49. ^ Nelson vows to stay on as Liberal leader - Breaking News - National - Breaking News
  50. ^ Nelson's Budget reply: slash petrol tax
  51. ^ Nelson's leadership 'safe'
  52. ^ Nelson removes a merger caveat | The Australian
  53. ^ Brendan Nelson's leadership is hanging by a thread: Herald Sun 2/8/2008
  54. ^ Look out Brendan, here comes the tap: NEWS.com.au 2/8/2008
  55. ^ Libs meet amid leadership speculation: SMH 2/9/2008
  56. ^ Costello clears the air over Liberal leadership: ABC News 11/9/2008
  57. ^ Costello could stand at next election: The Australian 12/9/2008
  58. ^ Costello may still harbour dream of being PM: The age 12/9/2008
  59. ^ Nelson would be 'very happy' if Costello seeks leadership: WA Today 29/8/2008
  60. ^ Nelson heightens leadership speculation: The Australian 29/8/2008
  61. ^ Brendan Nelson struggles to quell roll-over gaffe: The Australian 30/8/2008
  62. ^ Leadership spill: Nelson draws 'line in the sand': The Age 15/8/2008
  63. ^ Brendan Nelson announces he will quit politics at the next election: The Australian 16/2/2009
  64. ^ News.com.au: http://www.news.com.au/story/0,27574,26086104-29277,00.html| Retrieved 17 September 2009
  65. ^ News.com.au: http://www.news.com.au/story/0,27574,26086104-29277,00.html| Retrieved 17th of September 2009
  66. ^ Brendan Nelson's Interests - Playing the Guitar
  67. ^ Franklin, Matthew (2008-04-02). "Brendan on stairway to Kevin". The Australian. http://www.theaustralian.news.com.au/story/0,25197,23470267-5013871,00.html. Retrieved 2008-04-02. 
  68. ^ Brendan Nelson's Interests - Riding Motorcycles

External links

Professional and academic associations
Preceded by
Bruce Shepherd
President of the Australian Medical Association
1993 – 1995
Succeeded by
David Weedon
Parliament of Australia
Preceded by
David Connolly
Member for Bradfield
1996 – 2009
Succeeded by
Paul Fletcher
Political offices
Preceded by
David Kemp
Minister for Education, Science and Training
2001 – 2006
Succeeded by
Julie Bishop
Preceded by
Robert Hill
Minister for Defence
2006 – 2007
Succeeded by
Joel Fitzgibbon
Preceded by
Kevin Rudd
Leader of the Opposition of Australia
2007 – 2008
Succeeded by
Malcolm Turnbull
Party political offices
Preceded by
John Howard
Leader of the Liberal Party of Australia
2007 – 2008
Succeeded by
Malcolm Turnbull
Diplomatic posts
Preceded by
Alan Thomas
Australian Ambassador to the European Union, Belgium and Luxembourg
2009 – present
Incumbent

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