Frank Walsh

34th Premier of South Australia

Frank Walsh was Premier from 10 March 1965 through to 1 June 1967. Before he moved into politics, Walsh was a stonemason and a union leader. He was elected to the House of Assembly in 1941 and moved into the party leadership after his fierce debating skills were noticed when he was a backbencher. When elected in 1965, he took on the challenging task of leading a cabinet of inexperienced ministers, none of whom had any practical experience in serving in government due to the 32 years of Liberal dominance. During his time as premier, two significant pieces of legislation were passed: The Social Welfare Act and the Aboriginal Lands Trust Act. His cabinet increased spending on education, continued to focus on industrialisation, and secured the Moomba to Adelaide gas pipeline. Walsh was reluctant to retire, but was eventually convinced to do so in order for a younger leader to be settled in the role before the next election. This leader was to be Don Dunstan.